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Southside, Inc. v. Mississippi Dep't of Revenue

Supreme Court of Mississippi

November 20, 2014

SOUTHSIDE, INC. d/b/a WINES, ETC., AND BARRY AND SARABETH ARTZ
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE BY AND THROUGH THE COMMISSIONER, EDWARD MORGAN

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/27/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DOROTHY WINSTON COLOM.

FOR APPELLANTS: JEFFREY C. SMITH, COURTNEY BRADFORD SMITH.

FOR APPELLEES: JAMES L. POWELL, ABIGAIL MARSHALL MARBURY.

BEFORE DICKINSON, P.J., KITCHENS AND CHANDLER, JJ. WALLER, C.J., RANDOLPH, P.J., LAMAR, KITCHENS, CHANDLER, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 278

DICKINSON, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

¶1. Taxpayers appealed a Board of Tax ruling without satisfying the statutory requirements of paying the disputed taxes under protest before appealing or posting a surety bond with their appeal. Because the chancery court lacked appellate jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the chancellor granted the Department of Revenue's motion to dismiss. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. In June 2011 the Department of Revenue assessed additional individual, sales, and corporate taxes against Barry and Sarabeth Artz and their business, Southside, Inc., doing business as Wines, Etc. (" the taxpayers" ). The taxpayers appealed to the Board of Review, where the assessments were affirmed. The taxpayers then appealed to the Board of Tax Appeals.

¶3. On January 16, 2013, the Board of Tax Appeals upheld the additional assessments. On February 5, 2013--after exhausting their administrative remedies--the taxpayers appealed the Board of Tax Appeals ruling to the Lowndes County Chancery Court. The taxpayers did not pay their taxes under protest before filing their appeal, nor did they post a surety bond with their appeal. The Department of Revenue filed a motion to dismiss the taxpayers' appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction and failure to state a claim, which the chancery court granted. Aggrieved, the taxpayers appealed to this Court.

ANALYSIS

¶4. This Court reviews a trial court's grant of a motion to dismiss de novo.[1] Section 27-77-7 of the Mississippi Code gives the chancery court appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Board of Tax Appeals.[2] The statute provides that " [t]he findings and order of the Board of Tax Appeals . . . shall be final unless the agency or the taxpayer shall, within sixty (60) days from the date of the order, file a petition in the chancery court appealing the order." [3]

¶5. The statute further requires that " [a] petition filed by a taxpayer . . . that appeals an order of the Board of Tax Appeals ...


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