OF JUDGMENT: 03/15/2016
COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM H.
COURT ATTORNEYS: JAMES GARY McGEE, JR. JON FRANCIS CARMER,
JR. JOHN STEWART STRINGER
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JAMES GARY McGEE, JR. WILLIAM
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: JON FRANCIS CARMER, JR. JOHN STEWART
DICKINSON, P.J., KITCHENS AND MAXWELL, JJ.
DICKINSON, PRESIDING JUSTICE.
Before January 1, 2015, Mississippi Code Section 27-77-7
required taxpayers wishing to appeal tax assessments affirmed
by the Board of Tax Appeals to post surety bonds for half the
assessed taxes or pay the taxes under protest. But the
Legislature amended the statute to remove that bonding
requirement for appeals from assessments imposed after the
amendment's effective date of January 1,
2015. Marlena Robinson failed to post a bond or
pay her taxes when she appealed a February 4, 2014, tax
assessment, so the chancellor dismissed her appeal. We
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Marlena Robinson and her former husband owned D&M
Enterprises, LLC. D&M incurred sales and withholding tax
liabilities throughout 2012 and 2013. But, in August 2013,
D&M went out of business. So, on February 4, 2014, the
Mississippi Department of Revenue assessed Robinson as the
responsible person for the unpaid taxes.
Robinson challenged the assessment before the
Department's Board of Review, claiming she was not
responsible for D&M's fiscal management. The Board of
Review upheld the assessment, as did the Board of Tax
Appeals. So on June 1, 2015, Robinson appealed to the
Chancery Court for the First Judicial District of Hinds
County under Mississippi Code Section 27-77-7.
The Department moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing the
chancery court lacked jurisdiction because Robinson had
failed to post a surety bond or pay the assessed taxes. The
chancellor granted the motion and Robinson appealed to this
Court, arguing the chancellor erred because the pre-amendment
bond or payment requirement should not apply to an appeal
filed after the amendment's effective date.
When "taxpayers fail to comply with the statutory
requirements by either paying their taxes under protest
before appealing, or posting a surety bond with their
petition[, ] . . . the chancery court lack[s] ...