U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, No. 14-71580, June 1, 2016: Upholds Tax Court decision about highest and best use.
In the Tax Court decision Mountanos v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2013-138, June 3, 2013 (Mountanos I), the tax court agreed with the IRS that a federal tax deduction should not be allowed for a conservation easement Mountanos donated, finding that Mountanos failed to prove that the property’s highest and best use before the grant of the easement was higher that after the grant of the easement.
In a very brief opinion, the appeals court agreed with the tax court about the valuation, and also upheld the tax court’s decision to impose an accuracy-related penalty.
Decision available at https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2016/06/01/14-71580.pdf as a “not for publication” document.