On April 8, 2008, the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) rejected a lease rental agreement between the Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation (the School Corporation) and the Clark-Pleasant Middle School Building Corporation (the Building Corporation) providing for the construction of a new middle school and renovations to the existing middle school and high school. The School Corporation now appeals.
Conclusion (slip op. at 14): This Court will give deference to whatever factor or reason the DLGF bases its final determination on as long as the DLGF’s reasoning is supported by the evidence. Here, the DLGF’s reasoning is not supported by the evidence and, as a result, the DLGF’s final determination must be reversed. The matter is hereby remanded for a final determination to be issued consistent with this opinion.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 9): DLGF denied the School Corporation’s proposed project for four reasons: 1) the cost of the new middle school was too high compared to other projects; 2) the growth in the new home construction market was slower than anticipated; 3) the school district’s current tax rate is too high; and 4) the School Corporation did not modify the proposed project to address the remonstrators’ concerns. These reasons, however, are not supported by the evidence.