LONDON (AP): As English football’s most successful teams, Manchester United and Liverpool are the mainstays around the summit of the league. Rivals come and go but United and Liverpool are always to be found among the chasing pack – at least, for the top prize. No longer. When the northwest rivals play on Sunday at Anfield it will be a meeting of mediocrity – by their standards. For the first time in 35 years, the league could finish without either United or Liverpool – who have 38 titles between them – in the top four. And it’s about cash, not just symbolism. Finishing outside the top four would mean missing out on the Champions League next season. With only one win in eight league matches, record 20-time champions United have dropped to sixth place, two points behind Tottenham in fourth. Liverpool are three points behind United in ninth after failing to achieve the uplift anticipated in the three months since hiring Jürgen Klopp as manager. There’s halfway to go in the January transfer window. Having not signed an outfield player in the summer window, Arsenal recruited midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Basel. Arsenal expect the Egyptian to be registered in time for Sunday’s game against Stoke. “Arsenal are one of those teams that everyone enjoys watching, and, of course, I would love to play for such a great team,” he said. Elneny arrives after winning three consecutive Swiss league titles at Basel, which he joined from El Mokawloon in Egypt. Arsenal are seeking their first league title since 2004, but are only ahead of surprise contenders Leicester at the summit on goal difference. Tomorrow, Arsenal’s north London neighbours, Tottenham face Sunderland, which has signed striker Dame N’Doye on loan from Trabzonspor for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old Senegal international was previously at Hull, scoring five times in 15 appearances before moving to Turkey. “Having already played in the Premier League, he should have no problems in hitting the ground running, too, which is very important at this stage of the season,” Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce said. VARDY GOAL DROUGHT SQUAD ADDITIONS While United’s draws have added to the pressure on Louis van Gaal, Liverpool’s scrambled comebacks to rescue points have been celebrated by Klopp and his squad almost like wins – including Wednesday’s 3-3 comeback at home to Arsenal. “There has been a big improvement recently (in our mental strength) and that’s very important when you’re at a big club,” Liverpool defender Kolo Toure said. “You can’t ever give up. When you refuse to lose games, you often find yourself winning them. “It’s always important that if you don’t win, you don’t lose. We showed character and resilience and we didn’t give up until the end of the game. It’s very important that we keep things going at home.” After setting a Premier League record for scoring in 11 consecutive games, injury-hit Jamie Vardy has failed to score for a fifth consecutive match. The 1-0 victory at Tottenham on Wednesday was secured by a rare goal from Robert Huth, on Vardy’s first game back from groin surgery.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Grain bins are “business fixtures” that are personal property not subject to real property tax, according to a decision issued today by the Ohio Supreme Court.The court case arose when the Metamora Elevator Company challenged the Fulton County auditor’s inclusion of grain storage bins in the company’s real property valuation. Metamora filed complaints with the county Board of Revision, arguing that the grain bins are business fixtures that should not be included in the company’s real property assessment. The Board of Revision disagreed with Metamora and the company appealed to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA).The Fulton County BTA ruled in favor of the company, determining that grains bins are personal property and should not be taxed as real property. The BTA reduced Metamora’s real property value by nearly $1.1 million, the value of the grain bins. Fulton County requested a review of the BTA decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The issue before the Court was whether the grain bins are “fixtures” or “improvements” that are subject to real property tax or whether they are not subject to real property tax because they are “business fixtures” that qualify as personal property. Ohio Supreme Court’s reasoningIn its decision authored by Justice O’Donnell, the Supreme Court explained that the legislature amended the Ohio Revised Code in 1992 to clarify the historically “elusive” distinction between real and personal property in Ohio. The court stated that the changes expressed a clear intent to identify fixtures as real property while defining business fixtures as personal property, according to two of th revised sections of Ohio law:ORC 5701.02(A), which states that “real property” includes “land itself * * * and, unless otherwise specified in this section or section 5701.03 of the Revised Code, all buildings, structures, improvements, and fixtures of whatever kind on the land.”ORC 5701.03(B), which defines “business fixture” as “an item of tangible personal property that has become permanently attached or affixed to the land or to a building, structure, or improvement, and that primarily benefits the business conducted by the occupant on the premises and not the realty. Business fixture includes, but is not limited to, machinery, equipment, signs, storage bins and tanks, whether above or below ground, and broadcasting, transportation, transmission, and distribution systems, whether above or below ground.“Our analysis need go no further than to apply the expressed intent of the General Assembly to the undisputed facts of this case,” said the Court, and concluded that the legislature clearly intended for the term “business fixture” to include storage bins, and therefore to define storage bins as personal property not subject to real property tax.The Court rejected the two arguments advanced by the county, that property classification cases depend upon what constitutes an “improvement” under the Ohio Constitution and that it would be unconstitutional for the legislature to classify constitutional “improvements” such as fixtures or structures as personal property simply because the fixtures might be used in business. Because the grain bins related more to the personal business than to the land, based on the definition of “business fixture” in ORC 5701.03, the Court saw no conflict between the personal property classification and the Ohio Constitution. Implications for agricultureFulton County may not be the only county that classifies grain bins as real property for tax purposes. Landowners who own grain bins should review their property tax records and determine whether the real property value includes the value of grain bins located on the parcel. If the property tax does incorporate grain bin values, consult with the county auditor to discuss the situation. Ohio law allows a county auditor to correct “clerical errors” made in the collection of real property taxes, although there is a question of whether inclusion of grain bins in the real property value constitutes a clerical error. Ohio law also provides remedies for taxpayers who have overpaid taxes; landowners should consult with a tax attorney for guidance on these remedies. Note that filing a complaint with the Board of Revision is not an option, as March 30 was the deadline for filing complaints for the current tax year.
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