He is the only Tax Court judge Indiana has ever had. He decides all tax cases pretty much on his own (aside from the assistance of his able clerks). He holds court at various sites around the state. He runs a crossbreed between a trial court and an appellate court. He has formed the body of Indiana tax law on everything from property tax to financial institution tax. He has served Indiana well and his distinguished shoes will be hard to fill.
Thomas G. Fisher (aka J. Fisher) is probably best known for his St. John decision, which ushered Indiana into a long-overdue "market-based" property tax system. But the bulk of his work, while of great significance, received little public attention due to the nature of tax cases.
After nearly a quarter century, Fisher will hang up his robe (at least until be begins serving part-time as a senior status retired judge.) The Tax Court was created in 1986 with the intent of assuring consistency among tax cases that were previously divided among the multiple appellate court districts. A tax court allows for a jurist to become something of an expert in a particularly complicated subject area (and relieves the appellate court judges from having to deal with "tax cases.") Judge Fisher has over the years gained great respect from those on all sides of the over 800 tax controversies he has adjudicated. We thank him and wish him the best!
The Indiana Chamber will recognize Judge Fisher at its Indiana Tax Seminar on October 19. See event details.