Arkansas has enacted a bill that allows orders concerning property tax assessments of public utilities and public carriers that are issued by the Public Service Commission to be appealed directly to the Arkansas Court of Appeals. The previous appeals process required appeals to be filed in circuit court, where they were subject to a de novo review. Under the new process, de novo review is not provided, and objections not raised before the Commission cannot be considered by the appeals court. In addition, the Commission’s findings of fact are conclusive if they are supported by substantial evidence. The deadline by which the Commission must issue an order in response to a taxpayer’s petition for review was also changed from November 1 of the year the petition was filed to 240 days after a petition is filed.

S.B. 339, Laws 2009, effective 90 days after adjournment