STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|KRISTY FISHBACK||)||Appeal No. 19-51000|
|ANTHONY DANIEL, ASSESSOR||)|
|CLARK COUNTY, MISSOURI||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
Kristy Fishback (Complainant) appeals the determination of the Clark County Board of Equalization (BOE) that the assessed value of the subject property should be $3,670, based upon a residential classification. Anthony Daniel (Respondent), Assessor of Clark County, Missouri, determined the assessed value was $3,670, based upon a residential classification, as of January 1, 2019. Complainant claims the entire city of Kahoka, Missouri is improperly mapped and that the classification of her property is incorrect.
The hearing officer conducted an evidentiary hearing. Complainant did not present substantial and persuasive evidence establishing the true value in money of the subject property and did not present substantial and persuasive evidence of an agricultural use or other used, other than residential. The determination of the BOE is affirmed.
FINDINGS OF FACT
A. The Subject Property
1. The subject residential property is located at 462 W. Clark Street, Kahoka, Missouri. The parcel number is 1-11-06-24-01-18-003.00.
2. Complainant offered no evidence regarding the particulars of the parcel other than evidence that a residential house sits on the parcel and that the parcel is within the city of Kahoka, Missouri.
B. The BOE Decision
3. The BOE sustained Respondent’s assessment.
C. Complainant’s Appeal
4. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission (Commission).
5. Complainant alleged the subject property suffers from erroneous mapping and misclassification.
D. Improper Mapping and Misclassification Claims
6. Complainant submitted exhibits A through Q. Each exhibit was admitted into evidence to be given such weight as the Hearing Officer deems appropriate. Complainant’s exhibits were as follows:
|Exhibit A||Survey Showing Location of Subject Property Within Survey of Kahoka, Missouri|
|Exhibit B||Newspaper Article|
|Exhibit C||Newspaper Article|
|Exhibit D||Newspaper Article|
|Exhibit F||Tennessee Addition Survey|
|Exhibit G||Kahoka Athletic Park Drawing|
|Exhibit I||MODOT Letter|
|Exhibit J||Newspaper Article|
|Exhibit K||Certificate of Record of Survey|
|Exhibit L||Certificate of Record of Survey|
|Exhibit M||Warranty Deed, Page 1|
|Exhibit N||Warranty Deed, Page 2|
|Exhibit O||Property Record Card, Page 1|
|Exhibit P||Property Record Card, Page 2|
|Exhibit Q||Tax Bill and Paper Showing Job Tile of Gene Daniel|
7. Complainant testified extensively regarding the surveying and mapping of Kahoka, Missouri.
8. Complainant presented no evidence of any agricultural use or reasoning for agricultural classification of the subject property and presented no evidence of the impact on the true value in money of the subject property due to any purported mapping or surveying issues.
9. Respondent submitted no exhibits.
10. The assessed value of the subject property as of January 1, 2019 is $3,670.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The Commission has authority, “under such rules as may be prescribed by law, to hear appeals from local boards in individual cases and, upon such appeal, to correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.” Mo. Const. art. X, § 14. Section 138.430.1, RSMo 2000, authorizes the Commission to hear appeals concerning assessment, valuation, the method or formula used in determining valuation, or the assignment of a discriminatory assessment. “The commission shall investigate all such appeals and shall correct any assessment or valuation which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” Id. “To hear and decide appeals pursuant to section 138.430, the commission shall appoint one or more hearing officers.” Section 138.431.1. The hearing officer “shall issue a decision and order affirming, modifying, or reversing the determination of the board of equalization, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.” Section 138.431.5.
- True Value in Money
All real property and tangible personal property must be assessed at its value or a percentage of its value as fixed by law for each class and for each subclass. Mo. Const. art. X, sec. 4(a), 4(b). Section 137.115.5(1) (a) provides residential property is assessed at 19% of its true value in money. The true value in money “is an estimate of the fair market value on the valuation date.” Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Comm’n, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978). The fair market value is “the price which the property would bring from a willing buyer when offered for sale by a willing seller.” Mo. Baptist Children’s Home v. State Tax Comm’n, 867 S.W.2d 510, 512 (Mo. banc 1993). Determining the true value in money is a factual issue. Parker v. Doe Run Co., 553 S.W.3d 356, 360 (Mo. App. 2018).
- Evidentiary Standards
The hearing officer is the trier of fact and determines the credibility and weight of the evidence. Citizens for Rural Pres., Inc. v. Robinett, 648 S.W.2d 117, 132 (Mo. App. 1982); see also Exch. Bank of Mo. v. Gerlt, 367 S.W.3d 132, 136 (Mo. App. 2012) (the trier of fact determines credibility and is free to disbelieve all or part of a party’s evidence). The hearing officer is not bound by any single formula, rule or method in determining true value in money, and “is free to consider all pertinent facts and estimates and give them such weight as reasonably they may be deemed entitled to.” St. Louis Cty. v. State Tax Comm’n, 515 S.W.2d 446, 450 (Mo. 1974); see also Kelly v. Mo. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., Family Support Div., 456 S.W.3d 107, 111 (Mo. App. 2015) (the relative weight of any relevant factor is for the administrative hearing officer to decide). “Although technical rules of evidence are not controlling in administrative hearings, fundamental rules of evidence are applicable.” Mo. Church of Scientology v. State Tax Comm’n, 560 S.W.2d 837, 839 (Mo. banc 1977).
- Complainant’s Burden of Proof
A taxpayer challenging the assessment, valuation, the method or formula used in determining valuation, or the assignment of a discriminatory assessment bears the burden of proving the assessment or valuation was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” Section 138.430.1; Westwood P’ship v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161 (Mo. App. 2003).
Substantial evidence is evidence which “has probative force upon the issues . . . and from which the trier of fact can reasonably decide the case on the fact issues.” Cupples Hesse, 329 S.W.2d at 702 (internal quotation omitted). To prevail, the taxpayer must produce “persuasive” evidence sufficient to convince the trier the disputed fact has been established. White v. Dir. of Revenue, 321 S.W.3d 298, 305 (Mo. banc 2010); see also Daly v. P.D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 651 (Mo. App. 2002) (evidence is persuasive when it has “sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact”).
- Improper Mapping
Complainant did not produce substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the market impact on the true value in money of the subject property, of any purported improper mapping. The State Tax Commission lacks authority to correct any purported improper mapping, but it limited to remedying any impact of any such issue upon the true value in money of the subject property. Complainant did not meet her burden of proof.
The Respondent classified the subject property as residential. The Complainant states the property is rural and therefore believes the property should be classified as agricultural. Nevertheless, Complainant do not contend that the property is utilized for any agricultural activity.
Section 137.016, RSMo defines the classification of real property in Missouri—residential, agricultural, or commercial. Section 137.016 RSMo defines agricultural property as:
“Agricultural and horticultural property”, all real property used for agricultural purposes and devoted primarily to the raising and harvesting of crops; to the feeding, breeding and management of livestock which shall include breeding, showing, and boarding of horses; to dairying, or to any other combination thereof; and buildings and structures customarily associated with farming, agricultural, and horticultural uses. Agricultural and horticultural property shall also include land devoted to and qualifying for payments or other compensation under a soil conservation or agricultural assistance program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government. Agricultural and horticultural property shall further include land and improvements, exclusive of structures, on privately owned airports that qualify as reliever airports under the National Plan of Integrated Airports System, to receive federal airport improvement project funds through the Federal Aviation Administration. Real property classified as forest croplands shall not be agricultural or horticultural property so long as it is classified as forest croplands and shall be taxed in accordance with the laws enacted to implement Section 7 of Article X of the Missouri Constitution. Agricultural and horticultural property shall also include any sawmill or planing mill defined in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual under Industry Group 242 with the SIC number 2421;
The Complainant has the burden of establishing through substantial and persuasive evidence the property was devoted primarily to the raising and harvesting of crops or the feeding, breeding and management of livestock. Complainant presented no evidence to support her burden of proof.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
The determination of the BOE is affirmed. The assessed value of the subject property as of January 1, 2019 is $3,670.
Application for Review
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the certificate of service for this decision. The application shall contain specific facts or law as grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous. Said application must be in writing addressed to the State Tax Commission of Missouri, P.O. Box 146, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146, or emailed to email@example.com, and a copy of the application must be sent to each person listed below in the certificate of service.
Failure to state the specific facts or law upon which the application for review is based will result in summary denial. Section 138.432.
The Collector of Clark County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending the possible filing of an application for review, unless said taxes have been disbursed pursuant to a court order under the provisions of Section 139.031.8 RSMo.
Any finding of fact which is a conclusion of law or decision shall be so deemed. Any decision which is a finding of fact or conclusion of law shall be so deemed.
SO ORDERED this 24th, day of December, 2019.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
John J. Treu
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I certify that on December 24th, 2019, a copy of the foregoing was sent via email to
 All statutory citations are to RSMo 2000, as amended.