State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.) Appeal Number 09-62503
CONNIE HOOVER, ASSESSOR,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $180,090, residential assessed value of $34,210.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Crowley.Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2009.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $180,090, assessed value of $34,210, as residential property.Complainant proposed a value of $150,000, assessed value of $28,500.A hearing was conducted on October 27, 2009, at the Jasper County Courthouse,Carthage,Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.
2.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant testified on his own behalf.He stated his opinion of value as of January 1, 2009, to be $150,000.The opinion of value was based upon an appraisal of the subject property.Mr. Leggett offered into evidence Exhibit A – Appraisal Report, dated August 2, 2009, by Jennifer Frazier, Missouri Licensed Real Estate Appraiser, and Exhibit B – Multi-List Service listing sheet on property at 1984 Chickasaw, Joplin.
Counsel for Respondent objected to Exhibit A on the ground of hearsay and the appraiser not being present to be cross-examined.Objection was sustained.Exhibit A is maintained in the appeal file, but is not evidence in the appeal.No objection was made to Exhibit B.It was received into the record.
3.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent offered into evidence Exhibit 1 – valuation data and the testimony of Lisa Perry, Administrative Assistant to Respondent.
Exhibit 1 consisted of the following documents:Property Record Card and photographs of subject; Locator Map for one comparable property; Property Record Card and photograph for one comparable property.Exhibit 1 was received into evidence.
5.No New Construction and Improvement.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2009, to the date of the hearing.Complainant had no plans to do any new construction and improvement prior to January 1, 2010.The value for 2009 will remain the value for 2010.
6.Complainant’s evidence not persuasive.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2009, to be $150,000, as proposed.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The Commission has jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.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.
Presumption In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer presents substantial and persuasive evidence to establish that the Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.
Standard for Valuation
Section 137.115, RSMo, requires that property be assessed based upon its true value in money which is defined as the price a property would bring when offered for sale by one willing or desirous to sell and bought by one who is willing or desirous to purchase but who is not compelled to do so.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.Market value is the most probable price in terms of money which a property should bring in competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeable and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.
Implicit in this definition are the consummation of a sale as of a specific date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:
1.Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
2.Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.
3.A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
4.Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.
5.Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.
Complainant’s Burden of Proof
In order to prevail, Complainant must present an opinion of market value and substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value is indicative of the market value of the subject property on January 1, 2009.There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayer in a Commission appeal still bears the burden of proof.The taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief.Therefore, the Complainant bears the burden of proving the vital elements of the case, i.e., the assessment was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.”
Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.Persuasive evidence is that evidence which has sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact.The persuasiveness of evidence does not depend on the quantity or amount thereof but on its effect in inducing belief.
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.In this instance, Mr. Leggett’s opinion is based upon a July, 2009 appraisal report that was excluded from evidence.In order for an appraisal report to be received into evidence the appraiser who prepared the report must be present to authenticate the document and to be subject to cross-examination.Therefore, the taxpayer’s opinion of value can be given no probative weight, since it is based on an excluded document.
Exhibit B provides no foundation to find fair market value as of January 1, 2009.A sale listing does not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence of value.Without appropriate adjustments normally done in an appraisal when a listing is utilized the raw data has insufficient relevancy to be probative on the issue of fair market value of the property under appeal.
When Complainant fails to meet his burden of proof, the valuation by the Board must be affirmed.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization forJasperCountyfor the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $34,210.
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.The application shall contain specific 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, MO65102-0146, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.
The Collector of Jasper County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a 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 November 24, 2009.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 24thday of November, 2009, to:Aaron Leggett, 1896 S. Chickasaw Lane, Joplin, MO 64804, Complainant; Jeremy Crowley, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 601 Pearl, Room 100, Joplin, MO 64801, Attorney for Respondent; Connie Hoover, Assessor, 302 S. Main Street, Carthage, MO 64836; Bonnie Earl, Clerk; Stephen Holt, Collector, Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, MO 64836.
 Hermel, Inc. v. STC, 564 S.W.2d 888, 895 (Mo. banc 1978); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co. v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650, 656 (Mo. 1968); May Department Stores Co. v. STC, 308 S.W.2d 748, 759 (Mo. 1958).
 Real Estate Appraisal Terminology, Society of Real Estate Appraisers, Revised Edition, 1984; See also, Real Estate Valuation in Litigation, J. D. Eaton, M.A.I., American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, 1982, pp. 4-5; Property Appraisal and Assessment Administration, International Association of Assessing Officers, 1990, pp. 79-80; Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, Glossary.
 See, Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Daly v. P. D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002); Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003).Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. 1991).
 Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).