Commerce Bank v. Chuck Pennel, Taney County Assessor

August 11th, 2014

State Tax Commission of Missouri


Complainant, )  
) Appeal Number 13-89537









True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2013 is set at $167,862, personal property assessed value of $55,948.

Complainant appeared by counsel Thomas Campbell.

Respondent appeared pro se.

Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation the valuation of the subject property. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2013.

The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.



  1. Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission upon notification of the value of the property.
  2. Evidentiary Hearing. The appeal was submitted on the record. Exhibits were due from the parties on May 30, 2014. Any objections to evidence were due June 26, 2014. Complainant filed written direct testimony and exhibits. Respondent made no filings and did not request an opportunity to cross examine the witness.
  3. Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by account number 80032.
  4. Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of personal property not involved in banking operations belonging to Commerce Bank. The personal property is located in Taney County. The property is generally described as computer and telecom property and household goods for rental.
  5. Assessment. The previous assessor appraised the property at $ 287,233, an assessed value of $95,735.
  6. Complainant’s Evidence.   The Complainant presented the testimony of J. Scott Jankowski, the Controller of CBI Equipment Finance. The witness testified to his familiarity with the personal property subject to this appeal and the reportings by the Complainant for tax purposes. The subject property was reported, in Exhibit B, by class life of property as set out in the federal Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System life tables or their successors under the Internal Revenue Code as amended, age, cost, depreciated value under Section 137.122 RSMo, and the assessed value.
  7.          Presumption of Correct Assessment Rebutted – Value Established. The evidence presented by Complainant was substantial and persuasive to both rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the previous assessor and to establish the fair market value of the subject property to be $167,862, an assessed value of $55,948




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. Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.

Basis of Assessment

            The Constitution mandates that real property and tangible personal property be assessed at its value or such percentage of its value as may be fixed by law for each class and for each subclass. Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945. The constitutional mandate is to find the true value in money for the property under appeal. By statute real and tangible personal property are assessed at set percentages of true value in money. Section 137.115.5, RSMo

Presumption In Appeal

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization. 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). 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. Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).

Complainants’ Burden of Proof


In order to prevail, Complainants 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, 2013. Hermel, supra.

Service Date – Section 137.122 Applicable

            Section 137.122 RSMo. provides a statutory standardized methodology for valuing business personal property relying upon the federal Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) life tables to determine the appropriate “class life” of depreciable tangible personal property used in a trade or business or for production of income “to establish uniformity in the assessment of depreciable tangible personal property. . .” Said section applies to business personal property placed in service after January 2, 2006. A property is “placed in service” when it is ready and available for a specific use, whether or not actually in use. The methodology presented by Section 137.122 RSMo. is a cost approach to value, with more than straight line (normal) depreciation.

For property placed in service after January 2, 2006, valuation under Section 137.122 is presumed to be correct but can be “ . . .disproved by substantial and persuasive evidence of the true value in money under any method determined by the state tax commission to be correct . . . .” For the purposes of appeal, salvage or scrap value can only be applied to property not actually in use.

For property placed in service prior to January 2, 2006, there is no presumption that the Section 137.122 methodology is correct, although assessors are not precluded from using such a methodology.


Complainant Proves Value

Complainant presented substantial and persuasive evidence to establish a fair market value as of January 1, 2013, to be $167,862 for the subject property. The methodology was in compliance with Section 137.122 RSMo.


The assessed valuation for the subject property is SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2013 is $55,948.

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, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.

          Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the application for review is based will result in summary denial. Section 138.432, RSMo


Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Taney 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 11th day of August, 2014.




Maureen Monaghan

Hearing Officer


 Certificate of Service


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 11th day of August, 2014 to: Robert J. Droney, 100 S. 4th St. #1000, St Louis, MO 63102, Attorney for Complainant; Jill Patterson, 3140 E. Division, Springfield, MO 65802, Attorney for Respondent; Chuck Pennel, Assessor, P.O. Box 612, Forsyth, MO 65653; Donna Neeley, Clerk, P.O. Box 156, Forsyth, MO 65653; Sheila Wyatt, Collector, P.O. Box 278, Forsyth, MO 65653.


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator