Crede Carla Edens v. Copeland (Franklin)

December 22nd, 2009

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal No.09-57016











Decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is SET ASIDE.True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $96,000, residential assessed value of $18,240.Complainants appeared pro se. Respondent appeared in person and by County Counselor, Mark S. Vincent

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.


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $97,230, assessed value of $18,473, as residential property.Complainants proposed a value of $82,000, assessed value of $15,580.A hearing was conducted on December 3, 2009, at the Franklin County Government Building, Union, Missouri.

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 from the decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization.

2.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 3168 South Service Road, Union, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 21-2-4.2-6.The property consists of a 2.96 acre home site.The lot is improved by a one-story, mobile home, single-family structure of fair quality construction.The house was built in 1996 and appears to be in below normal condition.The residence has a total of six rooms, which includes three bedrooms, two baths, and contains 1,232 square feet of living area.There is no basement and a detached two-car garage.The home is in below normal condition because of interior damage from wheel chair use.[1]

3.No New Construction and Improvements.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2009, to the date of hearing.Complainants have no plans for any new construction and improvements prior to January 1, 2010.Therefore, in the absence of new construction and improvements during 2009, the value set for tax year 2009 must remain the value for tax year 2010.[2]

4.Complainants’ Evidence.Complainants testified as to their opinion of value.It was the opinion of Complainants that the subject property’s fair market value as of January 1, 2009 was $82,000.The basis for this opinion was issues of deferred maintenance on the interior of the home due to damage from use of a wheel chair and the mobile homes don’t appreciate in value, but depreciate.Complainants offered into evidence the following exhibits:





2009 Tax Statement



Cover Sheet for 2007 Appraisal of Subject – $94,000



2009 Appraisal of Subject by Randall Roberts – $105,000



Realtor’s Comparison Sheet



Sales Grid & Photos from Exhibit C



Page from Fannie Mae Form 1004



23 Photographs of interior damage to subject home



Exhibits D, E and F are maintained in the Commission file, but were excluded from evidence.

5.Evidence Not Substantial and 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 $82,000, as proposed.

6.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent presented the Appraisal Report – Exhibit 1 – and testimony of Carl L. Sohn, appraiser for Franklin County.The appraisal determined a value of $98,000.Upon review of Exhibit G, Mr. Sohn modified his adjustment for condition from a -$2,000 to a -$4,000 adjustment.This resulted in an opinion of value of $96,000 for the subject property.Respondent’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment and establish true value in money of $96,000 as of January 1, 2009.



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.[3]

Presumptions In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.[4]The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer, or respondent when advocating a value different than that determined by the Board, 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.[5]Complainants failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment.Respondent’s appraisal report constituted substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption and establish value.

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.[6]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[7]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[8]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.


6.The price represents a normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special financing amounts and/or terms, services, fees, costs, or credits incurred in the transaction.[9]


Methods of Valuation

Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission.It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case.[10]Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value.[11] Complainants did not present an opinion of fair market value derived from a recognized appraisal methodology.The conclusion of value presented by Mr. Sohn was based upon the sales comparison approach to value.This approach is recognized as most appropriate for the valuation of owner occupied residential properties.

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, 2009.[12]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.”[13]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[14]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.[15]

The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.[16]The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.[17]Complainants failed to present evidence to establish that their opinion of value was based upon proper elements and a proper foundation.

Exhibit A provides no market data to establish a value of $82,000 for the subject property.Exhibit B only establishes an appraiser’s opinion of value for 2007 of $94,000.This does not establish a value for 2009.Exhibit C provides an opinion of value as of January 1, 2009 of $105,000.This does not support the owner’s opinion of value.

Exhibit D – Realtors Comp Sheet – was objected to on the grounds of lack of foundation and hearsay.The objection was sustained.The realtor who prepared the document was not present to testify and be cross-examined.The document does not provide an opinion of the fair market value of the property under appeal as of January 1, 2009.Furthermore, such a comparison sheet does not constitute an appraisal of the subject property under any recognized appraisal methodology. Accordingly, the relevancy of the document was not established to support a value of $82,000 for the Complainants’ property.

Exhibit E was a copy of pages from Exhibit C and therefore was excluded as being duplicative.Exhibit F was objected to on the grounds of lack of foundation and hearsay.Objection was sustained.The document was offered on the point of the gross living area of the subject home.No foundation was laid as to the maker of the document or the basis for the reported square footage of living area in the document.Irrespective, the exhibit has no probative value to establish the value offered by Mr. and Mrs. Edens.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for Franklin County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $18,240.

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 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, MO65102-0146, 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 appeal is based will result in summary denial. [18]

The Collector of Franklin 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.If no Application for Review is filed, the Collector, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions, shall disburse the taxes in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.

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 December 22, 2009.





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 22ndday of December, 2009, to:Crede Edens, 3168 South Service Road, Union, MO 63084, Complainant; Mark Vincent, Franklin County Counselor, P.O. Box 439, Union, MO 63084, Attorney for Respondent; Tom Copeland, Assessor, 400 E. Locust, Suite 105A, Union, MO 63084; Debbie Door, Clerk, Franklin County Courthouse, 400 E. Locust, Suite 201, Union, MO 63084; Linda Emmons, Collector; Franklin County Courthouse, 400 E. Locust, Suite 103, Union, MO 63084.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator



[1] Exhibit 1; Exhibit G; Testimony of Mr. Edens; Testimony of Mr. Sohn.


[2] Section 137.115.1, RSMo.


[3] Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.


[4] 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).


[5] Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).


[6] St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993); Missouri Baptist Children’s Home v. State Tax Commission, 867 S.W.2d 510, 512 (Mo. banc 1993).


[7] Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 SW3d 645, 649 (Mo.App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 SW2d 376, 380 (Mo.App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).


[8] Hermel, supra.


[9] 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.


[10] See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra;Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975).


[11] St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (App. E.D. 1993); Aspenhof Corp. v. STC, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (App. E.D. 1990); Quincy Soybean Company, Inc., v. Lowe, 773 S.W.2d 503, 504 (App. E.D. 1989), citing Del-Mar Redevelopment Corp v. Associated Garages, Inc., 726 S.W.2d 866, 869 (App. E.D. 1987); and State ex rel. State Highway Comm’n v. Southern Dev. Co., 509 S.W.2d 18, 27 (Mo. Div. 2 1974).


[12] Hermel, supra.


[13] 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).


[14] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


[15] Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).


[16] Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).


[17] 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).


[18] Section 138.432, RSMo.