State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.) Appeal No.11-14032
JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR,)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
The Assessor’s assessment is AFFIRMED.Complainant did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the true value in money of the subject motor vehicle as of January 1, 2011.
True value in money for the subject motor vehicle for tax year 2011 is set at $49,600, personal property assessed value of $16,530.
Complainant appeared pro se
Respondent appeared by Associate County Counselor, Paula J. Lemerman.
Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the Assessor’s valuation of the subject property.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2011.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.
2. Submission on Documents.By Order issued February 28, 2012, the appeal was to be submitted on exhibits and written direct testimony in lieu of an evidentiary hearing.Neither party objected to the procedure.
3. Subject Property.The subject property is a 2004 Dodge Viper – VIN 1B3JZ65Z94V102198.
4. Assessment.The Assessor valued the motor vehicle at $49,600, an assessed personal property value of $16,530.
5. Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant filed Exhibit A – Edmunds Pricing System for 2004 Viper Convertible – $36,253, dated 12/20/11; and Exhibit B – Complainant’s opinion of value statement – $36,253.
Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to establish the true value in money for the subject motor vehicle as of January 1, 2011.
6.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent filed the following Exhibits:
Assessor’s Assessment of subject vehicle – $49,600
NADA Sept – Dec. 2010 Appraisal Guide used to value subject vehicle
Written Direct Narrative – Suzanne Strain, Property Tax Analyst
Respondent’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to establish that the Assessor valued the subject motor vehicle in accordance with the suggested guide for valuation of the
Complainant’s motor vehicle.The NADA Guide established a range of trade in value from $44,600 – $55,500, with an average of $49,600.
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.
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.The constitutional mandate is to find the true value in money for the property under appeal. By statute real and tangible personal property is assessed at set percentages of true value in money.In an overvaluation appeal, true value in money for the property being appealed must be determined based upon the evidence on the record that is probative on the issue of the fair market value of the property under appeal.
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.True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.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, 2011.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.”A valuation which does not reflect the fair market value (true value in money) of the property under appeal is an unlawful, unfair and improper assessment.
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.
Complainant’s evidence of value is based on what appears to be an offering price for 2004 Dodge Viper Convertibles from $36,253 as of December 20, 2011.This is nearly a year after the valuation date.There is no evidence from which any calculation can be made to use the information in Exhibit B to determine value as of 1/1/11.Exhibit B does not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence of what the subject motor vehicle would have sold for on January 1, 2011.Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor for St. Louis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2011 is set at $16,530.
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.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.
The Collector of St. Louis 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 May 21, 2012.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
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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 21st day of May, 2012, to:David Naert, 17950 Bonhomme Ridge Ct., Chesterfield, MO 63005, Complainant; Paula Lemerman, Associate County Counselor, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105, Attorney for Respondent; Jake Zimmerman, Assessor, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105; John Friganza, Collector, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.
Contact Information for State Tax Commission:
Missouri State Tax Commission
301 W. High Street, Room 840
P.O. Box 146
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146
 Section 137.115.9 RSMo – “The assessor of each county and each city not within a county shall use the trade-in value published in the October issue of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association Official Used Car Guide, or its successor publication, as the recommended guide of information for determining the true value of motor vehicles described in such publication.”
 Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 S.W.3d 645, 649 (Mo. App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 S.W.2d 376, 380 (Mo. App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).
 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).