David & Susan Ude v. Zimmerman (SLCO)

July 17th, 2012

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal No.11-10690











Decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Complainants failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.

True value in money for the subject personal property (4-motor vehicles) for tax year 2011 is set at $19,660, personal property assessed value of $6,550.

Complainants appeared pro se.

Respondent appeared by Associate County Counselor, Paula Lemerman.

Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject personal property (motor vehicles).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.


1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization.

2.Submission on Documents.By Order issued February 17, 2012, the case was ordered to be submitted on exhibits and written direct testimony in lieu of an evidentiary hearing.Neither party filed objection to submission on documents.

3.Subject Property.The subject property consists of three motor vehicles: (a) 1993 Lexus LS400, (b) 1998 Lexus LX470, and (c) 2004 Toyota 4Runner.The property is identified Assessor’s Account Number 879198826.There is also a 1987 Volvo Wagon (assessed value – $100) that is listed under the account number, but it’s assessment was not appealed.

4.Assessment.The Assessor assessed the (a) Lexus LS at $550 (appraised value – $1,650), (b) Lexus LX470 at $2,310 (appraised value – 6,930), and (c) Toyota at $3,590 (appraised value – $10,780)

5.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant submitted the following exhibits which were received into evidence.




Assessor’s Valuation Letter, dated 6/14/11


Complainant’s Calculation of value


Valuation Documentation – Lexus LS400


Valuation Documentation – Lexus LX470


Valuation Documentation – Toyota 4Runner


Written Testimony – David G. Ude


Letter dated 6/5/12 – David G. Ude


6.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent submitted the following exhibits which were received into evidence.




Assessor’s Assessment


Calculation of Values Spreadsheet


Written Direct Narrative – Brenda Ahrens


NADA Summary Sheet – 2004 Toyota


NADA Summary Sheet – 1993 Lexus


NADA Summary Sheet – 1998 Lexus


7.Documentation on High Mileage Adjustment.By Bench Order, issued 5/21/12 the Hearing Officer ordered as follows:[1]

Complainant is to submit to the Hearing Officer, the back-up documentation to support the high mileage adjustments for each of the three vehicles under appeal.  Exhibits filed do not provide the information establishing the adjustments advocated.


Respondent is to submit to the Hearing Officer, the back-up documentation to support the exclusion of any high mileage adjustments for each of the three vehicles under appeal.  Exhibits do not provide the information establishing that no high mileage adjustment should be made.


Back-up documentation is to be filed with the Hearing Officer by each party on or before June 5, 2012.


Complainant’s Exhibit G and Respondent’s Exhibits 4, 5 & 6 were submitted in response to the 5/21/12 Order.


8.Conclusion of Value:

a.Lexus LS400:Parties are in agreement as to the respective valuations by the Kelly Blue Book ($1725) and Edmunds ($1,211).[2]The NADA value is $2,000.The average of these values is: $1645, rounded to $1,650, assessed value of $550.No high mileage adjustment is warranted.[3]

b.Lexus LX470:Parties are in agreement as to the respective valuations by the Kelly Blue Book ($7,150) and Edmunds ($3,452).[4]The NADA value is $10,200.The average of these values is: $6,925, rounded to $6,930, assessed value of $2,310.No high mileage adjustment is warranted.[5]

c.Toyota 4 Runner:Parties are in agreement as to the respective valuations by the Kelly Blue Book ($10,425) and Edmunds ($8,583).[6]The NADA value, with allowance for mileage – 122,134 – is $13,325.[7] The average of these values is: $10,777, round to $10,780, assessed value of $3,590.



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.[8]

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.[9]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.[10]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.

Presumption In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.[11]This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption.It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.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.[12]Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive that a mileage allowance was appropriate for the valuation of each vehicle.Therefore, the presumption of correct assessment by the Board was not rebutted.

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.[13]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[14]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[15]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.[16]


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, 2011.[17]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.”[18]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.[19]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.[20]

The crux of this case was whether a high mileage allowance should have been made by the Assessor for each vehicle.The assertion by Complainants that 12,000 miles per year is the standard for average mileage was not established by any source.The assessor adjusted for high mileage for the 2004 Toyota, but established that the NADA summary sheets on the two Lexus vehicles did not warrant a high mileage adjustment.According, the presumption of correct assessment by the Board was not rebutted by Complainants.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for St. Louis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.

The assessed value[21] for the subject property for tax year 2011 is set at $6,550.

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, 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 application for review is based will result in summary denial. [22]

Disputed Taxes

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 July 17, 2012.



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 17th day of July, 2012, to:David Ude, 228 Greentrails Drive South, Chesterfield, MO 63017, Complainant; Paula Lemerman, Associate County Counselor, Attorney for Respondent; Jake Zimmerman, Assessor; John Friganza, Collector, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator



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


573-751-1341 Fax


[1] Section 138.430. 2. RSMo: In order to investigate such appeals, the commission may inquire of the owner of the property or of any other party to the appeal regarding any matter or issue relevant to the valuation, subclassification or assessment of the property. The commission may make its decision regarding the assessment or valuation of the property based solely upon its inquiry and any evidence presented by the parties to the commission, or based solely upon evidence presented by the parties to the commission.


[2] Exhibit B & Exhibit 2


[3] Exhibit 5


[4] Exhibit B & Exhibit 2.


[5] Exhibit 6


[6] Exhibit B & Exhibit 2.


[7] Exhibit 4


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


[9] Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945


[10] Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[11] 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)


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


[13] 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).


[14] 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).


[15] Hermel, supra.


[16] 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.


[17] Hermel, supra.


[18] 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).


[19] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


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


[21] Total combined assessed values for the four vehicles listed under the Assessor’s Account Number.


[22] Section 138.432, RSMo.