STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|DAVID HAUSMANN & TIM HAUSMANN,||)|
|Appeal No. 15-16974
|JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR,||)|
|ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The appraised value of the subject property set by Respondent Jake Zimmerman, Assessor, St. Louis County, Missouri, (Respondent) is AFFIRMED. Complainants David Hausmann and Tim Hausmann (Complainants) failed to appear at the evidentiary hearing and to present substantial and persuasive evidence and exhibits to support an opinion as to the true market value of the subject property on January 1, 2016.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2015.
Respondent appraised the subject property at $71,000 true market value (TMV), $13,490 assessed value, as residential property. Complainants appealed, on the ground of overvaluation. It appears that Complainants proposed a value of $35,000 TMV ($6,650 assessed value) based upon the Settlement Statement included with the Complaint for Review of Assessment.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainants appealed directly to the State Tax Commission because the subject property was purchased on October 13, 2015, subsequent to the deadline for appealing to the Board of Equalization.
- The subject property is located at 511 Nannette Drive, St. Louis County, Missouri. The subject property is identified by Parcel/Locator number 28H330736.
- By Order, this case was initially set for an Evidentiary Hearing scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m., on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the St. Louis County Government Administration Building, 41 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri. The Order informed Complainants that if they could not attend the Evidentiary Hearing and needed a continuance a request must be made in writing and filed with the Commission no later than five days before the hearing date. Complainants did not file any request for a continuance. Complainants did not appear at the Evidentiary Hearing.
- On July 20, 2016, the Evidentiary Hearing in this appeal was not held as scheduled because Complainants did not appear and did not request a continuance. Respondent appeared by Counsel Steven Robson, who announced ready for trial. At approximately 10:45 a.m., after providing Complainants a grace period for arrival, the Senior Hearing Officer opened the record, recited the essential information in the appeal, entered her ruling that the appeal would be dismissed for Complainants’ failure to appear and to present substantial and persuasive evidence and exhibits, and closed the record.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The Commission has jurisdiction to hear these appeals and to correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious, including the application of any abatement. The Senior 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 property and tangible personal property are assessed at set percentages of true value in money: residential property at 19%; commercial property at 32%; and agricultural property at 12%. Section 137.115.5 RSMo (2000) as amended.
Complainant’s Burden of Proof
To obtain a reduction in assessed valuation based upon an alleged overvaluation, the Complainant must prove the true value in money of the subject property on the subject tax day. Hermel, Inc., v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978). True value in money is defined as the price that the subject property would bring when offered for sale by one willing but not obligated to sell it and bought by one willing or desirous to purchase but not compelled to do so. Rinehart v. Bateman, 363 S.W.3d 357, 365 Mo. App. W.D. 2012); Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, 348 (Mo. App. E.D. 2008); Greene County v. Hermel, Inc., 511 S.W.2d 762, 771 (Mo. 1974). True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not in terms of value in use. Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973). In sum, true value in money is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date. Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 897.
The taxpayer must present substantial and persuasive evidence to support his opinion as to value on the valuation date. Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959). Persuasive evidence is evidence that has sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact. Cupples Hesse Corp., 329 S.W.2d at 702. The persuasiveness of evidence does not depend on the quantity or amount thereof but on its effect in inducing belief. Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975). See also, Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Daly v. P. D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 648 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002); Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003).
There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. In an appeal before the Commission, the taxpayer bears the burden of proof because the taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief. Therefore, the Complainant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the vital elements of the case, i.e., the assessment was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” See, Westwood Partnership, 103 S.W.3d at 161; Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375, 379 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003); Daly v. P. D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d at 648; Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. W.D. 1991).
Complainants failed to appear at the evidentiary hearing and to present substantial and persuasive evidence and exhibits to support an opinion as to the true market value of the subject property on January 1, 2016. Therefore, the valuation set by Respondent is AFFIRMED.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by Respondent for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED. The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2015 and 2016 is set at $13,490 ($71,000 TMV).
Complainants 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, 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 appeal is based will result in summary denial. Section 138.432 RSMo 2000.
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 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 2000, as amended.
Any Finding of Fact that is a Conclusion of Law or Decision shall be so deemed. Any Decision that is a Finding of Fact or Conclusion of Law shall be so deemed.
SO ORDERED this 23rd day of August, 2016.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Amy S. Westermann
Senior Hearing Officer
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been electronically mailed or sent by U.S. Mail on this 23rd day of August, 2016 to:
David Hausmann & Tim Hausmann, Complainants, 4701 Stone Hill Dr., St. Louis, MO 63128 Hausmannproperties@yahoo.com
Steven Robson, Attorney for Respondent, email@example.com
Jake Zimmerman, Assessor/Respondent, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Louis County Collector’s Office, email@example.com
Contact Information for State Tax Commission:
Missouri State Tax Commission
P.O. Box 146
301 W. High Street, Room 840
Jefferson City, MO 65102