State Tax Commission of Missouri
DAVID VAN DYKE,)
v.)Appeal Number 07-66500
MARLENE GRAVES, ASSESSOR,)
LINN COUNTY, MISSOURI)
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the Board of Equalization, setting value at $183,400,(assessed value $34,850) for tax year 2007 is SET ASIDE.The Commission finds the correct market value of the subject property, is $177,500 (assessed value $33,730).
The issue in this case is the true market value of residential real property for tax years 2007 and 2008.
The subject property is a residence in Meadville, Missouri.It was originally valued by the Assessor at $183,400 (assessed value $34,850).Complainant appealed to the Board of Equalization who, after physically visiting the site, affirmed the value placed upon the property by the Assessor.The Complainant then appealed to the State Tax Commission asserting a value of $100,000 (assessed value $19,000).
An evidentiary hearing was held on December 20, 2007 in the Linn County Courthouse before senior hearing officer Luann Johnson.The parties appeared pro se.
The following exhibits were entered into the record:
Exhibit 1 –Property Record Card
Exhibit A –Appraisal of Paul Rogers
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction is proper.Complainant timely filed his appeal from the decision of the Linn County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is a 1,884 square foot brick ranch style home built in 2006.The home is of average quality construction in good condition.It contains three bedrooms and two baths with a two-car garage.The property is identified as parcel number 17-03-06-001-001-010.01, more commonly known as 604 Crandall Street, Meadville, Linn County, Missouri.
3.Respondent’s appraiser found sales of three similar homes which sold for $250,000; 20,000; and 175,000.Respondent’s appraiser adjusted for lot size; square footage; basement and basement finish; number of fireplaces and other amenities.After adjustments, these properties indicated a range of value for the subject property between $170,000 and $189,840.Gross adjustments ranged from 12.1% to 24.1%.Based upon these sales, Respondent’s appraiser determined a market value for the subject property of $182,000 on January 1, 2007.However, during the hearing, Respondent’s appraiser indicated that he had included a fireplace and wooden deck from Respondent’s property record card when, in fact, there was no wooden deck and the fireplace was merely an insert.Adjusting for these two items indicates a value of $177,500. (Tr. 35-36).
Respondent’s evidence is substantial and persuasive, overcomes the presumption in favor of the Board of Equalization, and justifies setting aside the value determined by the Board of Equalization.
4.Complainant paid $189,000 for the subject property.(Tr. 20).Complainant bases his lower opinion of value on the fact that some of his neighbors’ properties are valued lower.Complainant points to three brick homes in Meadville which were valued by the assessor between $90,000 and $102,000 (Tr. 3).He states that these three homes indicate that the proper value of his home is $100,000.
When questioned about possible market sales, Complainant testified that he had sold a house in Meadville for $35,000; his daughter sold a house for $41,000; and a house just sold at auction for $54,000.Even taking all of this information as true, it does not establish that the correct market value for the subject property is only $100,000.The best evidence of market value presented by Complainant was his testimony that he paid $189,000 for the property.
Complainant’s evidence is not substantial and persuasive.
5.No evidence was presented which would indicate any new construction or improvements occurred to the property during tax year 2007.The correct value for the residential property on January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2008, is $177,500 (assessed value $33,730).
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lang=EN-CA style=’mso-ansi-language:EN-CA’>CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Highest and Best Use
True value in money is the fair market value of the property on the valuation date, and is a function of its highest and best use, which is the use of the property which will produce the greatest return in the reasonably near future.Aspenhof Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (Mo. App. 1990).
It is true that property can only be valued according to a use to which the property is readily available.But this does not mean that in order for a specific use to be the highest and best use for calculating the property’s true value in money, that particular use must be available to anyone deciding to purchase the property. . . .A determination of the true value in money cannot reject the property’s highest and best use and value the property at a lesser economic use of the property.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 348-349 (Mo. 2005).
True Value in Money
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 purchased by one who is desiring to purchase but who is not compelled to do so.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).It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978).
Taxpayer has Burden of Proof
To prevail, Taxpayers had to “present an opinion of market value and then … present substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value is indicative of the market value of the subject property on tax day.” Daly v. P.D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 651 (Mo. App. 2002).
Substantial and Persuasive Evidence
Substantial evidence is that evidence which, if true, has probative force upon the issues, i.e., evidence favoring facts which are such that reasonable men may differ as to whether it established them, and from which the Commission can reasonably decide an appeal on the factual issues.Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).
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.Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).
Comparable Sales Approach
The comparable sales approach uses prices paid for similar properties in arms-length transactions and adjusts those prices to account for differences between the properties.Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.This approach is most appropriate when there is an active market for the type of property at issue such that sufficient data is available to make a comparative analysis.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 347-348 (Mo. 2005). (citations omitted).
The taxpayer has the burden of presenting substantial and persuasive evidence to overcome the presumption in favor of the Board of Equalization’s value.The taxpayer has failed to meet his burden of proof.It is not enough to argue that other homes are being valued at less than the subject property.Any number of reasons can cause these homes to indicate lower values.The arguments at hearing seemed to indicate that the comparables that the taxpayer was using were substantially older than his home.
When Respondent proposes a value different from the value determined by the Board of Equalization, she has the same burden as the taxpayers.She must present substantial and persuasive evidence tending to show that the value she is now recommending is accurate.Respondent’s appraisal report rises to the level of substantial and persuasive evidence and indicates a market value for the residential improvements, as corrected, of $177,500.
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The assessed value determined by the Board of Equalization, is SET ASIDE.The Clerk is hereby ordered to place a new assessed value on the books for tax year 2007 and 2008 of $33,730.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of a hearing officer decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific detailed grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial.
If an application for review of a hearing officer decision is made to the Commission, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the Commission.If no application for review is received by the Commission within thirty (30) days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of Linn County as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.If any protested taxes have been disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031(8), RSMo, either party may apply to the circuit court having jurisdiction of the cause for disposition of the protested taxes held by the taxing authority.
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 February 26, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
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Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid this 26thday of February, 2008, to:David Van Dyke, 604 E. Crandall Street, Meadville, MO 64659, Complainant; Tracy Carlson, Prosecuting Attorney, Courthouse Annex, P.O. Box 77, Linneus, MO 64653, Attorney for Respondent; Marlene Graves, Assessor, Linn County Courthouse, Room 101-A, Linneus, MO 65653; Peggy Ward, Clerk, Linn County Courthouse, Room 102, Linneus, MO 64653; Pamela Reed, Treasurer & ex officio Collector, Linn County Courthouse, Room 207, Linneus, MO 64653.