Dawn Jensen v. Freddie Dunlap, Assessor St. Louis City

March 14th, 2017



Complainant, )
v. )



Appeal No. 16-20054



Respondent. )






The appraised value of the subject property (a vehicle) set by Respondent Freddie Dunlap, Assessor, City of St. Louis, Missouri (Respondent), is AFFIRMED.  Complainant Dawn Jensen (Complainant) failed to appear at the evidentiary hearing and to present substantial and persuasive evidence to support an opinion as to the true market value of the subject property on January 1, 2016.


The State Tax Commission (STC) takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2016.



Respondent assessed the subject property as personal property at $29,460 (True Value of $88,380).  Complainant appealed on the ground of overvaluation.


  1. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant appealed directly to the STC because the subject property was personal property.


  1. The subject property is identified by Account Number R02084 and had tax situs in the City of St. Louis, Missouri for tax year 2016. The property is a 2015 Range Rover.
  2. By Order, this case was set for an Evidentiary Hearing scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at the St. Louis City Hall in St. Louis, MO. The Order informed Complainant that if she 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.  Complainant did not file any request for a continuance.  Complainant did not appear at the Evidentiary Hearing.
  3. On February 22, 2017, the Evidentiary Hearing in this appeal was held as scheduled. Respondent appeared personally and by Counsel Abby Duncan.  At approximately 10:15 a.m., after providing Complainant a grace period for arrival, the Senior Hearing Officer opened the record, recited the essential information in the appeal, and entered a ruling that a Decision would be issued affirming the assessed valuation set by Respondent.  Due to Complainant’s failure to appear, Complainant did not meet her burden of proof.



The STC 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 (Hearing Officer) shall issue a decision and order affirming, modifying, or reversing the determination of the BOE 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.  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.

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).


Complainant 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 year 2016 is set at $29,460.

Complainant may file with the STC 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 the City of St. Louis, 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, March 14th, 2017.


John Treu

Senior Hearing Officer


Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on March 14th, 2017 to the following Individuals of this Order


roec@stlouis-mo.gov; dawnjensenstl@gmail.com; slcasr-lgl@stlouis-mo.gov; showerst@stlouis-mo.gov; duncana@stlouis-mo.gov

Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator


Contact Information for State Tax Commission:

Missouri State Tax Commission

P.O. Box 146

301 W. High Street, Room 840

Jefferson City, MO 65102


573-751-1341 FAX