Dennis & Peggy Williams v. Nordwald (Warren)

April 30th, 2013

State Tax Commission of Missouri




Complainants, )


v. ) Appeal No. 12-91001





Respondent. )







Decision of the Warren County Assessor setting values for Complainants’ vehicles is AFFIRMED IN PART and MODIFIED IN PART. Complainants failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the true values in money for the subject items of personal property as of 1/1/12. Respondent’s evidence established that the Ford F150 Pickup had been incorrectly valued.

True value in money for Complainants’ personal property (combined values) for tax year 2012 is set at $30,265, assessed value of $10,090.

Complainants appealed pro se.

Respondent represented by Assistant County Counselor, Chris LaPee.

Case submitted on documents and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Respondent which set a combined assessed value of $8,210 on Complainant’s personal property.[1] The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the Complainant’s personal property on January 1, 2012. 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.[2]

2. Submission on Documents. By Order, dated 1/18/13, parties were to file and exchange their exhibits to be used for their case in chief. Parties were to inform the Hearing Officer on or before March 7, 2013, if they desired to have an evidentiary hearing or would waive hearing and have the case decided upon the exhibits submitted by each party. Both parties failed to so inform the Hearing Officer, they are therefore deemed to have consented and waived their rights to an evidentiary hearing.[3]

3. Subject Property. The subject property consists of the following vehicles:[4]


Appraised Value

Assessed Value

2008 Ford F-150 Supercab



2006 Ford 500 SEL 4D



2010 Utility Trailer – 16ft[5]







4. Complainants’ Evidence. By the Order, dated 1/18/13, Complainants were to file with the Commission and exchange with the Respondent a copy of the exhibits, including a brief Statement of Basis of Value, to be used in his case in chief. These documents were to be filed on or before March 7, 2013. Complainants did not comply with the Order. However, Complainants had submitted with their Complaint for Review of Assessment certain documents. The Hearing Officer has marked for identification those documents, as follows, and receives these exhibits into the record.




Complainant’s 2012 Personal Property Tax Bill


NADA Average Trade-in Value – 2006 Ford 500, dated 12/20/12


NADA Clean Trade-in Value – 2006 Ford 500, dated 10/11


Service Statement – 2006 Ford 500 – 11/21/11 Mileage: 77,391


NADA Clean Trade-in Value – 2008 Ford F150 Supercab XL, dated 12/20/12


NADA Clean Trade-in Value – 2008 Ford F150 Supercab XL, dated 10/11


Service Statement – 2008 Ford F150 – 9/19/11 Mileage: 26,142


Complainant’s Statement of Basis for Value


5. Complainants’ Proposed Values.[6] Complainants proposed an average trade-in value of $5,175 for the Ford Five Hundred. Complainants proposed a clean trade-in value of $12,850 for the Ford F150.

Complainants’ evidence was not substantial and persuasive to establish the values proposed for the two vehicles as of 1/1/12. See, Complainants Fail To Prove Values, infra.

6. Respondent’s Evidence. The following exhibits are received into evidence on behalf of Respondent:




2012 Assessment List – Account No. 010729 – Williams


Mo Dept Rev Complainants’ 2008 Ford F150 Truck Information


Mo Dept Rev Complainants’ 2006 Ford 500 Information


NADA – October 2011 – Valuation 2008 Ford F150 Super Crew XLT 2 WD


NADA – October 2011 – Valuation 2006 Ford Five Hundred SEL


Complainants’ Note: VIN – 2008 Ford F15- & 2006 Ford 500


Written Direct Testimony – Wendy Nordwald


7. Truck Model. The VIN for the F150 truck is for a SuperCrew-V8 XLT, not a Supercab-V8.[7]

8. Conclusions of Value Account No. 010729.

a. The Clean Trade-In value for the 2006 Ford Five Hundred, with 77,500 miles is $8,225,[8] assessed value of $2,740.

b. The Clean Trade-In value for the F 150 SuperCrew, with 30,000 miles is $20,900,[9] assessed value of $6,970.

c. The fair market value of the Utility Trailer is $1,140, assessed value of $380.


The total appraised value is $30,265, and the total assessed value is $10,090.



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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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]


Recommended Guide for Automobile Valuation

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. In the absence of a listing for a particular motor vehicle in such publication, the assessor shall use such information or publications which in the assessor’s judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle.[17] The NADA guide is only the recommended guide. In an appeal before the Commission, the taxpayer or the Assessor may present evidence from other recognized valuation sources.

Complainants Fail To Prove Values

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 items of personal property on January 1, 2012.[18] There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief. The taxpayer bears the burden of proof. Therefore, Complainant must present evidence proving the vital elements of the case that is the assessment was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.”[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

The Hearing Officer reviewed and considered Exhibits A through H in light of all the other evidence on the record. The exhibits submitted by Complainants did not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the true value in money for the two vehicles as of 1/1/12. Exhibits B and E on which Complainants based their opinions of value were values as of 12/20/12, not as of 1/1/12. Furthermore, Exhibit E is a valuation for a Supercab truck not a Supercrew, as is the 2009 F150. Accordingly, Complainants failed to satisfy the burden of proof.

Respondent’s Valuation of Ford Truck

Respondent originally valued the Complainants’ Ford truck as an F-150 Supercab model. However, the truck is actually an F-150 Supercrew model. Accordingly, the valuation of this item of personal property is modified to account for the correct vehicle model. See, FINDING OF FACT 8, supra.


The assessed valuations for the subject vehicles as determined by the Assessor for Franklin County for the subject tax day are AFFIRMED IN PART and MODIFIED IN PART.

The total assessed value for Account Number 010729 for tax year 2012 is set at: $10,090.

Application for Review

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

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Warren 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 April 30, 2013.



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 30th day of April, 2013, to: Dennis Williams, 1 Tomahawk Lane, Warrenton, MO 63383, Complainant; Chris LaPee, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 104 W. Main, Suite E, Warrenton, MO 63383, Attorney for Respondent; Wendy Nordwald, Assessor, 101 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 202, Warrenton, MO 63383; Barbara Daly, Clerk, 101 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 302, Warrenton, MO 63383; Linda Stude, Collector, 101 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 200, Warrenton, MO 63383..


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] Hearing Officer, by email dated 4/16/13 – 8:03 AM requested the Assessor to provide for the record the assessments for Complainant’s vehicles. Respondent provided same by return email of same date at 12:45 PM. Said emails are included as part of the record for the sole purpose of having verification as to the Assessor’s original assessed values. Said document has been marked for purposes of identification as STC Exhibit 1.


[2] 12 CSR 30-3.010


[3] Order, dated 1/18/13: Submission on Exhibits, pp. 2-3


[4] Statement attached to Complaint for Review of Assessment; Exhibit 1


[5] Complainants did not file a Complaint for Review of Assessment relative to this vehicle and presented no evidence to challenge its assessment. Therefore, the appraised and assessed values as set by the Assessor remain as the values for purposes of a determination of the total value for Account No. 010729.


[6] Exhibits B & E


[7] Exhibits 2a, 5 & 6 – Q & A 9


[8] Exhibit 4 & 6 – Q & A 25


[9] Exhibit 4 & 6 – Q & A 23 & 24


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


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


[12] Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[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] Section 137.115.9 RSMo


[18] Hermel, supra.


[19] 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).


[20] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.

Substantial and persuasive evidence is not an extremely high standard of evidentiary proof. It is the lowest of the three standards for evidence (substantial & persuasive, clear and convincing, and beyond a reasonable doubt). It requires a small amount of evidence to cross the threshold to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board. The definitions, relevant to substantial evidence, do not support a position that substantial and persuasive evidence is an extremely or very high standard.

“Substantial evidence: Evidence that a reasonable mind would accept as adequate to support a conclusion; evidence beyond a scintilla.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, p. 580.

The word scintilla is defined as “1. a spark, 2. a particle; the least trace.” Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition. Black’s definition at 1347 is “A spark or trace <the standard is that there must be more than a scintilla of evidence>.” There must be more than a spark or trace for evidence to have attained the standard of substantial. Once there is something more than a spark or trace the evidence has reached the level of substantial. Substantial evidence and the term preponderance of the evidence are essentially the same. “Preponderance of the evidence. The greater weight of the evidence; superior evidentiary weight that, though not sufficient to free the mind wholly from all reasonable doubt, is still sufficient to incline a fair and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than the other.” Black’s at 1201. Substantial evidence is that a reasonable mind would accept as adequate to support the conclusion. Preponderance is sufficient to incline a fair and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than the other, i.e. support the proposed conclusion.


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


[22] Section 138.432, RSMo.