State Tax Commission of Missouri
DOMINICK FERRANTO III,)
v.) Appeal No.08-32509
SCOTT SHIPMAN, ASSESSOR,)
ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $330,000, residential assessed value of $62,700.Complainant appeared pro se. Respondent appeared by Assistant County Counselor Charissa Mayes.Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $344,340, assessed value of $65,420, as residential property.Complainant proposed a value of $319,000, assessed value of $60,610.A hearing was conducted on November 13, 2008, at the St. Charles County Administration Building, St. Charles, Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
Complainant testified in his own behalf.He gave his opinion of value as of January 1, 2007 to be $319,000.The basis of Mr. Ferranto’s opinion was an appraisal report.Complainant offered into evidence Exhibit A – Appraisal Report of K. M. Paris, dated May 6, 2008.
Objection was made to Exhibit A on the grounds of hearsay and relevance as to valuation date.Objection was sustained.Exhibit A is maintained in the Commission file for the appeal, but was not received into evidence.
Respondent placed into evidence the testimony of Mr. Steven D. Riney, appraiser for St. Charles County.The appraiser testified as to his appraisal of the subject property.The Appraisal Report, Exhibit 1, of Mr. Riney was received into evidence.Mr. Riney arrived at an opinion of value for the subject property of $335,000 based upon a sales comparison approach to value.Exhibit 1 and the opinion of value of the appraiser were received to sustain the value set by the Board.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 3220 Noelle Lane, O’Fallon, Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 2-24-S4-10.42, Assessor Account Number 305160A005.The property consists of 7.52 of acres improved by a one-story brick and vinyl sided, single-family structure of average quality construction.The house was built in 1996 and appears to be in average condition.The residence has a total offour rooms, with three bedrooms, three baths, and contains 1,601 square feet of living area.There is a full finished basement and an attached three-car garage.
3.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2008.
4.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2007, to be $319,000, as proposed.
5.The properties relied upon by Respondent’s appraiser were comparable to the subject property for the purpose of making a determination of value of the subject property. The four properties were located within a half mile to five miles of the subject.Each sale property sold at a time relevant to the tax date of January 1, 2007.The sale properties were similar to the subject in style, quality of construction, age, condition, room, bedroom and bathroom count, living area, location, site size and other amenities of comparability.
6.The appraiser made appropriate adjustments to the comparable properties for differences existing between the subject and each comparable to bring the comparables in line with the subject for purposes of the appraisal problem.
7.Respondent’s appraisal was offered and accepted only to sustain the assessment made by the Board and not for the purpose of raising the assessment above that value.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
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.
Presumption In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.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.An owner’s unsupported opinion of value does not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment.
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.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.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.
Complainant’s Burden of Proof
In order to prevail, Complainant 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, 2007.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.”
Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.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.
Owner’s Opinion of Value
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.In this instance, the owner’s opinion was based solely on an appraisal report tendering an indicated value nearly eighteen months after the valuation date of January 1, 2007.Without the appraiser present to lay the proper foundation for the appraisal report and to be cross-examined the document was not admissible.Therefore, there was no substantiation for the opinion offered by Mr. Ferranto.
Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof.The presumption of correct assessment by the Board was not rebutted.No need exists to review and analyze Respondent’s evidence submitted in support of the Board’s value.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for St. Charles County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $62,700.
Complainant may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the date set forth in the Certificate of Service for this Decision.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, MO65102-0146, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.
The Collector of St. Charles 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.
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 December 16, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
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 16thday of December, 2008, to:Dominick Ferranto, 3220 Noelle Lane, O’Fallon, MO 63366, Complainant; Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor, 100 North Third Street, Room 216, St. Charles, MO 63301, Attorney for Respondent; Scott Shipman, Assessor, 201 North Second, Room 247, St. Charles, MO 63301-2870; Amy Gann, Registrar, 100 North Third Street, Suite 206, St. Charles, MO 63301; Michelle McBride, Collector, 201 North Second Street, Room 134, St. Charles, MO 63301.
 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).
 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.
 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).