IN THE STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|DOUGLAS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH SERV. GROUP, INC.||)|
|v.||)||Appeal No. 16-56000|
|ALICIA MILLER-DEGASE, ASSESSOR||)|
|DOUGLAS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Douglas County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED. Complainant failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence establishing the property is exempt under Article X, Section 6 of the Missouri Constitution.
Complainant was represented by John Hammons, Jr.
Respondent was represented by Christopher Wade.
Complainant appealed on the grounds of exemption regarding property it purchased on May 25, 2016.
Complainant filed the Written Direct Testimony (WDT) of Tim Shryack and Exhibits A through V, all of which were admitted into the evidentiary record without objection.
Respondent filed the affidavit of Alicia Degase and Exhibits 1 and 2, all of which were admitted into the evidentiary record without objection.
The WDT of Tim Shryack, the Affidavit of Alicia Degase and Exhibits L, N, P and 2 are the only evidence to consider in this Decision, as they are dispositive. The WDT of Tim Shryack, the Affidavit of Alicia Degase and Exhibits L, N, P and 2 all evidence the fact that the property for which exemption is sought by Complainant was purchased after January 1, 2016.
The parties agreed to submit the appeal upon the record.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the County Board of Equalization. The appeal was submitted on the record by agreement of the parties.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is located at 204 N. W. 8th Street, Ava, Douglas County, Missouri. The property is identified by map parcel number 11-0.2-11-003-010-005.001. (WDT Shryack)
- Complainant. Complainant is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) exempt entity. (WDT Shryack)
4 Purchase Date of Property. The subject property was purchased on May 25, 2016. (WDT of Tim Shryack, Affidavit of Alicia Degase and Exhibits L, N, P and 2)
- Previous Ownership. Prior to the purchase of the subject property by Complainant, the previous owners were private citizens. (Affidavit of Alicia Degase)
- Taxation of the Property. The evidence was not substantial and persuasive to establish the property qualifies as exempt under Article X, Section 6 of the Missouri Constitution on January 1, 2016.
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. Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.
Presumption In Appeal
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization. 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). This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption. 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. Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).
Issuance of Decision Absent Evidentiary Hearing
The Hearing Officer, after affording the parties reasonable opportunity for fair hearing, shall issue a decision and order affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the Board of Equalization, correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious. Section 138.431.5 RSMo; 12 CSR 30-3.080 (2). Both parties agreed to submit this case upon the record. The filing of exhibits and written direct testimony establishes the basis upon which opportunity for an evidentiary hearing can be held. The Complainant has the burden to present substantial and persuasive evidence. The Hearing Officer considered all the exhibits and written direct testimony and then proceeded to ascertain if said exhibits and written direct testimony met the standard of substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the market value of the property.
Tax exemptions are not favored in the law and statutes granting exemptions are to be strictly, yet reasonably, construed against the one claiming the exemption. Missouri Church of Scientology v. State Tax Commission, 560 S.W.2d 837, 844 (Mo. Banc 1987), State ex rel. Union Electric Co. v. Goldberg, 578 SW2d 921,923 (Mo. Banc 1979).
Property Purchase After January 1 of Tax Year
Generally speaking, January first is tax day and that day determines ownership, value, classification, and taxability. In Abbot Ambulance, Inc. v. Leggett, 926 S.W.2d 92 (Mo. App 1996) the court said January 1 is the date for assessing and taxing real property. In Beatty v. State Tax Commission, 912 S.W.2d 492 (Mo.1995), the Missouri Supreme Court said, “Real property is listed and its use for tax classification purposes is determined as of January 1 of a tax year.”
On January 1, 2016, the date of assessment, the subject property was not owned or held by a charitable organization. It is undisputed that the subject property was purchased by Complainant on May 25, 2016. Consequently, even assuming Complainant could meet its burden of proof for ad valorem tax exemption the following year, the subject property was still taxable on January 1, 2016.
When property is transferred after January 1 of the tax year, the property maintains its assessment as determined on that date. Therefore, any exempt entity purchasing real property after January 1 of the tax year would be liable for the taxes for that tax year. Complainant is not entitled to exempt status on the subject property for 2016.
Complainant failed to meet its burden of proof to present substantial and persuasive evidence to qualify for exemption. Complainant’s failure to prove any single element is sufficient for denial of exemption. 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). Consequently, Complainant is denied exempt status for ad valorem tax purposes.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Douglas County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
Application for Review
A party 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 for this Decision. 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. Section 138.432, RSMo
The Collector of Douglas 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 this 11th day of April, 2017.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Senior Hearing Officer
Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on April 11, 2017 to the following Individuals of this Decision, Order &/or Holding
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
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