Edward Edinburgh v. Brooks (SLCO)

March 11th, 2010

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal(s) Number 08-10612 & 08-10613











Decisions of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessments made by the Assessor are AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject property in Appeal 08-10612 for tax year 2008 is set at $275,100, residential assessed value of $52,270.True value in money for the subject property in Appeal 08-10613 for tax year 2008 is set at $275,400, residential assessed value of $52,330.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by Associate County Counselor, Robert Fox.

Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuations of the subject properties.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject properties on January 1, 2007.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.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization.

2.Assessment.The Assessor appraised the property in Appeal Number 08-10612 at $275,100, residential assessed value of $52,270.The Assessor appraised the property in Appeal Number 08-10613 at $275,400, residential assessed value of $52,330.The Board of Equalization sustained both valuations.[1]

3.Subject Property.The subject property in Appeal Number 08-10612 is located at 10021 Rodium Drive, St. Louis, Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 27K631810.The subject property in Appeal Number 08-10613 is located at 10017 Rodium Drive, St. Louis, Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 27K631821.The subject properties were purchased by Complainant in November 2005 for a combined sales price of $575,000.[2]

4.Exchange Order.Order Setting Discovery and Exchange Schedules issued October 20, 2008.Under said Order, Exhibits were to be filed with the Commission and exchanged between the parties on or before June 15, 2009.Neither party complied with said Order.By Order issued July 20, 2009, the date for filing and exchange of Exhibits was extended to September 30, 2009, and the date for filing and exchange of written direct testimony was continued to October 30, 2009.Neither party complied with the established exchange dates.

5.Order to Show Cause.Order to Show Cause issued January 8, 2010.By said Order, parties were informed that both parties had failed to file exhibits and written direct testimony as ordered.Parties were given until and including February 2, 2010, to show cause why the appeals should not be dismissed by order of the Commission or Hearing Officer for failure to comply with the exchange order and failure of prosecution.Complainant was advised that his response was to be filed with the Commission and Counsel for Respondent.Parties were further advised that failure to respond would be “presumed to be a willful and deliberate disregard … of the Commission’s Exchange Order” and the Order to Show Cause.

6.Respondent’s Response and Evidence.Respondent filed his Response to the Order to Show Cause on January 19, 2010.Counsel for Respondent mistakenly believed that exhibits had been filed with the Commission on or about September 27, 2009.Respondent asked leave to file and exchange exhibits and written direct testimony.Leave granted to file exhibits and written direct testimony out of time.The following exhibits are received into evidence on behalf of Respondent.




Property Review Document – 10017 Rodium Dr., Certificate of Value/Deed


Property Review Document – 10021 Rodium Dr., Certificate of Value/Deed


Property Review Document – 10031 Willdan Dr., Certificate of Value


Property Review Document – 10061 Puttington Dr., Certificate of Value


Property Review Document – 10064 Puttington Dr., Certificate ofValue


Property Review Document – 10067 Willdan Dr., Certificate of Value


Property Review Document – 10025Rodium Dr., Cert. Value/Deed of Trust


Property Review Document – 10196 etal Square Meadows, Cert. Value/DeedTrust


Property Review Document – 6744Highland House, Certificate of Value


Comparable Sales Summary List


Written Direct Testimony – Susan Moody, Commercial Real Estate Appraiser-St. L.Co


7.Complainant’s Response.Complainant failed to respond to the Order to Show Cause or to seek leave to comply with the Commission’s Exchange Order out of time and failed to submit evidence to establish a prima facie case for the relief sought.Complainant made no response to Respondent’s request to file exhibits and written direct testimony out of time.



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.[3]

Presumptions In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.[4]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.[5]Taxpayer presented no evidence in the present appeals.The presumption of correct assessment is not rebutted by an opinion of value on a Complaint for Review of 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.[6]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[7]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.[8]


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.[9]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.”[10]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[11]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.[12]

Owner’s Opinion of Value

The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.[13]The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.[14]“Where the basis for a test as to the reliability of the testimony is not supported by a statement of facts on which it is based, or the basis of fact does not appear to be sufficient, the testimony should be rejected.”[15]In the present appeals, Complainant only provided an opinion of value for each property in the Complaints for Review of Assessment.The owner’s proposed value for each property was $221,100.[16]No evidence was presented as ordered by the Commission to provide a basis or foundation for the owner’s opinion.

An opinion of value without the presentation of substantial and persuasive evidence to support the value proposed is not based upon proper elements or a proper foundation.Such an opinion has no probative value. The stating of an opinion of value on a Complaint for Review of Assessment does not provide a basis in fact to establish the reliability of the opinion.Such an opinion without supporting evidence must be rejected.When a Complainant fails to offer evidence of value, he appears to consent to the value established by the Assessor and/or Board’s assessment.[17]


The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for St. Louis County for the subject tax day are AFFIRMED.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal Number 08-10612 for tax year 2008 is set at $52,270.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal Number 08-10612 for tax year 2008 is set at $52,330.

Application for Review

Complainant 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 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.If an application for review is filed by Complainant, a copy of exhibits and written direct testimony must be submitted to the Commission and Counsel for Respondent with said application to establish a prima facie case for the relief sought.

Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial. [18]

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of St. Louis 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 March 11, 2010.





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 11thday of March, 2010, to:Edward Edinburgh, 10061 Puttington, Apt. A, St. Louis, MO 63123,Complainant;Robert Fox, Associate County Counselor, Attorney for Respondent; Philip Muehlheausler, Assessor; John Friganza, Collector, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator




[1] Complaint for Review of Assessment; Board of Equalization Decision.


[2] Exhibits 1, 2 & 11.


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


[4] 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).


[5] Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).


[6] 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).


[7] Hermel, supra.


[8] 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.


[9] Hermel, supra.


[10] 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).


[11] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


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


[13] Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).


[14] Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).


[15] Carmel Energy at 783.


[16] Complaints for Review of Assessment.


[17] qui tacet consentire videtur – a party who is silent appears to consent.

[18] Section 138.432, RSMo.