State Tax Commission of Missouri
GARY FRIEND & CHERYL GILBERTSEN,)
v.) Appeal No.08-90006
DEBBIE JAMES ASSESSOR,)
TEXAS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization setting value for property identified by locator number 1-8-34-5 is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the property for tax year 2008 is set at $28,577, assessed value of $5,360; residential – $5,230, agricultural – $130.
Decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization setting value for property identified by locator number 1-8-33-6 is SET ASIDE.True value in money for the property for tax year 2008 is set at $26,075, assessed value of $4,090; residential – $2,610, agricultural – $1,480.
Complainants appeared pro se. Respondent appeared pro se.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 properties on January 1, 2007.
Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decisions of the Texas County Board of Equalization setting values for the residential portions of the subject properties.
The Board set a residential value for Property 1-8-34-5 of $27,527, assessed value of $5,231.Complainants proposed a value of $14,975, assessed value of $2,846.
The Board set a residential value for Property 1-8-33-6 of $19,379, assessed value of $3,683.Complainants proposed a value of $8,570, assessed value of $1,629.
A hearing was conducted on November 6, 2008, at the Texas County Courthouse, Houston, Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
Complainants testified on the issue of the fair market value of both properties.Complainants did not challenge the agricultural assessment on their properties, but disputed the values placed on the residential portions. Complainants testified to the unfinished condition of the house on the 1-8-33-6 property.
Respondent testified as to the valuation of Complainants; properties.The property record card on the 1-8-33-6 property was received into evidence as Exhibit 1.The property record card on the 1-8-34-5 property was received into evidence as Exhibit 2.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject properties are located at 12811 Bailey Road, Licking, Missouri.
The property identified by parcel number 1-8-34-5 consists of 7.7 acres.Seven acres are agricultural graded land with an appraised value of $1,050, assessed value of $130.Seven-tenths of an acre is a home site improved by a mobile home with an appraised value of $27,527, assessed value of $5,230.
The property identified by parcel number 1-8-33-6 consists of 10 acres.Nine acres are agricultural graded land with buildings with an appraised value of $12,350, assessed value of $1,480.One acre is a home site improved by a 26’ by 58’ unfinished structure with an appraised value of $19,379, assessed value of $3,680.
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, for the 1-8-34-5 residential property to be $14,975, as proposed.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, for the 1-8-33-6 residential property to be $8,570, as proposed.
5.Respondent, after reviewing photographs of the house on the 1-8-33-6 residential property and hearing Complainants testimony concurred that the residential value should be set at $13,725.
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.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of 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.
Complainants testimony and photographs reviews by the assessor and the Hearing Officer establish that the house on the 1-8-33-6 property was in an unfinished condition.The evidence was sufficient to rebut the presumption of correct assessment on this parcel.Evidence as to the 1-8-34-5 parcel was not substantial and persuasive 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.
Complainants’ Burden of Proof
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 property on January 1, 2007.There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayers in a Commission appeal still bear the burden of proof.The taxpayers are the moving party seeking affirmative relief.Therefore, the Complainants bear 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.
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Complainants’ evidence was sufficient to warrant a reduction in value on the unfinished house.Evidence as to the mobile home valuation was not based upon any market data that would support a different value.Therefore, the owner’s opinion could be given no probative weight.
The assessed valuation for the subject property identified by parcel number 1-8-34-5 as set by the Board of Equalization for Texas County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.The assessed value for the property for tax year 2008 is set at $5,360.
The assessed valuation for the subject property identified by parcel number 1-8-33-6 as set by the Board of Equalization for Texas County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.The assessed value for the property for tax year 2008 is set at $4,090.
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 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.
The Collector of Texas 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 23, 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 23rdday of December, 2008, to:Gary Friend, P.O. Box 864, Licking, Mo 65542, Complainant; Mike Anderson, Prosecuting Attorney, Texas County Courthouse Annex, 116 E. Main, Houston, MO 65483, Attorney for Respondent; Debbie James, Assessor, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Don Troutman, Clerk, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Tammy Cantrell, Treasurer and ex officio Collector of Revenue, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483.
 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).
 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).