Geoffrey Huber v. Robert Murphy, Assessor Jackson County

March 13th, 2018



  ) Appeal No.    17-30141
             Complainant, ) Account No.  204131101
v. )  










The decision of Robert Murphy, Jackson County Assessor, (Respondent) is AFFIRMED.  Geoffrey Huber (Complainant) did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish true value in money (TVM) as of January 1, 2017.


The evidentiary hearing in this case was scheduled for 11:00 a.m., February 27, 2018, at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri.  Complainant failed to appear.  Respondent appeared by Counsel Whitney Miller. Case decided by Chief Counsel Maureen Monaghan (Hearing Officer).


Complainant appealed on the ground of overvaluation of a 2014 Dump Trailer, 14 foot, vehicle identification number (VIN) 1ZEDT1423F1070861.  Respondent set the TVM of the subject property at $7,163, personal property classification.  The State Tax Commission (STC) takes this appeal to determine the TVM for the subject property as of January 1, 2017.

The Hearing Officer enters the following Decision and Order.


  1. Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.  Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
  2. Subject Property. The subject property in this appeal is a 14-foot dump trailer, model year 2014.
  3. Assessment by Assessor. The Assessor set a TVM on the subject vehicle of $7,163, assessed value of $2,388.
  4. Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant failed to appear and therefore offered no evidence as to the true value of the subject property.
  5. Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered Exhibit 1. Exhibit 1 set forth the average trade-in value of the trailer, as reported by the National Automobile Dealer Association, as of October 2016, was $7,163.
  6. Hearing. By Order, this case was set for an Evidentiary Hearing scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Order informed Complainant that if he could not attend the Evidentiary Hearing and needed a continuance a request must be made in writing and filed with the Commission no later than five days before the hearing date.  Complainant did not file any request for a continuance.

On February 27, 2018, the Evidentiary Hearing in this appeal was held as scheduled.  Respondent appeared by Counsel Whitney Miller.  Complainant appeared not.  At approximately 11:15 a.m., after providing Complainant a grace period for arrival, the Hearing Officer opened the record, recited the essential information in the appeal, and entered a ruling that a Decision would be issued affirming the assessed valuation set by Respondent.  Due to Complainant’s failure to appear, Complainant did not meet his burden of proof.



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 BOE 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.

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. 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).  It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date that is pertinent.  Hermel, supra.  Market value is the most probable price in terms of money that a property should bring in a 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.


  1. Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.


  1. A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.


  1. Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.


  1. Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.


  1. 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. 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.


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 that in the assessor’s judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle.  Section 137.115.9 RSMo.

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, 2016.  Hermel, supraThere 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.”   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).


Complainant failed to prosecute the appeal and failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the determination of the TVM of the subject property.  The determination that the TVM of the subject property was $7,163 ($2,388 assessed value) as of January 1, 2017, is AFFIRMED.

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.  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.  Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based may result in summary denial.  Section 138.432 RSMo 2000.

The Collector of Jackson 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 2000, as amended.

Any Finding of Fact that is a Conclusion of Law or Decision shall be so deemed.  Any Decision that is a Finding of Fact or Conclusion of Law shall be so deemed.

SO ORDERED March 13, 2018.


Maureen Monaghan

Chief Counsel


Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 13th day of March, 2018, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainants, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator