State Tax Commission of Missouri
GEORGIA E. HAMMONS,)
JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR,)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
AFFIRMING HEARING OFFICER DECISION
UPON APPLICATION FOR REVIEW
On June 21, 2011, Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor entered his Decision and Order (Decision) affirming the assessment by the St. Louis County Board of Equalization and setting the true value in money for the property under appeal at $347,900, residential assessed value of $66,100.
Complainant timely filed her Application for Review of the Decision.Respondent timely filed his Response.Complainant timely filed her Answer to Response.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Standard Upon Review
The Hearing Officer is not bound by any single formula, rule or method in determining true value in money, but is free to consider all pertinent facts and estimates and give them such weight as reasonably they may be deemed entitled.The relative weight to be accorded any relevant factor in a particular case is for the Hearing Officer to decide.
The Hearing Officer as the trier of fact may consider the testimony of an expert witness and give it as much weight and credit as he may deem it entitled to when viewed in connection with all other circumstances.The Hearing Officer is not bound by the opinions of experts who testify on the issue of reasonable value, but may believe all or none of the expert’s testimony and accept it in part or reject it in part.
The Commission will not lightly interfere with the Hearing Officer’s Decision and substitute its judgment on the credibility of witnesses and weight to be given the evidence for that of the Hearing Officer as the trier of fact.
The Application of Review fails to present any allegation of error committed by the Hearing Officer in his findings of fact or conclusions of law.Likewise the Answer filed by Complainant sets forth no allegation of error relative to findings of fact or conclusions of law.Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the application for review is based will result in summary denial.
A review of the record in the present appeal provides support for the determinations made by the Hearing Officer.There is competent and substantial evidence to establish a sufficient foundation for the Decision of the Hearing Officer.A reasonable mind could have conscientiously reached the same result based on a review of the entire record. The Commission finds no basis to support a determination that the Hearing Officer acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner or abused his discretion as the trier of fact and concluder of law in this appeal.
The Hearing Officer did not err in his determinations on the issues presented in this appeal.
The Commission upon review of the record and Decision in this appeal, finds no grounds upon which the Decision of the Hearing Officer should be reversed or modified.Accordingly, the Decision is affirmed.The Decision and Order of the hearing officer, including the findings of fact and conclusions of law therein, is incorporated by reference, as if set out in full, in this final decision of the Commission.
Judicial review of this Order may be had in the manner provided in Sections 138.432 and 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service for this Order.
If judicial review of this decision is made, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the courts unless disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031.8, RSMo.
If no judicial review is made within thirty days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of St. Louis County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.
SO ORDERED September 20, 2011.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Bruce E. Davis, Chairman
Randy B. Holman, Commissioner
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2010 is set at $347,900, residential assessed value of $66,100.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by Associate County Counselor Paula J. Lemerman.
Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
Complainant appeals, on the grounds of overvaluation, discrimination and religious exemption, the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Commission takes this appeal to determine: (1) the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2009; (2) whether there is evidence of an intentional plan by the assessing officials to assess the subject property at an assessment ratio greater than 19% or the average residential assessment ratio for St. Louis County for the 2009 – 2010 assessment cycle; and (3) whether the subject property qualifies to be exempt from taxation under Section 137.100, RSMo.The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
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.Submission of Appeal.By Order issued January 24, 2011, the parties were ordered to file and exchange their Exhibits and Written Direct Testimony on or before April 18, 2011.Objections and Rebuttal Exhibits were to be filed on or before May 9, 2011, and Responses to Objections and Surrebuttal Exhibits were to be submitted on or before May 31, 2011.Said Order set as a deadline May 9, 2011, for either party to object to the submission of the appeal upon the exhibits and written direct testimony, in lieu of an evidentiary hearing.Neither party filed any objection by May 9th accordingly the appeal is submitted for decision upon the exhibits and written direct testimony, subject to the ruling on objections made in accordance with the Commission Order.
3.Objections to Exhibits.Complainant filed objections to Exhibits 1, 2 and 3.Respondent filed objections to Complainant’s exhibits and her written direct testimony.Complainant also filed Rebuttal to Respondent’s Objection.Rulings on objections are made herein.See, Rulings on Objections, infra.
5.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 14277 Kinderhook Dr., Chesterfield, Missouri.The property is identified by locator number 18R640363.The property consists of a 22,750 square foot lot improved by a one-story brick, with minimal vinyl, ranch style, single-family residence, built in 1978.The gross living area is 2,428 square feet and the house has a full basement.There is a three-car attached garage.The residence has seven rooms, with three bedrooms, two full and one half bathrooms.The structure is considered to be in good condition and the quality of materials and workmanship is average, consistent with surrounding properties.
4.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant provided no opinion of value on the Complaint for Review of Assessment.Complainant provided no exhibits or written direct testimony to establish an opinion of value of the owner.Complainant made no statement in her written direct testimony as to her opinion of value for the property as of January 1, 2009.
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 of the property as of January 1, 2009.See, Complainant Fails to Prove Value, infra.
Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish an intentional plan by the assessing officials to assess the property under appeal at an assessment ratio greater than 19% or the average residential assessment ratio for the 2009-2010 assessment cycle.See, Complainant Fails to Prove Discrimination, infra.
Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish that the subject property should be exempt from the payment of ad valorem property taxes under Section 137.100.5, RSMo.See, Complainant Fails to Prove Exemption, infra.
5.Complainant’s Rebuttal Exhibits.Complainant submitted the following documents as rebuttal exhibits.
AA – AK
Photographs of interior of subject
Paper to Disprove the Theory of Seaparation (sic) of Religion and Government
BA – BG
Photographs of subject
Map of Canaan as divided among The Twelve Tribes
Cover Page of agreement for remodeling of Kitchen and Baths with copies of checks for payment of remodeling
Exhibits AA through AL and Exhibits BA through BI are excluded from evidence.None of the documents provide a basis for rebuttal of any of Respondent’s evidence, insufficient foundation was laid as to any relevance of the exhibits.
6.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent submitted the following exhibits:Exhibit 1 – Appraisal Report of Timothy Hannan, St. Louis County Residential Real Estate Appraiser; Exhibit 2 Written Direct Testimony of Mr. Hannan, and Exhibit 3 – Narrative Explanation of Time Adjustment Favor in the Hannan appraisal.The Exhibits are received into evidence.
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 properties were located within less than a third of a mile of the subject.Each sale property sold at a time relevant to the tax date of January 1, 2009.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.The appraiser made various adjustments to the comparable properties for differences which existed between the subject and each comparable.All adjustments were appropriate to bring the comparables in line with the subject for purposes of the appraisal problem.
Respondent’s evidence met the standard of substantial and persuasive to establish the value of the subject, as of January 1, 2009, to be $355,000.However, Respondent’s appraisal was accepted only to sustain the original assessment made by the Assessor and sustained by the Board and not for the purpose of raising the assessment above that value. See, Evidence of Increase in Value, infra. Respondent meet the standard of clear, convincing and cogent evidence in this appeal to sustain the original valuation of $347,900.See, Respondent’s Burden of Proof, infra.
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.
Basis of Assessment
The Constitution mandates that real property and tangible personal property be assessed at its value or such percentage of its value as may be fixed by law for each class and for each subclass.The constitutional mandate is to find the true value in money for the property under appeal. By statute real and tangible personal property is assessed at set percentages of true value in money.In an overvaluation appeal, true value in money for the property being appealed must be determined based upon the evidence on the record that is probative on the issue of the fair market value of the property under appeal.
Presumption In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption.It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.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.Complainant failed on all three counts raised by the Complaint for Review of Assessment to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.
Rulings on Objections
Complainant’s Objections to Exhibits 1, 2 & 3
Complainant sets out eight different objections with a multitude of irrelevant subparagraphs.The stated objections and ruling thereon are as follows:
1. “I object to exhibits 1, 2 & 3 of respondent, They together or either one do not specifically [in a specific manner; definitely, precisely; particularly] answer the question is the successful united selective degree of corporate social classes risky, hazardous, dangerous improvements, upon the herein established corporate earth of the County of St. Louis, and the City of Chesterfield, under the intended legal Biblical governmental chain of command, that has been and is continuing to be overwhelmed buried beneath the taxable profitable jurisdiction of the County of St. Louis and the City of Chesterfield fall within the class of resalable home, built in accordance to the established building code of the County of St. Louis, to which this herein home has been compared with, for the sole purpose of establishing an opinion of market value pursuant thereto?”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.
2. “With regard to exhibits 1 & 2 allegedly business records, and to exhibit 3 Prefiled Direct Testimony of Timothy Hannan, I object to the lack of foundation sufficient to establish that the aforesaid accurately, and fairly represent the condition of the property at a time relevant to the date of acquiring firsthand knowledge of the actual foundation matter, or issues therein.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.Respondent’s appraiser had viewed the interior of the Complainant’s property on June 11, 2007, and July 14, 2010, and again from the exterior on March 30, 2011.Exhibit 1 is Mr. Hannan’s retrospective appraisal.His written direct testimony laid the proper foundation for the admission of exhibits 1, 2 and 3.
3. “I object.The appraiser is attempting to give his conclusion (opinion) on irrelevant matter not in issue; that is if the remodeling project is not a continuation of the original conspiracy of providing nothing of real value for me to personal enjoy; pursuant to another allowed robbery game solely for the taxable profit therefrom.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.The appraiser properly provided his opinion of value based on a well recognized and accepted appraisal methodology.
4. “I object to the appraisal comparison value.It is irrelevant pursuant to the fact that within my Presto Roofing matter the St. Louis County Court denied me of a right to compare Presto Roofing work performance upon my house with Presto Roofing work performance upon a neighbor’s house jut across the street from my house, because the work was performed under two separate contracts.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.The sales comparison approach is a recognized and accepted appraisal methodology.
5. “I further object to the appraised comparison value upon stated hearsay evidence.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.Appraisers as experts are allowed to rely upon hearsay evidence.The facts or data upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to the expert at or before the hearing and must be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject and must be otherwise reliable, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence.The data relied upon by Respondent’s appraiser was of a type reasonable relied upon by appraisers and it was deemed reliable by Mr. Hannan for the development of his appraisal.
6. “My State Senior Hearing Officer, I object and I do not object to the March 30, 2011, letter of Timothy Hannan that is leading the State Tax Commission of Missouri to rule that the herein property is the legal secretive Biblical established County of St. Louis, and the City of Chesterfield fee simple interest in the site and improvements thereon.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.
7. “I object to the very purpose of the herein appraisal as made on the late date of March 30, 2011, as clearly shows upon the face of Respondent’s Exhibit 1.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled. It misstates the evidence.The cover page of Exhibit 1 consists of a letter dated March 30, 2011, signed by Respondent’s Appraiser Hannan which states in relevant part – “In my opinion, the defined value of the property as of January 1, 2009, is:$355,000.”The objection states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.
8. “I object.No foundation was established for the position of assessor.”
Ruling:The objection is overruled.It states no evidentiary basis upon which Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 should be excluded from evidence.To the extent that Complainant is challenging the qualifications of Mr. Hannan the objection is overruled.Exhibits 1 and 3 provided foundation for Mr. Hannan to testify as an expert witness in this matter, as he has been so recognized and testified in a number of other appeals before the Commission.
Respondent’s Objections to Complainant’s Exhibits and Written Direct Testimony
Respondent makes the following objections to the exhibits and written direct testimony tendered by Complainant.
1. Objection on the ground that the documents were never served upon Respondent’s attorney, Paula J. Lemerman.
Ruling:Objection is sustained.Each of the documents in the Certificate of Service purported that the document was served upon Paula Lemerman, Attorney for Respondent.Complainant admitted in her Rebuttal to Respondent’s Objections that she did not, in fact hand deliver the documents to Ms. Lemerman.Ms. Lemerman only became aware of the existence of the documents on May 5th when the Residential Appraisal Supervisor informed her that he had received “some exhibits” from the Complainant.The Order on filing and exchanging of exhibits ordered the Complainant’s exhibits and written direct testimony to have been served upon the counsel for the opposing party.This Complainant did not do and falsely certified that she had done so.
2. Objection to the document title “Complainant’s Governmental and Religious Heritage the Last of the Direct Line of Descent” on the ground of relevance.
Ruling:Objection is sustained.The document contains nothing of relevance to a claim of overvaluation, discrimination or religious exemption.The document is excluded from the evidentiary record.
3. Objection to the document titled “Exhibits” on the ground of lack of foundation sufficient to establish that the photographs labeled “Exhibit A” though “Exhibit Z” accurately and fairly represent the condition of the property at a time relevant to the date of valuation.
Ruling:Objection is sustained.There is no foundation provided in the written direct testimony of Complainant for the admission of the photographs into evidence.The photographs are not probative on the issues of overvaluation, discrimination or religious exemption.The documents are excluded from the evidentiary record.
4. Objection to the document titled “Exhibit AA” due to lack of foundation, and relevance.
Ruling:Objection is sustained.No foundation was laid to establish how Exhibit AA was relevant to the issues raised in this appeal.The document is excluded from the evidentiary record.
5. Objection to the Written Direct Testimony on the ground of relevance.
Ruling:Objection is sustained.The Complainant’ written direct testimony is a rambling outline related to a variety of irrelevant matters.It provides nothing of substance that is probative on the issues of overvaluation, discrimination or religious exemption.The document is excluded from the evidentiary record.
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.True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.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.
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.
Respondent’s appraiser concluded his value under the Standard for Valuation.
Methods of Valuation
Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission. It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case. Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value. Respondent’s appraiser property developed the sales comparison approach to value and concluded his value relying on that well accepted methodology.
Complainant Fails to Prove Value
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, 2009. 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.
Complainant never gave an opinion of the fair market value of the property under appeal as of January 1, 2009. Ms. Hammons did not provide any evidence that addressed the issue of the fair market value of the property on January 1, 2009. Accordingly, Complainant failed to meet her burden of proof to prove value.
Complainant Fails To Prove Discrimination
In order to obtain a reduction in assessed value based upon discrimination or an inequitable assessment, the Complainant must (1) prove the true value in money of her property on January 1, 2009; and (2) show an intentional plan of discrimination by the assessing officials resulting in an assessment of that property at a greater percentage of value than other property, generally, within the same class within the same taxing jurisdiction. Evidence of value and assessments of a few properties does not prove discrimination. Substantial evidence must show that all other property in the same class, generally, is actually undervalued. The difference in the assessment ratio of the subject property the average assessment ratio in the subject county must be shown to be grossly excessive. No other methodology is sufficient to establish discrimination.
Where there is a claim of discrimination based upon a lack of valuation consistency, Complainant has the burden to prove the level of assessment for the subject property in 2009. This is done by independently determining the market value of the subject property and dividing the market value into the assessed value of the property as determined by the assessor’s office.
Complainant must then prove the average level of assessment for residential property in St. Louis County for 2009. This is done by (a) independently determining the market value of a representative sample of residential properties in St. Louis County; (b) determining the assessed value placed on the property by the assessor’s office for the relevant year; (c) dividing the assessed value by the market value to determine the level of assessment for each property in the sample; and (d) determining the mean and median of the results.
The difference between the actual assessment level of the subject property and the average level of assessment for all residential property, taken from a sufficient representative sample in St. Louis County must demonstrate a disparity that is grossly excessive.
Complainant’s discrimination claim fails because she failed to establish the market value of her property. Without establishing their market value, she cannot establish her assessment ratio. Without establishing her ratio, she cannot establish that her property is being assessed at a higher percentage of market value that any other property.
However, even if Complainant had established her market value, her discrimination claim would still fail because she did not demonstrated that a statistically significant number of other residential properties within St. Louis County are being assessed at a lower ratio of market value than her property. Complainant presented no evidence to address this aspect of discrimination.
Because Complainant failed to establish the market value of her property and failed to establish that she was being assessed at a higher percentage of market value than a statistically significant number of other properties in St. Louis County, she failed to establish discrimination or an inequitable assessment.
Complainant Fails to Prove Exemption
Complainant has the burden to present substantial evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization. In order to meet this burden in an appeal seeking exemption from taxation, the Complainant must meet the substantial burden to establish that the property falls within an exempted class under the provisions of Section 137.100. It is well established that taxation is the rule and exemption from taxation is the exception. Exemption is not favored in the law.
The following subjects are exempt from taxation for state, county or local purposes:
(5) All property, real and personal, actually and regularly used exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, or for purposes purely charitable and not held for private or corporate profit, …’
Complainant’s substantial burden of proof has not been met in the present case.
Franciscan Tertiary Test
In meeting her burden of proof that the subject property is used “exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, or for purposes purely charitable and not held for private or corporate profit….” Complainant must meet the three prong test set forth by the Missouri Supreme Court in Franciscan Tertiary Province v. STC. The court said:
The first prerequisite for property to be exempt as charitable under §137.100 is that it be owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis. It must be dedicated un-conditionally to the charitable activity in such a way that there will be no profit, presently or prospectively, to individuals or corporations. Any gain achieved in use of the building must be devoted to attainment of the charitable objectives of the project…. [A]n exemption will not be granted covering property which houses a business operated for the purpose of gaining a profit, even though it is turned over to a parent organization to be used for what are admittedly independently…charitable purposes.
The requirement that the property must be operated as a not-for-profit activity does not mean that it is impermissible for the project at times or even fairly regularly to operated in the black rather than on a deficit basis, provided, of course, that any such excess of income over expenses, is achieved incidentally to accomplishment of the dominantly charitable objective and is not a primary goal of the project, and provided further that all of such gain is devoted to the charitable objectives of the project.
Another prerequisite for charitable exemption is that the dominant use of the property must be for the benefit of an indefinite number of people, for the purpose, as expressed in Salvation Army, of “relieving their bodies of disease, suffering, or constraint…or by erecting or maintaining public buildings…lessening the burdens of government.” 188 S.W.2d at 830…. Thus it is required that there be the element of direct or indirect benefit to society in addition to and as a result of the benefit conferred on the persons directly served by the humanitarian activity.
The three tests to be met under Franciscan are:
1. Property must be owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis;
2. Property must be actually and regularly used exclusively for a religious, educational, or charitable purpose; and
3. Property must be used for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons and for society in general, directly or indirectly.
Complainant presented no evidence to establish that the subject property meets any of the three required tests. The property is owned by Complainant as an individual, not as a not-for-profit entity under the laws of the state of Missouri. The property is used as a private residence, not for any religious, educational or charitable purpose. The use of the property benefits only the taxpayer. Its use provides no benefit to an indefinite number of persons, nor does its use benefit society in general, directly or indirectly.
Complainant failed to establish an exempt use of the property under appeal.
Evidence of Increase in Value
In any case in St. Louis County where the assessor presents evidence which indicates a valuation higher than the value finally determined by the assessor or the value determined by the board of equalization, whichever is higher, for that assessment period, such evidence will only be received for the purpose of sustaining the assessor’s or board’s valuation, and not for increasing the valuation of the property under appeal. The evidence presented by the Respondent was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the fair market value of the property under appeal, as of January 1, 2009, to be $355,000. However, under the Commission rule just cited and Supreme Court decision the assessed value cannot be increased above $66,100 (True Value in Money of $347,900) in this particular appeal.
Respondent’s Burden of Proof
The Respondent has imposed upon him by the provisions of Section 137.115.1, RSMo, the burden of proof to present clear, convincing and cogent evidence to sustain a valuation on residential property which is made by a computer, computer-assisted method or a computer program. There is a presumption in this appeal that the original valuation, which was sustained by the Board of Equalization, was made by a computer, computer-assisted method or a computer program. There was no evidence to rebut the presumption, therefore, in order to sustain the valuation of the subject property at $347,900, appraised value, Respondent’s evidence must come within the guidelines established by the legislature and must clearly and convincingly persuade the Hearing Officer as to the value sought to be sustained.
The statutory guidelines for evidence to meet the standard of clear, convincing and cogent include the following:
(1) The findings of the assessor based on an appraisal of the property by generally accepted appraisal techniques; and
(2) The purchase prices from sales of at least three comparable properties and the address or location thereof. As used in this paragraph, the word comparable means that:
(a) Such sale was closed at a date relevant to the property valuation; and
(b) Such properties are not more than one mile from the site of the disputed property, except where no similar properties exist within one mile of the disputed property, the nearest comparable property shall be used. Such property shall be within five hundred square feet in size of the disputed property, and resemble the disputed property in age, floor plan, number of rooms, and other relevant characteristics.
Clear, cogent and convincing evidence is that evidence which clearly convinces the trier of fact of the affirmative proposition to be proved. It does not mean that there may not be contrary evidence. The quality of proof, to be clear and convincing must be more than a mere preponderance but does not require beyond a reasonable doubt. “For evidence to be clear and convincing, it must instantly tilt the scales in the affirmative when weighed against the evidence in opposition and the fact finder’s mind is left with an abiding conviction that the evidence is true.”
Respondent’s evidence meets the statutory guidelines for clear, cogent and convincing evidence. There was no evidence in opposition on the issue of the true value in money of the subject, therefore, the evidence instantly tilted the scales in the affirmative for Respondent’s value and the Hearing Officer has an abiding conviction that the Respondent’s evidence is true.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for St. Louis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2010 is set at $66,100.
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. 
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. If no Application for Review is filed with the Commission within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service, the Collector, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.
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 June 21, 2011.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer
 St. Louis County v. Security Bonhomme, Inc., 558 S.W.2d 655, 659 (Mo. banc 1977); St. Louis County v. STC, 515 S.W.2d 446, 450 (Mo. 1974); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650 (Mo. 1968).
 St. Louis County v. Boatmen’s Trust Co., 857 S.W.2d 453, 457 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993); Vincent by Vincent v. Johnson, 833 S.W.2d 859, 865 (Mo. 1992); Beardsley v. Beardsley, 819 S.W.2d 400, 403 (Mo. App. 1991); Curnow v. Sloan, 625 S.W.2d 605, 607 (Mo. banc 1981).
 Black v. Lombardi, 970 S.W.2d 378 (Mo. App. E.D. 1998); Lowe v. Lombardi, 957 S.W.2d 808 (Mo. App. W.D. 1997); Forms World, Inc. v. Labor and Industrial Relations Com’n, 935 S.W.2d 680 (Mo. App. W.D. 1996); Evangelical Retirement Homes v. STC, 669 S.W.2d 548 (Mo. 1984); Pulitzer Pub. Co. v. Labor and Indus. Relations Commission, 596 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. 1980); St. Louis County v. STC, 562 S.W.2d 334 (Mo. 1978); St. Louis County v. STC, 406 S.W.2d 644 (Mo. 1966).
 Section 138.432, RSMo.
 Hermel, Inc. v. STC, 564 S.W.2d 888 (Mo. 1978); Black v. Lombardi, 970 S.W.2d 378 (Mo. App. E.D. 1998); Holt v. Clarke, 965 S.W.2d 241 (Mo. App. W.D. 1998); Smith v. Morton, 890 S.W.2d 403 (Mo. App. E.D. 1995); Phelps v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 598 S.W.2d 163 (Mo. App. E.D. 1980).
 Complainant’s Objections to Respondent’s Exhibits 1, 2 & 3, dated 5/9/11
 Respondent’s Objections to Complainant’s Exhibits and Written Direct Testimony, dated 5/6/11
 Complainant’s Rebuttal to Respondent’s Objections, dated 5/31/11
 Residential property is assessed at 19% of true value in money (fair market value), Section 137.115.5(1), RSMo
 Exhibit 1, Description of the Improvements – Subject Property, Addendum Page 1 and 2 of 5
 Section 137.115.1, RSMo.
 Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.
 Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945
 Section 137.115.5, RSMo
 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)
 Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959)
 Section 490.065, RSMo; State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts v. McDonagh, 123 S.W.3d 146 (Mo. SC. 2004); Courtroom Handbook on Missouri Evidence, Wm. A. Schroeder, Sections 702-505, pp. 325-350; Wulfing v. Kansas City Southern Industries, Inc., 842 S.W.2d 133 (Mo. App. E.D. 1992).
 Complainant’s Written Direct Testimony, Complainant’s Governmental and Religious Heritage The Last of he Direct Line of Descent; and Exhibits (Exhibits A through Z).
 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).
 Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 S.W.3d 645, 649 (Mo. App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 S.W.2d 376, 380 (Mo. App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).
 Hermel, supra.
 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.
 Exhibit 1 – Certification and Signature Page, Page 2 of 2
 See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra; Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975).
 St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (App. E.D. 1993); Aspenhof Corp. v. STC, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (App. E.D. 1990); Quincy Soybean Company, Inc., v. Lowe, 773 S.W.2d 503, 504 (App. E.D. 1989), citing Del-Mar Redevelopment Corp v. Associated Garages, Inc., 726 S.W.2d 866, 869 (App. E.D. 1987); and State ex rel. State Highway Comm’n v. Southern Dev. Co., 509 S.W.2d 18, 27 (Mo. Div. 2 1974).
 Hermel, supra.
 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).
 See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.
 Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).
 Koplar v. State Tax Commission, 321 S.W.2d 686, 690, 695 (Mo. 1959).
 State ex rel. Plantz v. State Tax Commission, 384 S.W.2d 565, 568 (Mo. 1964).
 Savage v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 722 S.W.2d 72, 79 (Mo. banc 1986).
 Cupples-Hesse, supra.
 Savage, supra.
 Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 895 (Mo. banc 1978).
 State ex rel. Council Apartments v. Leachman, 603 S.W.2d 930, 931 (Mo. 1980).
(See, Missouri Church of Scientology v. STC, 560 S.W.2d 837, 844 (Mo. banc 1977); CSCEA v. Nelson, 898 S.W.2d 547, 548 (Mo. banc 1995), citing Scientology).
 566 S.W.2d 213, 223-224 (Mo. banc 1978).
 Id. At 224.
 Section 138.060, RSMo; 12 CSR 30-3.075.
The Supreme Court of Missouri has interpreted Section 138.060. The Court stated:
“Section 138.060 prohibits an assessor from advocating for or presenting evidence advocating for a higher ‘valuation’ than the ‘value’ finally determined by the assessor. … . Because the legislature uses the singular terms ‘valuation’ and ‘value’ in the statute, however, it clearly was not referring to both true market value and assessed value. While the assessor establishes both true market value and assessed value, which are necessary components of a taxpayer’s assessment, as noted previously, the assessed value is the figure that is multiplied against the actual tax rate to determine the amount of tax a property owner is required to pay. The assessed value is the ‘value that is finally determined’ by the assessor for the assessment period and is the value that limits the assessor’s advocacy and evidence. Section 138.060. By restricting the assessor from advocating for a higher assessed valuation than that finally determined by the assessor for the relevant assessment period, the legislature prevents an assessor from putting a taxpayer at risk of being penalized with a higher assessment for challenging an assessor’s prior determination of the value of the taxpayer’s property.” State ex rel. Ashby Road Partners, LLC et al v. STC and Muehlheausler, 297 S.W.3d 80, 87-88 (Mo 8/4/09)