State Tax Commission of Missouri
GREGORY S. & GINGER M. WILSON,)
v.) Appeal Nos.09-81503 & 09-81504
RICHARD TREGNAGO, ASSESSOR,)
RANDOLPH COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decisions of the Randolph County Board of Equalization reducing the assessments made by the Assessor in both appeals are SET ASIDE.True value in money for the subject properties combined for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $362,500, residential assessed value of $68,875. Complainant Gregory S. Wilson 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 property on January 1, 2009.
Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Randolph County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject properties.
In Appeal 09-81503, the Assessor determined an appraised value of $10,000, assessed value of $1,900, as residential property.The Board valued the property at $13,312, assessed value of $1,600, as agricultural property.Complainants proposed no value on the Complaint for Review of Assessment.
In Appeal 09-81504, the Assessor determined an appraised value of $519,634, assessed value of $98,730, as residential property.The Board valued the property at $506,772, assessed value of $96,290, as residential property.Complainants proposed no value on the Complaint for Review of Assessment.
A pre-hearing conference was conducted on December 16, 2009, at the Randolph County Courthouse, Huntsville, Missouri.
The Hearing Officer enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Randolph County Board of Equalization.
2.Exhibits.The Hearing Officer received into the record the following exhibits:Exhibit 1 – Appraisal Report of Arnie Shearer, State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser, opinion a value for the subject properties as a single economic unit of $350,000 – $375,000; and Exhibit 2 – Two aerial photographs of the subject property – one a close-up view from the East of the subject house and out buildings, and one a larger view from the South of the entire property.
3.Identification of Subject Property.The subject properties are located at 1652 County Road 1670, Cairo, Missouri.The property in Appeal 09-81503 is identified by parcel number 2-3.2-8-1.001 and consists of 5 acres more or less improved by two three sided sheds.This tract is wooded land.There is no agricultural use being made of the property.Its most suitable economic use is as a home site combined with its adjoining parcel.The property in Appeal 09-81504 is identified by parcel number 2-4-17-2 and consists of 4.7 acres more or less and is improved by a single family residence, with various amenities.The home site is divided into two parcels due to the properties being separate sections.The two parcels are a single economic unit and if sold would sell as a single property.There was no new construction and improvement from January 1, 2009, to the time of the pre-hearing and Complainants will be doing no new construction and improvements on the property prior to January 1, 2010.Therefore, the values set for 2009 will remain the values for 2010.
4.Agreement on Value.At the pre-hearing conference, the parties agreed, based upon Exhibit 1, that the value of $362,500 was the appropriate true value in money of the two properties combined as of January 1, 2009.The parties agreed to permit the Hearing Officer to allocate the value of $362,500 between the two parcels.
5.Allocation of Value.The allocation of value is required due to there being two parcels which constitute the subject home site.A value of $12,500 is assigned to the property in Appeal No. 09-81503, as residential property, assessed value of $2,375.A value of $350,000 is assigned to the property in Appeal No. 09-81504, assessed value of $66,500.
6.Physical Inspection.The Assessor performed a physical inspection of the property in December 2007 in conjunction with carrying out official duties for the general reassessment required for 2009.See, Physical Inspection by Assessor, 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.
Physical Inspection by Assessor
In preparation for the general reassessment for the 2009-2010 assessment cycle, the Assessor went to Complainants’ property in December 2007.He entered upon the property.He viewed the property and the improvements.He did not enter the subject home and conduct an interior inspection.“Inspection” can be defined as “1 critical examination, 2 official examination or review, as of troops.”Since the Assessor was physically present upon the property under appeal in December 2007 and he at that time viewed the land and the exterior of the home and other improvements on the property, his actions constituted a “physical inspection.”The inspection was not a “critical examination,” nor was it a “review, as of troops.”The inspection was an “official examination” as part of the duties of the office of the assessor in preparation for a generally two year reassessment cycle.
The notice of an increase in assessment for the properties under appeal was issued and mailed in June 2009.Therefore, the actions of the assessor with regard to his physical inspection of Complainants’ property in December 2007 satisfied the requirement of section 137.115.10 RSMo.
The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Board of Equalization for Randolph County for the subject tax day are SET ASIDE.
The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 09-81503 for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $2,375, as residential property.
The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 09-81503 for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $66,500, as residential property.
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.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, MO65102-0146, 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 Randolph 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, if no Application for Review is filed within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service, the disputed taxes shall be disbursed in accordance with the assessed values herein set.
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 22, 2009.
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 22ndday of December, 2009, to:Gregory Wilson, P.O. Box 887, Moberly, MO 65270, Complainant; Michael Fusselman, Prosecuting Attorney, 200 E. Rollins Street, Moberly, MO 65259, Attorney for Respondent; Richard Tregnago, Assessor, 110 S. Main, Huntsville, MO 65259; Jim Sears, Clerk, 110 South Main, Huntsville, MO 65259; Shiela Miller, Collector, 110 South Main, Huntsville, MO 65259.
 “Before the assessor may increase the assessed valuation of any parcel of subclass (1) real property by more than fifteen percent since the last assessment, excluding increases due to new construction or improvements, the assessor shall conduct a physical inspection of such property.”