State Tax Commission of Missouri
|EDWIN STOLL, ASSESSOR,||)|
|JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment made by the Board of Equalization of Jackson County is AFFIRMED. Complainant did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to prove an improper abatement regarding the subject property and did not challenge the assessment by the Jackson County Board of Equalization. Assessed value in money for the subject property for tax year 2015 is sustained at $55,241 residential ($290,742 TMV). The tax abated taxable value is sustained at $5,709.
Complainant Gregory Julian appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared in person and by attorney Bill Snyder.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu.
Complainant appeals on the ground of an improperly applied tax abatement. The Jackson County Board of Equalization set the true market value of the subject property at $290,742, residential assessed value of $55,241. It was further determined that the “taxable value total” after the applicable abatement was applied was $5,709. The Commission takes this appeal to determine whether the applicable abatement, pursuant to Section 99 RSMo., for the subject property on January 1, 2015 was properly applied.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper, including as to the application of abatement under Section 99 RSMo. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Evidentiary Hearing. The Evidentiary Hearing was held on January 19, 2016 at the Jackson County Courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by map parcel number or locator number 29-910-16-02-00-0-04-002. It is further identified as 700 W. 31st Street, Unit 403, Jackson County, MO. (Complaint for Review of Assessment).
- Abatement. The subject property was previously part of a larger parcel of land which qualified and was granted an abatement pursuant to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA)(Section 99 RSMo.). When the property was subdivided into three (3) separate parcels and ultimately reclassified as residential, from commercial, the abatement remained effective.
- Assessment. The Assessor set a true market value on the subject property at $290,742 residential.
- Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization sustained the true market value of the property.
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant Gregory Julian offered Exhibits A through K. An objection was made as to portions of Exhibit K, which were inconsistent with a Response filed by Respondent. The objections were overruled and all exhibits were received into the record.
|Exhibit A||Property Account Summary|
|Exhibit B||Property Account Summary (Subject Property)|
|Exhibit C||Per Unit Insurance Coverage Overview|
|Exhibit D||Letter from Ferdinand Niemann|
|Exhibit E||Recorder’s Certification of Redevelopment Contract|
|Exhibit F||Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority Application|
|Exhibit G||LCRA Certification of Qualification|
|Exhibit H||Property Account Summary (Lots 2 & 3)|
|Exhibit I||Property Account Summary (Lot 3)|
|Exhibit J||BHA Group Holdings, Inc. v. Pendergast|
|Exhibit K||Facts Presented by Gregory Julian|
- Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered into evidence Exhibits 1 through 5. All exhibits were received into the record without objection.
|Exhibit 1||Section 99.700 RSMo.|
|Exhibit 2||Section 99.705 RSMo.|
|Exhibit 3||Section 99.710 RSMo.|
|Exhibit 5||Counties Response to Facts Presented by Gregory Julian|
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, including the application of any abatement. 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. Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.
Complainants’ Burden of Proof
In order to prevail, Complainants must present substantial and persuasive evidence as to the proper taxation of the subject property on January 1, 2015. Hermel, supra. 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.” 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).
Weight to be Given Evidence
The relative weight to be accorded any relevant factor in a particular case is for the Hearing Officer to decide. 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). The Hearing Officer is not bound by any specific method.
Owner’s Opinion of Value
Although an owner is competent to testify regarding the appropriate valuation of the owner’s property, “[w]here 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.” Carmel Energy at 783. A taxpayer does not meet his burden if evidence on any essential element of his case leaves the Commission “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise.” See, Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. 1980).
Complainant Fails to Meet Burden of Proof
Complainant failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to prove that the abatement, applicable to the subject property was not properly calculated. Although Complainant presented many documents and his own testimony, such was not deemed to be substantial and persuasive. To rule in favor of Complainant would have required the Hearing Officer to participate in speculation, conjecture and surmise.
The assessed valuation for the subject property, as determined by the Board of Equalization for Jackson County for the subject tax day, is AFFIRMED as is the “taxable value total.”
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2015 is set at $55,241 residential ($290,742 TMV). The tax abated taxable value is set at $5,709.
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. Section 138.432, RSMo
The Collector of Jackson 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 this 23rd day of February, 2016.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Senior Hearing Officer
Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on February 23, 2016, to the following Individuals of this Order
Gregory Julian, Complainant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitney S. Miller, Assistant County Counselor, Attorney for Respondent, WMiller2@jacksongov.org
Edwin Stoll, Director of Assessment, email@example.com
Contact Information for State Tax Commission:
Missouri State Tax Commission
301 W. High Street, Room 840
P.O. Box 146
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146