HAIH & COMPANY, INC. )
v. ) Appeal Number 01-79009
CHRISTINE MCQUITTY, ASSESSOR, )
PLATTE COUNTY, MISSOURI, )
DECISION AND ORDER
The above matter came on regularly for hearing on September 11, 2002, in Platte County. Complainant appeared by counsel, Joseph Mulvihill; Respondent appeared by counsel, John Shank. Respondent confessed or stipulated that the named Complainant had no legal interest in the real property in question.
Complainant raised the issues of exemption, discrimination, and wrongful assessment. We find that Complainant was not a party in interest and has no taxable interest in the real property. We further find that Complainant, having no interest in the subject real property, has no standing to allege exemption or discrimination.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The subject real property is identified as parcel no. 17-5.0-16–000-000-001-02.
2. Complainant Haith & Company, Inc. is a management company which manages properties for Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc.
3. On June 18, 1986, Complainant entered into a lease with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to develop and operate an air cargo terminal on the said property.
4. On August 26, 1986, Complainant assigned all of its right, title and interest in the aforementioned lease to Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc.
5. Said lease and assignment are recorded in the Platte County Recorder of Deeds Office, but that the records of the Platte County Assessor’s Office have not been changed to reflect the assignment of interest.
6. At the informal hearing with the Assessor’s Office, and the subsequent Board of Equalization hearing, the County was made aware of the fact that Complainant had no interest in the subject property. However, there is no evidence that the County took any steps to correct this error.
7. On August 13, 2001, Complainant filed its appeal with the State Tax Commission asserting discrimination and exemption. Complainant did not assert erroneous assessment.
8. On May 20, 2002, after Respondent’s appraiser had determined that Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc. had a taxable interest in the subject property, Complainant moved that Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc. be added as an additional party Complainant.
9. State Tax Commission Rule 12 CSR 30.3.020(2) provides: “Any person may apply for leave to intervene in any contested case before the commission by serving a motion for leave to intervene upon all then existing parties and upon the commission. The motion shall state the grounds for it and whether the applicant is seeking to intervene on behalf of the complainant or the respondent. The motion shall be filed within thirty (30) days of the time of the notice of institution of the case. . . .”
10. Although Complainant Haith & Company, Inc.; Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc.; and counsel for both entities were aware that Complainant’s lease had been assigned to Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc. at least as early as the informal hearing with the Assessor’s Office, no action was taken to include Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc. in the appeal until nine months after the original filing and after significant discovery and prehearing preparation had occurred and without giving the Board of Equalization an opportunity to hear any complaint which Kansas City Air Cargo Services, Inc. might have concerning the assessment. Complainant’s motion to add an additional Complainant was denied, but Complainant was given additional time to amend its Complaint to assert erroneous assessment.
11. Complainant Haith & Company, Inc. is not responsible for taxes on the subject property.
The assessment against Haith & Company, Inc. on parcel number 17-5.0-16–000-000-001-02. is hereby SET ASIDE. The Platte County Board of Equalization is hereby ORDERED to amend its tax books to show the correct party in interest and to give said party an opportunity for a hearing on the issues of discrimination and exemption.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of a hearing officer decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision. The application shall contain specific detailed grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous. Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial.
If an application for review of a hearing officer decision is made to the Commission, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the Commission. If no application for review is received by the Commission within thirty (30) days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of Platte 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. If any protested taxes have been disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031(8), RSMo, either party may apply to the circuit court having jurisdiction of the cause for disposition of the protested taxes held by the taxing authority.
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 October 8, 2002.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
AFFIRMING HEARING OFFICER DECISION
UPON APPLICATION FOR REVIEW
On October 8, 2002, Hearing Officer, Luann Johnson, entered her Decision and Order (Decision) setting aside the assessment against Complainant on the subject property. The Hearing Officer found that Complainant was not a party in interest and has no taxable interest in the subject property and accordingly has no standing to allege exemption or discrimination.
Complainant timely filed its Application for Review of the Decision on November 6, 2002.
Respondent filed Suggestions in Opposition to Application for Review on November 19, 2002.
Complainant filed its Reply to Respondent’s Suggestions in Opposition to Application for Review on December 13, 2002.
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. The Hearing Officer properly applied the controlling law in this appeal. The Commission finds no basis to support a determination that the Hearing Officer acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner or abused her discretion as the trier of fact and concluder of law in this appeal. 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).
The Hearing Officer did not err in her determinations as challenged by Complainant.
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.
Judicial review of this Order may be had in the manner provided in Sections 138.470 and 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo within thirty days of the date of the mailing of this Order.
SO ORDERED April 8, 2003.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Sam D. Leake, Chairman
Bruce E. Davis, Commissioner
Jennifer Tidwell, Commissioner