State Tax Commission of Missouri
|IAN AND AMY MCFARLAND,||)|
|v.||)||Appeal Number 17-34013|
|ROBERT S BOYER, ASSESSOR,||)|
|JEFFERSON COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment of subject property is AFFIRMED. Ian and Amy McFarland (Complainants) did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the true value in money (TVM) of the subject vehicle as of January 1, 2017.
The assessed value for tax year 2017 is AFFIRMED.
Complainants appeared pro se.
Robert S. Boyer, Assessor of Jefferson County, Missouri (Respondent) appeared in person and by counsel, R. Scott Harness.
Case heard and decided by Chief Counsel Maureen Monaghan. (Hearing Officer)
Complainants appeal the valuation of a vehicle. The State Tax Commission (STC) takes this appeal to determine the TVM for the subject personal property on January 1, 2017. 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. Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Subject Property. The subject property in this appeal is a 2011 Audi R8 2 door coupe, manual quattro 4.2L.
- Assessment . The subject property was originally assessed at $30,430 ($91,290 TVM). Complainant received his personal property tax bill. The bill was the first notice of the assessment on the vehicle. On the tax bill, the vehicle was described as a convertible; the subject property is not a convertible. Respondent corrected the description and amended the assessed value on the subject vehicle to $24,333 ($73,000 TVM).
- Complainant’s Evidence.
|Exhibit A||Section 137.115.9 RSMo||Judicial Notice|
|Exhibit B||Car Fax Report listing the vehicle as having no damage, 45,921 miles, one owner||Admitted|
|Exhibit C||Photograph of damage to the vehicle||Admitted|
|Exhibit D||Correspondence with an Aston Martin dealer for the purpose of demonstrating retail v. trade in differential||Admitted|
|Exhibit E||STC Manual regarding instrumentalities of interstate commerce||Excluded|
|Exhibit F||Cars.com print out for sale of like model vehicle to dealer estimated $49,725-$66,865. Dated 1/30/18||Admitted|
|Exhibit G||Cars.com print out for sale of like model vehicle estimated price $59,975-$74,400. Sale to dealers $48,785 to $65,815. Dated 2/26/18||Admitted|
|Exhibit H||Definition of apportion||Excluded|
|Exhibit I||Not offered||Excluded|
|Exhibit J||Black Book dated March 2018 trade in estimate for 2011 Audi R8 $55,485 to $66,315.||Admitted|
|Exhibit K||· National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Value Report as of 2/26/2018 on a 2011 Porsche trade in values range from $69,375 to $76,225 with a clean retail of $82,100.
· NADA Value Report as of 2/26/2018 on a 2011 Ford F-150 trade in values range from $19,625 to $22,675 with a clean retail of $26,350
· NADA Value Report as of 2/26/2018 on a 2011 Audi A8, Sedan, 4d 4.2 Quattro trade in values range from $14,625 to $19,425 with a clean retail of $22,725
· NADA Value Report as of 2/26/2018 on a 2011 Jaguar XK trade in values range from $16,875 to $21,850 with a clean retail of $26,275
|Exhibit L||NADA Value Report as of 2/26/2018 on a Telsa||Excluded|
|Exhibit M||2017 Collector’s Bill describing the vehicle as a convertible and setting an assessed value of $30,430||Admitted|
|Exhibit N||Bill of Sale of the subject property purchased in December 2016 for $73,000||Admitted|
|Exhibit O||Amended Tax Bill accurately describing the subject vehicle at setting an assessed value of $24,420||Admitted|
|Exhibit P||Definition of true value as set forth in Drury Chesterfield, Inc v. Muehlheausler, 347 SW2d 107 (Mo.App. ED 2011)||Judicial Notice|
|Exhibit Q||Washington University Law Review Article from January 1932 defining true value.||Closing Argument|
|Exhibit R||Definition of true value as set forth in Timothy Fritz v. Jake Zimmerman quoting case law.||Judicial Notice|
|Exhibit S||Definition of value as found in Collins Dictionary||Excluded|
|Exhibit T||Paid Tax Receipt dated 1/31/18||Not Offered|
|Exhibit U||Letter submitted with the Complaint for Review of Assessment||Excluded|
Complainant Ian McFarland testified (Complainant); Complainant Amy McFarland did not testify. Complainant testified that he purchased the vehicle in December 2016 for $73,000. He stated that he purchased it so that he would not have to pay federal income taxes. He felt that the purchase was “under duress” due to an income tax implication.
On the way home from purchasing the vehicle, a bush fell out of a truck in front of him and caused damage to the subject property.
Complainant’s opinion of value is $58,295. He based his opinion on the purchase price of the vehicle, the damage to the vehicle after purchase, review of retail values and trade in values of various models of vehicles.
- Respondent’s Evidence.
|Exhibit 5||NADA Classics, Collectibles, and Exotics October 2016||Admitted|
The Respondent’s exhibits included the original collector’s bill (Exhibit M) and the bill of sale of the property (Exhibit N).
Angela Pope (Pope) testified on behalf of Respondent. She has worked in the Assessor’s Office for 30 years and is the supervisor of the personal property section. The Assessor’s Office values vehicles using the NADA as set forth in Section 137.115 RSMo. In the event the manual does not list a vehicle, the office uses other resources to establish value. One resource she utilizes is the NADA Classics, Collectibles and Exotics (NADA Classics). NADA Classics provides the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, and retail values for vehicles ranging from low to high. Unlike the NADA Official Used Car Guide, it does not contain any trade in values. Exhibit 5 lists the 2011 Audi R8 2 DR CPE Quattro 4.2L (MAN) as having a MSRP of $114,200, low value of $68,100, average value of $78,000 and a high value of $83,100.
Pope utilized the purchase price of the subject property as the TVM for the subject property. (Exhibit N) Respondent’s valuation was based upon the purchase price of the vehicle that was within the range found in NADA Classics ($68,100 – $83,100).
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 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.
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. Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945. 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. Section 137.115 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 which 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.
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 which 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, 2017. 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).
Property is valued, for ad valorem purposes, at the TVM as of January 1 of the tax year. Complainant argues that TVM for vehicles should be the average trade-in under Section 137.115.9 RSMo regardless of whether the vehicle’s average trade-in value is listed in the October issue of the NADA. Complainant provided his purchase price for the vehicle in December 2016. He argues the purchase price does not reflect the average trade-in value. Complainant contends the trade-in value of the vehicle was $58,295 as of January 1, 2017, and his assessed value should be based upon the trade-in value.
To support his contention, Complainant offered Exhibit D, which is email correspondence between Complainant and an employee of Aston Martin. The correspondence provides a possible sale of another vehicle using the subject vehicle as trade-in. The seller proffers a trade-in credit of $57,500 for the subject property. Complainant states that there is a $37,500 between a retail and trade-in value. Exhibits F and G are from Cars.com for the subject property’s model. Exhibit F is dated January 2018 and G is dated February 2018. The exhibits indicate trade-in values of the subject’s model ranged from $49,725 to $66,865 in January 2018 and from $48,785 to $65,815 in February 2018. Exhibit J is from Black Book.com in March 2018. The exhibit indicates the trade-in value ranged from $55,485 to $66,315 in March 2018.
The Complainant also offered Exhibits K and L to establish the differential from the retail price and trade-in values of approximately 30%. Exhibits K and L were not admitted into evidence, as they were different model vehicles and the values were from 2018.
For vehicles, Section 137.115.9 RSMo states that the TVM shall be:
- The average trade-in value found in the October issue of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association Official Used Car Guide, or its successor publication; or
- If a vehicle is not listed the publication, the assessor shall use such information or publications which in the assessor’s judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle.
The vehicle was not listed in the October issue of the NADA and therefore the average trade-in value found in the NADA was not utilized.
Respondent then turned to “information or publications which in the assessor’s judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle” Section 137.115.9 RSMo. Respondent utilized the actual purchase price of the vehicle that he deemed estimated the true value in money of the motor vehicle.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor for Jefferson County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
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. 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 Jefferson 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, March 27, 2018.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 27th day of March, 2018, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainant, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.
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