State Tax Commission of Missouri
INLAND WESTERN KANSAS CITY, LLC)
v. ) Appeal No.11-79023
DAVID CHRISTIAN, ASSESSOR,)
PLATTE COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss GRANTED.State Tax Commission is without subject matter jurisdiction to hear said appeal.
True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2011 is set at $13,640,000, commercial assessed value of $4,364,800.
Complainant represented by counsel Richard Dvorak.
Respondent represented by counsel John Shank.
Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.
Complainant appeals on the ground of overvaluation.The Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss based upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction by the Commission.
MOTION TO DISMISS
1. On August 20, 2012, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss.Respondent alleged that on July 7, 2011, Complainant withdrew its appeal with the County Board of Equalization.The Respondent provided, as Exhibit A, a copy of the withdrawal submitted by Savage & Browning LLC, Property Tax Consultants, dated July 7, 2011.Section 138.430, RSMo, provides for an appeal with the State Tax Commission only if the property owner pursued an appeal with the County Board.
2. On August 31, 2012, Complainant responded that they filed an appeal with the Board of Equalization.Because of conversations with a representative with the assessor’s office, an employee withdrew the appeal.The employee did not have authority to act.The Complainant appeared before the Board on July 13, 2011, but no hearing occurred regarding the subject property.
3. Respondent responded on September 10, 2012, stating that the Complainant withdrew their appeal to the Board.The taxpayers representatives were present at the Board on July 13, 2011, however, they were representing other taxpayers.At no time did the representatives request a hearing on subject property.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Subject Property.The subject property is identified by map parcel number 19-3.0-07-200-000-001-006 and is further identified as 8600 – 8658 Boardwalk, Kansas City, Missouri.
2. Valuation.The Assessor determined a true value for the property of $13,640,000, commercially assessed value of $4,364,800.
3.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is not proper.Complainant failed to pursue an appeal from the County Board of Equalization. Complainant dismissed its appeal on July 7, 2011, as evidenced by Respondent’s Exhibit A.There is no evidence that they sought to seek the Board’s permission, either in writing or orally, to withdraw their dismissal.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The Commission has no jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment.Any person aggrieved by the assessment of his property may appeal to the county board of equalization.An appeal shall be in writing and the forms to be used for this purpose shall be furnished by the county clerk.Such appeal shall be lodged with the county clerk as secretary of the board of equalization before the third Monday in June; provided, that the board may in its discretion extend the time for filing such appeals.Section 137.385, RSMo.
The county board of equalization shall, in a summary way, determine all appeals from the valuation of property made by the assessor, and shall correct and adjust the assessment accordingly.Section 138.060, RSMo.
Every owner of real property or tangible personal property shall have the right to appeal from the local boards of equalization to the state tax commission under rules prescribed by the state tax commission, within the time prescribed in this chapter or thirty days following the final action of the local board of equalization, whichever date later occurs, concerning all questions and disputes involving the assessment against such property, the method or formula used in
determining the valuation of such property, or the assignment of a discriminatory assessment to such property.Section 138.430, RSMo.
As a general rule, courts will refrain from acting until the litigants have exhausted all available administrative remedies provided by statute.In establishing a system for levying of taxes and the appeal of property tax assessments, including those set out in Sections 138.060, 138.430 and 139.031, the legislature has properly charged administrative agencies with responsibilities associated with the determination of property valuation methods as well as the actual assessment of property.Council House Redevelopment Corporation v. Hill, 820 S.W.2d 890 (Mo. 1996).
Exhaustion of administrative remedies is required to prevent premature interference with agency process, so that the agency may function efficiently and so that it may have an opportunity to correct its own errors, to afford the parties and the courts the benefit of its experience and expertise, and to compile a record which is adequate for judicial review.KC Motorcycle Escorts L.L.C. v. Easley, 53 S.W.3d 184.
The doctrine of exhaustion of remedies is a jurisdictional requirement.Pessin v. State Tax Common, 875 S.W.2d 143 (Mo. App. 1994).
The legislature created the local boards of equalization and gave them the duty to hear and determine taxpayers’appeals from an assessor’s valuation of property.There can be no dispute that the legislature never intended to allow taxpayers to appeal to the state tax commission without first appealing to the local boards of equalization.
The Complainant’s actions, on July 7, 2011, of filing notice to the Board and the Assessor that they no longer wished to pursue an appeal and their failure to seek withdrawal of their dismissal, either in writing or orally, denies the State Tax Commission any jurisdiction to hear an appeal.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor is SUSTAINED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2011 is set at $13,640,000.
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, 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 Platte 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 October 11, 2012.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 11th day of October, 2012, to:Richard Dvorak, 7111 W. 98th Terrace, Suite 140, Overland Park, KS 66212, Attorney for Complainant; John Shank, 9800 N.W. Polo, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64153, Attorney for Respondent; David Christian, Assessor; 415 Third Street, P.O. Box 20, Platte City, MO 64079; Joan Harms, Clerk, 415 Third, P.O. Box 30, Platte City, MO 64079; Sheila Palmer, Collector; 409 Third, P.O. Box 40, Platte City, MO 64079.
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