State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.)Appeal Number 07-79010
LISA POPE, ASSESSOR,)
PLATTE COUNTY, MISSOURI)
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the Board of Equalization setting value at $110,000 (assessed value $20,900) is AFFIRMED.
The issue in this case is the true market value of residential real property.
The subject property is a residence which was originally valued by the assessor at $98,430 (assessed value $18,702).Upon appeal, the Board of Equalization raised value to $110,000 (assessed value $20,900).Complainant appealed asserting a value of $90,000 (assessed value $17,100).
An evidentiary hearing was held onJanuary 29, 2008, in thePlatteCountyAdministrativeBuildingbefore hearing officer Luann Johnson.The parties appeared pro se.
The following exhibits were entered into the record:
Exhibit 1 – Packet of information on BOE comparable sales.
Exhibit A –Appraisal Report
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction is proper.Complainant timely filed his appeal from the decision of the Platte County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is a 37,740 square foot site improved with a 900 square foot, two bedroom, one bath home.The home is 53 years old of average quality construction in average condition.The property is identified as parcel number 17-3.0-06-000-000-002-000, more commonly known as 14893 Highway 92,PlatteCity,Platte County,Missouri.
3.Respondent’s appraiser found sales of three similar homes which sold for $120,900; 102,950; and $118,000.Respondent’s appraiser adjusted for site size, square footage, garages, decks and fireplaces.After adjustments, these properties indicated a range of value for the subject property between $112,400 and $131,100.Gross adjustments ranged from 8.4% to 18.5%.Based upon these sales, Respondent’s appraiser determined a market value for the subject property of $115,000 onJanuary 1, 2007.Respondent is not asking for an increase in value.
Respondent’s evidence is substantial and persuasive because it is based upon market sales.
4.Complainant revisited the comparables Respondent used during the Board of Equalization.Complainant presented evidence that said sales were appraised at values above and below their actual values as evidenced by their sales prices.Complainant also presented an additional listing showing an asking price of $114,000, which was assessed at $71,000.Finally, Complainant asserted that the structure the county had identified as a two car detached garage was actually a storage building with only one door.Respondent asserts that the building is capable of holding two or three vehicles.
Complainant’s evidence is not substantial and persuasive because it is not based upon market sales, or any other acceptable method of valuing property.
5.No evidence was presented which suggested that any new construction or property improvements occurred between January 1, 2007, and the hearing date, which would increase the value for tax year 2008.Therefore the value determined for tax year 2007 shall also be the value determined for tax year 2008.
6.The true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007, and
January 1, 2008, is $110,000, as determined by the Board of Equalization.
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lang=EN-CA style=’mso-ansi-language:EN-CA’>CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
True Value in Money
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 purchased by one who is desiring 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.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978).
Taxpayer has Burden of Proof
In Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003), the court of appeals stated:
There is no longer an automatic presumption regarding the correctness of an assessor’s valuation. Section 138.431.3. This statutory change from the previous situation in which the assessor’s valuation was presumed to be correct does not mean that there is now a presumption in favor of taxpayer. The taxpayer in a Commission tax appeal still bears the burden of proof and must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was improperly classified or valued. Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App.1991).
In Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003), the court of appeals described the taxpayer’s burden as follows:
Taxpayers were the moving parties seeking affirmative relief, and as such, they bore the burden of proving the vital elements of their case, i.e., the assessments were “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Comm’n, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo.1959); Westwood P’ship v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161 (Mo. App. 2003); 84 C.J.S. Taxation §§710, 726. This is true regardless of the existence or non-existence of the challenged presumption. As the Supreme Court of Missouri explained, “even were we to hold that it [the presumption] has been overcome, the burden of proof on the facts and inferences would still remain on petitioner, for it is the moving party seeking affirmative relief.”Cupples, 329 S.W.2d at 702. See also 84 C.J.S. Taxation §710, which states: “Even where there is no presumption in favor of the assessor’s ruling, if no evidence is offered in support of the complaint, the reviewing board is justified in fixing the valuation complained of in the amount assessed by the assessor.”
To prevail, Taxpayers had to “present an opinion of market value and then … present substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value is indicative of the market value of the subject property on tax day.” Daly v. P.D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 651 (Mo. App. 2002).
Substantial and Persuasive Evidence
Substantial evidence is that evidence which, if true, has probative force upon the issues, i.e., evidence favoring facts which are such that reasonable men may differ as to whether it established them, and from which the Commission can reasonably decide an appeal on the factual issues.Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).
Persuasive evidence is that evidence which has sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact.The persuasiveness of evidence does not depend on the quantity or amount thereof but on its effect in inducing belief.Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).
Comparable Sales Approach
The comparable sales approach uses prices paid for similar properties in arms-length transactions and adjusts those prices to account for differences between the properties.Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.This approach is most appropriate when there is an active market for the type of property at issue such that sufficient data is available to make a comparative analysis.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d, 341, 347-348 (Mo. 2005). (citations omitted).
Complainant has failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence tending to demonstrate that his property would sell for no more than $90,000 onJanuary 1, 2007.Complainant’s chief complaint seems to be that some other properties are not properly assessed.This does not demonstrate that the Board of Equalization’s valuation of his property is incorrect.
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The assessed value determined by the Board of Equalization, is AFFIRMED.
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 February 26, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
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Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid this 26thday of February, 2008, to:Irvin Reineke, 14893 Highway 92, Platte City, MO 64079, Complainant; John Shank, 9800 N.W. Polo, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64153, Attorney for Respondent; Lisa Pope, Assessor; 415 Third Street, P.O. Box 20, Platte City, MO 64079; Sandra Krohne, Clerk, 415 Third, P.O. Box 30, Platte City, MO 64079; Donna Nash, Collector; 409 Third, P.O. Box 40, Platte City, MO 64079.