J. Loyd & Andrea Wallace v. Strahan (Taney)

August 26th, 2010

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal Number 09-89504












Decision of the Taney County Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $103,580, residential assessed value of $19,680.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by County Counselor Robert Paulson

Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Taney County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2009.The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.


1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Taney County Board of Equalization.By Order dated May 4, 2010, case was set under an Exchange Schedule and case was submitted upon exhibits and written direct testimony filed, evidentiary hearing was waived by both parties.

2.Assessment.The Assessor assessed the property under appeal at a residential assessed value of $23,130, which calculates to an appraised value of $121,740.[1]The Board decision letter of July 16, 2009, made no change in the value.However, the PAID tax receipt showed an assessed residential valuation of $19,680,[2] which calculates to an appraised value of $103,580.[3]At some point after issuing its decision letter of 7/16/09, the Board made the reduction in the assessed value of the subject property and taxes were levied based upon the assessed value of $19,680.

3.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 350 South Wildwood, Unit C24, Branson, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 18-1-1-4-1-14.024.

4.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant submitted the following exhibits:




2009 – Notice of Change in Assessed Value – Subject-Unit C24-Foothills Condos


2007 – Notice of Change in Assessed Value – Subject Property


Letter dated 7/17/09 from Mr. Wallace to Taney County Equalization Board


Property Record Card on Benson Property: Unit 15-Building C-Foothills Condos


Property Record Card on Silva Property: Unit 3-Building F-Foothills Condos


Property Record Card on Golding Property: Unit 11-Building A-Foothills Condos


Property Record Card on Bragg Property: Unit 6-Building E-Foothills Condos


Property Record Card on Tyler Property: Unit 7-Building C-Foothills Condos


Spreadsheet comparing Assessment of Subject with properties in Exhibits D – H


Spreadsheet comparing Percentage Change of Subject with properties in Exhibits D – H


Spreadsheet comparing Percentage Change of Subject with properties in Exhibits D – H




Spreadsheet comparing Sale Price to Appraised Values by Assessor of Properties in Exhibits D – H


Letter of Mr. Wallace to Hearing Officer, dated 4/29/10


Copy of 2009 Tax Bill and Complainant’s Unsigned Check, paying under protest


There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2009, to January 1, 2010, therefore the assessed value for 2009 remains the assessed value for 2010.[4]

Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2009, to be $85,420, as proposed.

5.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent did not elect to file any exhibits or written direct testimony.



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 affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the board of equalization, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.[5]

Presumption In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.[6]This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption.It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.When some substantial evidence is produced by the Complainant, “however slight”, the presumption disappears and the Hearing Officer, as trier of facts, receives the issue free of the presumption.[7]The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer presents substantial and persuasive evidence to establish that the Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.[8]Complainants’ evidence failed to meet the substantial and persuasive standard.Therefore, the presumption of correct assessment by the Board was not rebutted.

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.[9]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[10]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[11]Market value is the most probable price in terms of money which a property should bring in 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.

Implicit in this definition are the consummation of a sale as of a specific date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

1.Buyer and seller are typically motivated.


2.Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.


3.A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.


4.Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.


5.Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.


6.The price represents a normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special financing amounts and/or terms, services, fees, costs, or credits incurred in the transaction.[12]


Complainants exhibits failed to provide evidence to establish value under the Standard for Valuation.

Methods of Valuation

Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission.It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case.[13]Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value.[14]Complainants did not present an opinion of value derived from any recognized methodology for the valuation of real property for ad valorem tax purposes in Missouri.

Complainants Fail to Prove Value

In order to prevail, Complainants 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, 2009.[15]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.”[16]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[17]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.[18]

Owner’s Opinion of Value

The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.[19]The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.[20]The only opinion of value put forth by Complainants was on the Complaint for Review of Assessment which was an assessed value of $16,230, or a fair market value of $85,420.There is no evidence in any of the exhibits presented by Complainants that provides any market data upon which the Hearing Officer can conclude that as of January 1, 2009, that a willing buyer and seller would have agreed to a sale price for the subject property of $85,420.Complainants have failed to establish what the elements or foundation for the opinion of value, other than it was the value set by the Assessor for the 2007-08 assessment.That is not sufficient basis to establish fair market value for the 2009-10 assessment.The taxpayer’s opinion of value can be given no probative weight.

The sum of the exhibits which Complainants filed attacks the assessment process and the process before the Board of Equalization.An appeal on the value of property before the Commission does not look back at either the Assessor’s process in setting value, or the process of the Board in conducting its hearings.The appeal before the Commission is a de novo appeal.The focus in a valuation appeal is quite simple – what is the fair market value of the property under appeal.What may or may not have happened in the general reassessment or in a Board hearing is not relevant to finding the true value in money of the subject property.

The taxpayer’s burden of proof is not met by pointing out what are asserted problems with the assessment process.The burden of proof is simply to present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish true value in money for the taxpayer’s property.In the absence of a sale of the subject property at a time relevant to the valuation date, the most persuasive evidence to make the taxpayer’s case will ordinarily be an appraisal.Nothing in Complainants’ exhibits comes close to appraising the subject property.

There being no substantial and persuasive evidence to prove the value of $85,420 proffered by Complainants, the assessed value set by the Board of $19,680, true value in money of $103,580, must be affirmed.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Taney County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $19,680.

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.

Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial. [21]

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Taney 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 August 26, 2010.





W. B. Tichenor

Senior Hearing Officer






Certificate of Service


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 26thday of August, 2010, to:Loyd Wallace, 4004 Mockingbird, Rogers, AR 72756, Complainant; Robert Paulson, County Counselor, P.O. Box 1086, Forsyth, MO 65653, Attorney for Respondent; James Strahan, Assessor, P.O. Box 612, Forsyth, MO 65653; Donna Neeley, Clerk, P.O. Box 156, Forsyth, MO 65653; Sheila Wyatt, Collector, P.O. Box 278, Forsyth, MO 65653.





Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator



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


573-751-1341 Fax


[1] $23,130 ÷ .19 (residential assessment ratio) = $121,736.84, rounded to $121,740.


[2] At the Prehearing Conference in this appeal, the Assessor submitted to the Hearing Officer a copy of the PAID Tax Receipt for the subject property.This is received as Exhibit 1.Complainants’ Exhibit N also contains a copy of the 2009 Tax Bill showing a residential assessed value of $19,680.


[3] $19,680 ÷ .19 = $103,578.95, rounded to $103,580.


[4] Section 137.115.1, RSMo.


[5] Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.


[6] Hermel, Inc. v. STC, 564 S.W.2d 888, 895 (Mo. banc 1978); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co. v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650, 656 (Mo. 1968); May Department Stores Co. v. STC, 308 S.W.2d 748, 759 (Mo. 1958)


[7] United Missouri Bank of Kansas City v. March, 650 S.W.2d 678, 680-81 (Mo. App. 1983), citing to State ex rel. Christian v. Lawry, 405 S.W.2d 729, 730 (Mo. App. 1966) and cases therein cited.


[8] Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959)


[9] 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).


[10] Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 S.W.3d 645, 649 (Mo. App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 S.W.2d 376, 380 (Mo. App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).


[11] Hermel, supra.


[12] Real Estate Appraisal Terminology, Society of Real Estate Appraisers, Revised Edition, 1984; See also, Real Estate Valuation in Litigation, J. D. Eaton, M.A.I., American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, 1982, pp. 4-5; Property Appraisal and Assessment Administration, International Association of Assessing Officers, 1990, pp. 79-80; Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, Glossary.


[13] See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra;Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975).


[14] St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (App. E.D. 1993); Aspenhof Corp. v. STC, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (App. E.D. 1990); Quincy Soybean Company, Inc., v. Lowe, 773 S.W.2d 503, 504 (App. E.D. 1989), citing Del-Mar Redevelopment Corp v. Associated Garages, Inc., 726 S.W.2d 866, 869 (App. E.D. 1987); and State ex rel. State Highway Comm’n v. Southern Dev. Co., 509 S.W.2d 18, 27 (Mo. Div. 2 1974).


[15] Hermel, supra.


[16] 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).


[17] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


[18] Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).


[19] Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).


[20] Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).


[21] Section 138.432, RSMo.