State Tax Commission of Missouri
JAMES STEPHEN HAUGH,)
v.) Appeal No.08-77501
DEAN DOHRMAN, ASSESSOR,)
PETTIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Pettis County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Complainant did not rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board. True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $25,450 ($23,730 – residential, $1,720 – agricultural), assessed value of $4,720.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared in person and with Counsel Randy Sparks, Sedalia, Missouri. Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Pettis County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $25,420 – residential and $1,720 – agricultural, assessed value of $5,040.The Board reduced the residential value to $23,730, assessed value of $4,510, and sustained the agricultural value of $1,720.Complainant proposed no value on his Complaint for Review of Assessment.A hearing was conducted on November 25, 2008, at the Pettis County Courthouse, Sedalia, Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
Complainant testified in his own behalf.Mr. Haugh asserted that his property has no value because of the existence of a confined animal (chicken) feeding operation (CAFO) adjacent to his property.
Respondent testified regarding Exhibit 1 – Summary Report of Estimated Value.Exhibit 1 was received into evidence.The Assessor’s estimate of value for the residential portion of the property under appeal was $25,450.The valuation consisted of a comparison of three land sales and a comparison of costs from property record cards on three properties.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Pettis County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 28360 Walk Road, Marshall, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 1-4-19-5-13-43.The property consists of 12.6 acres.Two acres are classified residential.10.6 acres are agricultural graded land.The property is improved by a mobile home and miscellaneous out buildings.The property is located north of a CAFO.The CAFO is a four-barn chicken farm.The closest feeding barn is located 1,000 to 1,200 feet from Mr. Haugh’s house.The CAFO began operation approximately three years prior to 2007.
3.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2008.
4.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish that the property had no value as of January 1, 2007.
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 affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the board of equalization, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.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.Complainant’s testimony failed to meet the required standard to rebut the presumption of correct assessment.
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.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.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.
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, 2007.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.”
Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.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.
Owner’s Opinion of Value
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.The existence of the CAFO has some impact upon the value of Complainant’s property.However, there is no basis or foundation upon which the Hearing Officer can conclude that the property has no value or that in fact a willing buyer and seller would not agree to the value as set by the Board.To conclude that the subject property had no value as of January 1, 2007 would be mere speculation.A decision cannot rest on such a basis.
Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof, therefore, the presumption of correct assessment by the Board stands.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by Board of Equalization for Pettis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $4,720.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the date of mailing in the Certificate of Service of this decision.The application shall contain specific grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.Said application must be 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.
The Collector of Pettis County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a 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 December 16, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
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 16thday of December, 2008, to:James Stephen Haugh, 28360 Walk Road, Marshall, MO 65340, Complainant; Randy Sparks, 414 South Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301, Attorney for Respondent; Dean Dohrman, Assessor, Pettis County Courthouse, 415 S. Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301; Pam Doane, Clerk, Pettis County Courthouse, 415 S. Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301; Robert Leftwich, Collector, Pettis County Courthouse, 415 S. Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301.
 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).
 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.
 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).
 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).