James & Lynne Brewer v. Kevin Bishop, Assessor Lincoln County

March 12th, 2015

State Tax Commission of Missouri


                                 Complainant, )
v. ) Appeal(s) Number 14-66002
                                    Respondent, )






The assessment of Complainants automobiles are AFFIRMED.  Substantial and persuasive evidence was presented to establish the true value in money for the vehicles as of January 1, 2014, by Respondent, such being the Average Trade-In Values for the vehicles listed in the October 2013 issue of the NADA Used Car Guide.  Complainant did not present any substantial and persuasive evidence of the value of the vehicles on January 1, 2014.

True value in money for the subject automobiles for tax year 2014 is set at:

2007 Chevrolet Impala – $6,600.

2012 Honda Pilot – $26,400.

Complainant James Brewer appeared pro se.

Complainant Lynne Brewer did not appear

Respondent appeared pro se.

Appeal heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu.



Complainant appeals the valuations of a 2007 Chevrolet Impala and a 2012 Honda Pilot.  The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject personal property on January 1, 2014.  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.
  2. Subject Property. The subject properties are a 2007 Chevrolet Impala and a 2012 Honda Pilot identified in Assessor’s Account 011000029795.
  3. Assessment. The Assessor valued both the 2007 Chevrolet Impala and a 2012 Honda Pilot using the statutorily required NADA guide, October 2013 issue and ascribed assessed values of $6,600 and $26,400, respectively.
  4. Evidence. The NADA Official Used Car Guide October 2013 reports the average trade-in values for the 2007 Chevrolet Impala to be $6,600 and for the 2012 Honda Pilot, $26,400. (Exhibit 4 & 5).  Complainant presented evidence of his purchase price for the 2007 Chevrolet Impala, NADA printouts on both vehicles (Month and Year of Printout not evident), Odometer readings on each vehicle effective a number of weeks before the Evidentiary Hearing and photographs of damage to the 2007 Chevrolet Impala.  Complainant offered into evidence Exhibits A through O, which were received without objection.



A 2014 Personal Tax Statement
B NADA Printout/ 2007 Chev. Impala
C 2007 Chev. Impala Title Receipt
D Photographs of 2007 Impala
E Photographs of 2007 Impala
F Transmission Repair Estimate/ 2007 Chev. Impala
G Statement of Basis of Value/ 2007 Chev. Impala
H Photographs of 2007 Impala & 2012 Honda Pilot
I Photographs of 2012 Honda Pilot
J NADA Printout/ 2012 Honda Pilot
K Statement Regarding Appeal
L 137.115 RSMo
M Photographs of 2012 Honda Pilot
N Statement of Basis of Value/ 2012 Honda Pilot
O Article on Factors of Value of Vehicle


Respondent offered into evidence Exhibits 1 through 6, which were received without objection.

1 2014 Assessment List
2 Second Page of  List from Ex. 1
3 Printout of Acct 01000029795 Lincoln County
4 NADA 10/13 Guide on 2012 Honda Pilot
5 NADA 10/13 Guide on 2007 Chev. Impala
6 137.115 RSMo


See, Hearing Officer Finds Value, infra.



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).  True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.  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). It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.  Hermel, supra.  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.


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


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


  1. Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.


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


  1. 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. 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.


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


Complainants’ Burden of Proof and Respondent’s Evidence

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, 2014.  Hermel, supraThere 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).

A valuation which does not reflect the fair market value (true value in money) of the property under appeal is an unlawful, unfair and improper assessment.  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.   Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).  A taxpayer does not meet his/her burden if evidence on any essential element of his case leaves the Commission “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise.”  See, Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. 1980).

In the present case the Commission is left “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise” as to the valuation of the subject vehicles on January 1, 2014.  Although Complainant presented evidence of damage to the 2007 Chevrolet Impala, he could not say during the evidentiary hearing that such damage was present as of January 1, 2014.  With regard to the transmission issue of the 2007 Chevrolet Impala, a single estimate does not seem to be sufficient to establish the actual cost to repair and thus an appropriate downward adjustment of valuation.  Regarding the odometer readings as of a number of weeks prior to the evidentiary hearing date, such does not establish the mileage of each vehicle as of January 1, 2014.  Moreover, Complainants did not present any evidence of an appropriate mileage adjustment of any alleged high mileage, even if the odometer reading, as of January 1, 2014, were known.  Finally, Complainants’ NADA printouts are of no value as the month and year issue NADA report was unknown by Complainants, and thus, was not pertinent to the October 2013 NADA valuations which was to be used.

High Mileage Adjustment

            The final factor that must be addressed is the application of a mileage adjustment.  The Assessor’s office does not apply mileage adjustments on any vehicles, but opts instead to simply use the average mileage NADA determines the vehicle should show for year, make and model.  This is certainly appropriate for the mass assessment of automobiles.  However, once an appeal has come before the Commission, it is appropriate to look at the actual mileage that a vehicle had at the time the October NADA value is being applied, namely, January 1 of the pertinent tax year.  The high mileage must be taken into consideration when reaching the NADA Adjusted Trade-in value.   

Nevertheless, as stated above, no substantial and persuasive evidence was presented as to the actual mileage of each vehicle on January 1, 2014.  Moreover, no evidence of the adjustment that would have been made by NADA was presented.

Hearing Officer Finds Value

            The Hearing Officer considered the information provided by Complainant and Respondent and concluded on a value as follows:

2007 Chevrolet Impala – $6,600 TMV; $2,200 Assessed Value.

2012 Honda Pilot – $26,400 TMV; $8,800 Assessed Value.


The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Assessor for Lincoln County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.  The valuation of the 2007 Chevrolet Impala is set at $6,600 TMV; $2,200 Assessed Value and the valuation of the 2012 Honda Pilot is set at $26,400 TMV; $8,800 Assessed Value.

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.


Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Lincoln 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 12, 2015.



John J. Treu

Senior Hearing Officer


Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on March 12, 2015 to the following Individuals of this Order


James & Lynne Brewer, Complainants, mechanic52@sbcglobal.net

Leah Askey, Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for Respondent, laskey@lcmopa.com

Kevin Bishop, Assessor, kbishop@lincolncoassessor.com

Jerry Fox, Collector, jfox@lincolncountycollector.com

Crystal Hall, Clerk, lincoln@sos.mo.gov


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator