State Tax Commission of Missouri
|JAMES & MARY OSBORN,||)|
|v.||)||Appeal No. 15-79002|
|DAVID COX, ASSESSOR,||)|
|PLATTE CO., MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment made by the Board of Equalization of Platte County is AFFIRMED. Complainants did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Platte County Board of Equalization.. Assessed value in money for the subject property for tax year 2015 is set at $98,800 residential ($520,000 TMV).
Complainant James Osborn appeared pro se.
Complainant Mary Osborn did not appear.
Respondent appeared in person and by attorney John Shank.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu.
Complainant appeals on the ground of overvaluation. The Platte County Board of Equalization set the true market value of the subject property at $520,000, residential assessed value of $98,800. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2015.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Evidentiary Hearing. The Evidentiary Hearing was held on December 10, 2015 at the Platte County Administrative Building, Platte City, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by map parcel number or locator number 11-9.0-31-000-000-042-000. It is further identified as 14430 Elliott Court, Smithville, MO. (Exhibits A & 2).
- Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of a tract of land of 5+ acres, improved by a single family, one and a half story stucco home. The home has 6 bedrooms, 6 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, a 3 car attached garage and five fireplaces. The home has a gross living area of 6,898 square feet. (Exhibit 2).
- Refusal of Interior Inspection. Complainants (and/or his agents) denied Respondent the ability to inspect the interior of the home. (Testimony).
- Assessment. The Assessor set a true market value on the subject property at $575,000 residential (Complaint for Review).
- Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization changed the true market value of the property to $520,000 residential.
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant James Osborn offered Exhibit A which consisted of an appraisal report by Scott Brown. Exhibit A was objected to, in that Complainant did not allow Respondent to conduct an interior inspection of the subject property. The objection was overruled, subject to any condition adjustments for the subject interior being disallowed.
- Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered into evidence Exhibits 1 & 2. Exhibit 1 consisted of a Summary. Exhibit 2 consisted of an appraisal by Allen Hickman. Both Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 were received into evidence without objection.
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. 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 are assessed at set percentages of true value in money. Section 137.115.5, RSMo – residential property at 19% of true value in money.
Presumption In Appeal
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization. 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). 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.
Complainants’ Burden of Proof
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, 2015. Hermel, supra. 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.” 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).
Complainants Denial of Interior Inspection to Respondent
Respondent requested the ability to conduct an interior inspection of the subject property. Complainants did not allow such. Although such is Complainants right, Complainants cannot at the same time prevent an interior inspection to Respondent and attempt to benefit from such by presenting evidence of the inferior condition of the interior of the subject property. Respondent cannot utilize the interior condition of the property as both a shield and a sword. Consequently, the adjustments for condition, by Complainants’ appraiser were disallowed.
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 a 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:
- Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
- Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.
- A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
- Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.
- Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.
- 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.
Weight to be Given Evidence
The Hearing Officer is not bound by any single formula, rule or method in determining true value in money, but is free to consider all pertinent facts and estimates and give them such weight as reasonably they may be deemed entitled. The relative weight to be accorded any relevant factor in a particular case is for the Hearing Officer to decide. St. Louis County v. Security Bonhomme, Inc., 558 S.W.2d 655, 659 (Mo. banc 1977); St. Louis County v. STC, 515 S.W.2d 446, 450 (Mo. 1974); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650 (Mo. 1968).
Opinion Testimony by Experts
The testimony of an expert is to be considered like any other testimony, is to be tried by the same test, and receives just so much weight and credit as the trier of fact may deem it entitled to when viewed in connection with all other circumstances. The Hearing Officer, as the trier of fact, has the authority to weigh the evidence and is not bound by the opinions of experts who testify on the issue of reasonable value, but may believe all or none of the expert’s testimony and may accept it in part or reject it in part. Beardsley v. Beardsley, 819 S.W. 2d 400, 403 (Mo. App. 1991); Curnow v. Sloan, 625 S.W. 2d 605, 607 (Mo. 1981); Scanlon v. Kansas City, 28 S.W. 2d 84, 95 (Mo. 1930). If specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert on that subject, by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto.
The facts or data upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to the expert at or before the hearing and must be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject and must be otherwise reliable, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence.
Section 490.065, RSMo; State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts v. McDonagh, 123 S.W.3d 146 (Mo. SC. 2004); Courtroom Handbook on Missouri Evidence, Wm. A. Schroeder, Sections 702-505, pp. 325-350; Wulfing v. Kansas City Southern Industries, Inc., 842 S.W.2d 133 (Mo. App. E.D. 1992).
Evidence Supports BOE Valuation
Both Complainants and Respondent presented evidence which supports the valuation set by the Platte County Board of Equalization of the subject property. Both Complainants and Respondent presented appraisal reports. Read together and as a whole, and disallowing the condition adjustments by Complainants’ appraiser, the appraisals support the Board of Equalization Valuation.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor for Platte County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2015 is set at $98,800 residential.
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, 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
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 this 21st day of December, 2015.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
John J. Treu
Senior Hearing Officer
Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on December 21, 2015 to the following Individuals of this Order
James & Mary Osborn, Complainant, firstname.lastname@example.org
JR Shank, Attorney for Respondent, email@example.com
David Cox, Assessor, firstname.lastname@example.org
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