STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|v.||)||Appeal No. 18-46500|
|)||Parcel/Locator No. 20-05.0-16.0-00-002.004|
|JODY PASCHAL, ASSESSOR,||)|
|CALLAWAY COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment made by the Board of Equalization of Callaway County (BOE) is AFFIRMED. Complainant James Reynolds (Complainant) failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct valuation of the subject property as of January 1, 2017.
Complainant appeared pro se.
Respondent Jody Paschal, Assessor, Callaway County, Missouri, (Respondent) appeared pro se.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu (Hearing Officer).
Complainant appealed on the ground of overvaluation. Respondent initially set the true value in money (TVM) of the subject property at $58,560 residential. Respondent subsequently sent a Notice of Change of Value to Complainant setting the TVM of the subject property at $52,360 residential ($9,948 assessed value) and $780 agricultural ($94 assessed value), for a total TVM of $53,140 ($10,042 assessed value). Pursuant to Complainant’s Complaint for Review he received no response from the BOE. The State Tax Commission (STC) takes this appeal to determine the TVM for the subject.
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. Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Evidentiary Hearing. The issue of overvaluation was presented at an evidentiary hearing on October 24, 2018, at the Callaway County Courthouse, Fulton, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by parcel/locator number 20-05.0-16.0-00-000-002.004. It is further identified as 7992 State Highway D, Portland, Missouri. (Complaint for Review of Assessment)
- Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of a 5.08 acre rolling prairie lot improved by a 1,216 square-foot mobile home built in 1996 with 50% functional obsolescence. (Testimony and Exhibit 3) The home includes two 126 square foot open frame porches. (Exhibit 3) The lot is also improved with a 360 square foot detached metal garage and a 2,000 square foot machine shed in below normal condition.
- Assessment. Respondent initially set the true value in money (TVM) of the subject property at $58,560 residential. Respondent subsequently sent a Notice of Change of Value to Complainant reducing the TVM of the subject property to $52,360 residential ($9,948 assessed value) and $780 agricultural ($94 assessed value), for a total TVM of $53,140 ($10,042 assessed value). 1 acre of land is assessed as residential. 4.08 acres of land is assessed as agricultural, grade 5.
- Board of Equalization. Pursuant to Complainant’s Complaint for Review Complainant received no response from the BOE. For this appeal, is assumed the BOE sustained Respondent’s valuation.
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant opined that the subject property was overvalued. To support his opinion of value, Complainant offered his testimony. Complainant offered no exhibits.
- Respondent’s Evidence. To support his case, Respondent offered the following evidence:
|Exhibit 1||Equalization Order||Admitted|
|Exhibit 2||Complaint for Review and Notices of Change of Value||Admitted|
|Exhibit 3||Property Record Card (PRC) with Photographs||Admitted|
- Presumption of Correct Valuation Not Rebutted. Complainants’ evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct valuation by the BOE.
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, including the application of any abatement. 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 TVM for the property under appeal. By statute, real property and tangible personal property are assessed at set percentages of TVM: residential property at 19%; commercial property at 32%; and agricultural property at 12%. Section 137.115.5 RSMo (2000) as amended.
Investigation by Hearing Officer
In order to investigate appeals filed with the Commission, the Hearing Officer may inquire of the owner of the property or of any other party to the appeal regarding any matter or issue relevant to the valuation, subclassification, or assessment of the property. Section 138.430.2 RSMo (2000) as amended. The Hearing Officer’s decision regarding the assessment or valuation of the property may be based solely upon his inquiry and any evidence presented by the parties or based solely upon evidence presented by the parties. Id.
The Hearing Officer heard the testimony and reviewed the exhibits provided as evidence.
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 relevant tax date. 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). 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.
Weight to be Given Evidence
The Hearing Officer is not bound by any single formula, rule, or method in determining TVM and 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).
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. See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 897; Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975). 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. 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. 1974).
“For purposes of levying property taxes, the value of real property is typically determined using one or more of three generally accepted approaches.” Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 346 (Mo. banc 2005), citing St. Louis County v. Security Bonhomme, Inc., 558 S.W.2d 655, 659 (Mo. banc 1977). “Each valuation approach is applied with reference to a specific use of the property—its highest and best use.” Snider, 156 S.W.3d at 346-47, citing Aspenhof Corp., 789 S.W.2d at 869. “The method used depends on several variables inherent in the highest and best use of the property in question.” Snider, 156 S.W.3d at 347. “Each method uses its own unique factors to calculate the property’s TVM.” Id. “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. Id. at 348. “Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.” Id. (quotation omitted). “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.” Id.
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.
Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the BOE presumption. Complainant presented no evidence of the correct valuation of the subject property. He did not use any other method, specifically one of the three court-approved methods of valuation, to arrive at an opinion of TMV. Consequently, the Hearing Officer would be required to engage in speculation to conclude that the TVM as previously determined by the BOE was incorrect.
The determination of the BOE is AFFIRMED. The assessed value for the subject property is $10,042 ($52,360 residential TVM, $780 agricultural TVM), as of January 1, 2017, for tax year 2018.
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 Callaway 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 December 4, 2018.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 4th day of December, 2018, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainant, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.