State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.) Appeal Number 07-32663
SCOTT SHIPMAN, ASSESSOR,)
ST. CHARLES COUNTY,MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor, AFFIRMED. Hearing Officer finds true value in money for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 to be $125,000, assessed value of $23,750.
Complainant appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared by Counsel, Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor.
Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.
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 St. Charles County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $143,990, assessed value of $27,360, as residential property.The Board of Equalization reduced the appraised value to $125,000, assessed value of $23,750, as residential property.Complainant did not propose a value.A hearing was conducted on January 8, 2008, at theSt. CharlesCountyAdministrationBuilding,St. Charles,Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
The following exhibits were offered into evidence on behalf of the Complainant.
Exhibit A – Ranetite Waterproofing Proposal
Exhibit B – Strain Engineering Report
Exhibit C – Premier Heating and Cooling Proposal
Exhibit D – Woods Basement Systems Recommendation
Exhibit E – Photographs
Exhibits A and C were admitted into evidence over objections of Respondent.Exhibit E was received into evidence without objection.Respondent objected to Exhibits B and D.Said objections were sustained.
Testimony of Janice Binder.
The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of the Respondent.
Exhibit 1 – Appraisal of Subject Property by Dennis Hess
All Exhibits were received into evidence.
Testimony of Dennis Hess.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 1203 Hemingway Lane, Weldon Spring, Missouri.The property is identified by locator number A860000949. The property is a townhouse style condominium.The improvement is approximately twenty two years old and appears to be in average condition.The residence has a total of seven rooms including three bedrooms and two and a half baths, and contains 1,742 square feet of living space.The property also has a two-car attached garage. Both parties acknowledge defects in the property.The Complainant provided bids for the cost to cure the defects in the property.The Assessor’s appraiser, using the information provided by the Complainant, made a $37,425 adjustment in his sales comparables.
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.
5.The properties relied upon by Respondent’s appraiser in performing his appraisal were comparable to the subject property for the purpose of making a determination of value of the subject property. The properties were located within the same development as the subject.Each sale property sold at a time relevant to the tax date of January 1, 2007.The sale properties were similar to the subject in style, quality of construction, age, condition, room, bedroom and bathroom count, living area, location, site size and other amenities of comparability.The adjustments made by the appraiser were appropriate to account for the differences between each comparable and the subject including the cost to cure.
6.Respondent’s appraisal was accepted only to sustain the assessment made by the Board and not for the purpose of raising the assessment above that value.
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.Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, RSMo.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.Section 138.431.4, RSMo.
Presumptions on Assessments
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof 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).
TheSupreme Court of Missouri has held, “A tax assessor’s valuation is presumed correct.”Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341 (Mo. 2005).Citing to Hermel, supra; and Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).
The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer presents substantial and persuasive evidence to establish that the assessor’s or Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.Snider, Hermel & Cupples Hesse, supra.
Complainants’ evidence failed to rise to the level of substantial and persuasive necessary to rebut the presumptions of corrects assessment in the assessing officials.
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).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 is 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 each 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.
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 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.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, at 897.Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.See, Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).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).See also, 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).
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).
The Complainant testified as to the defects in her property which included cracks and mold.Exhibit E.The Complainant provided some evidence as to the cost to cure.Exhibits A and C.Complainant failed to provide to evidence as to the market value of the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Summary and Conclusion
Complainant’s evidence failed to establish either by Exhibit A, C or E that the subject property in an open market transaction on January 1, 2007, would not have sold or would have sold for less than $125,000.Having failed to meet her burden of proof, the value determined by the Board is affirmed.
Evidence of Increase in Value
In any case in St. Charles County where the assessor presents evidence which indicates a valuation higher than the value finally determined by the assessor or the value determined by the board of equalization, whichever is higher, for that assessment period, such evidence will only be received for the purpose of sustaining the assessor’s or board’s valuation, and not for increasing the valuation of the property under appeal.Section 138.060, RSMo; 12 CSR 30-3.075.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and reduced by the Board of Equalization forSt. CharlesCountyfor the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $23,750.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial.Section 138.432, RSMo 2000.
If an application for review of this decision is made to the Commission, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the Commission.If no application for review is received by the Commission within thirty (30) days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of St. Charles County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.If any or all protested taxes have been disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031(8), RSMo, either party may apply to the circuit court having jurisdiction of the cause for disposition of the protested taxes held by the taxing authority.
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 January 15, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 15th day of January, 2008, to:Janice Binder, 1203 Hemingway Lane, St. Charles, MO63304, Complainant; Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor, 100 North Third Street, Room 216, St. Charles, MO 63301, Attorney for Respondent; Scott Shipman, Assessor, 201 North Second, Room 247, St. Charles, MO 63301-2870; Amy Gann, Registrar, 100 North Third Street, Suite 206, St. Charles, MO 63301; Michelle McBride, Collector, 201 North Second Street, Room 134, St. Charles, MO 63301.