Jerry Staggs v. Hoover (Jasper)

May 21st, 2012

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal No.11-62623











Decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is SET ASIDE.Complainant present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.

True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2011 and 2012 is set at $0, residential assessed value of $0.

Complainant appeared in person and by Counsel Richard Collins, Collins, Webster & Rouse, Joplin, Missouri.

Respondent appeared by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jeremy Crowley.

Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation and misclassification, the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2011.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 from the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.A hearing was conducted on March 13, 2012, at the Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, Missouri.

2.Subject Property.The subject property is identified by map parcel number 15-3-5-3.004 and is further identified as County Lane 213, Webb City, Missouri.The property consists of 1.0331 acres.[1]It is a chip and seal road, approximately 50 feet wide, which extends South off of Ivy Road.The Road’s approximate length is approximately 800 feet, including the cul-de-sac at its South end.The road serves four homes on its West side and five homes on its East side. Each of the nine home owners has the right of way over the road for ingress and egress to their homes.[2]

3.Assessment.The Assessor appraised the property at $30,520, an assessed residential value of $5,800.The Board of Equalization sustained the value.[3]

4.Complainant’s Evidence.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of Complainant:




Aerial Photo of Subject Property


2010 Tax Bill on Subject


Tax History on Subject


2011 Change Notice


2011 Informal Hearing Results Notice

Mr. Staggs testified in his own behalf at hearing.His opinion was that the road had no value, because no one would pay money to simply be responsible for maintaining the road.

There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2011, to January 1, 2012, therefore the assessed value for 2011 remains the assessed value for 2012.[4]

Complainant’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2011, to be $0.

5.Respondent’s Evidence.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of Respondent:




PRC – Staggs Property


PRC – Tappana Property[5]


Plat Showing Staggs & Tappana Properties


Aerial Photo of Staggs & Tappana Properties


Lisa Perry, Deputy Assessor, testified on behalf of the Assessor at hearing.

Respondent valued the subject land at a value of $12,120.This was derived from applying a Base Rate of $12,000 to the first acre and $3,500 per acre to the remaining .33 of an acre.Respondent then applied a value for the chip and seal paving of $18,400.

6.Undisputed Material Facts.The following facts are not in dispute from the evidence presented and the testimony at hearing:

a.The subject property (Road) is a 50 foot wide, 800 foot long, more or less, roadway that in 2001 had a chip and seal asphalt surface applied to it.


b.Complainant is the owner of the Road and must keep it maintained at his own cost.


c.The Road provides ingress and egress to the eight properties that front along the Road and the Tappana driveway that connects to the Road on its East side.


d.There are other similar private owned roads in the Jasper County.


e.There has never been a sale of any of these private owned roads.




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.[6]

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.[7]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.[8]In an overvaluation appeal, true value in money for the property being appealed must be determined based upon the evidence on the record that is probative on the issue of the fair market value of the property under appeal.

Presumption In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.[9]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.When some substantial evidence is produced by the Complainant, “however slight”, the presumption disappears and the Hearing Officer, as trier of facts, receives the issue free of the presumption.[10]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.[11]Upon presentation of the Complainant’s evidence[12] the presumption in this appeal disappeared.The case is decided free of the presumption.

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.[13]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[14]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[15]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.


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.[16]


No well informed and well advised purchaser, acting in its own best interest would purchase the subject property.There is no value in exchange for the subject property.

Complainant Proves Value of $0

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, 2011.[17]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.”[18]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.[19]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.[20]

The determination of value in this appeal rests upon common sense and simple logic.The owner’s opinion of zero value is well founded.There is no evidence from which a reasonable and logical conclusion can be reached that anyone would pay good money to purchase the Staggs road.[21]The value which the property has is a value in use to the nine properties for which County Lane 213 provides ingress and egress.However, we do not value property for ad valorem tax purposes in use, property must be valued in exchange.[22]

This is not a case in which this 1.33 acres has escaped taxation.The value which the property has is actually captured by the nine residential properties which enjoy the benefit of having the road.Absent the road, those properties could not have been developed, or at least three of them, because six of the properties would have been landlocked with no access to Ivy Road or any other means of ingress and egress.Although County Lane 213 as it exists under the ownership of Mr. Staggs is not a de jure[23] part of the nine properties it serves for purpose of valuation, it was a de facto[24] part of those properties’ values.There is no basis to allocate the value which the assessor placed on the Road to the nine properties it serves, their fair market values reflect the access of each property to the Road.The subject property is not exempt from taxation under §137.100.5 RSMo and the applicable case law on property being exempt from taxation, it simply has no value in exchange and therefore must be valued at $0.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for Jasper County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2011 and 2012 is set at $0.

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. [25]

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Jasper 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 May 21, 2012.


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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 21st day of May, 2012, to:Richard Collins, 5957 E. 20th Street, Joplin MO 64801, Attorney for Complainant; Jeremy Crowley, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 601 Pearl, Room 100, Joplin, MO 64801, Attorney for Respondent; Connie Hoover, Assessor, 302 S. Main Street, Carthage, MO 64836; Bonnie Earl, Clerk; Stephen Holt, Collector, Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, MO 64836.


Barbara Heller, Legal Coordinator



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


573-751-1341 Fax

[1] Exhibit 1


[2] Exhibits A, 3 & 4; Testimony of Mr. Skaggs and Ms. Perry at hearing.


[3] Complaint for Review of Assessment; BOE Decision, dated 8/4/11;Residential property is assessed at 19% of its appraised value (true value in money, fair market value) – Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[4] Section 137.115.1, RSMo.


[5] The Tappana property referenced in Exhibits 2 , 3 & 4 consists of30 foot wide approximately 200 foot long driveway that leads to a 8.65 acre tract improved by a residence.The Tappana driveway connects to County Lane 213 – the Staggs road.


[6] Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.


[7] Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945


[8] Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[9] 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)


[10] United Missouri Bank of Kansas City v. March, 650 S.W.2d 678, 680-81 (Mo. App. 1983), citing to State ex rel. Christian v. Lawry, 405 S.W.2d 729, 730 (Mo. App. 1966) and cases therein cited.


[11] Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959)


[12] Exhibit A and Testimony of Complainant at hearing


[13] 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).


[14] 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).


[15] Hermel, supra.


[16] 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.


[17] Hermel, supra.


[18] 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).


[19] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


[20] Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).


[21] Anyone who would pay to own County Lane 213 would probably be a good candidate to purchase some of the ocean front property abounding in the Show-Me State or a certain structure in New York City that takes one to and from Brooklyn.


[22] 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).


[23]as a matter of law” Existing by right or according to law – Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, p. 437


[24] “in point of fact” Actual; existing in fact; having effect even though not formally or legally recognized – Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, p. 427


[25] Section 138.432, RSMo.