Jesus was Homeless, Inc. v. Pennel (Taney)

November 6th, 2013

State Tax Commission of Missouri


JESUS WAS HOMELESS, INC.,                      ) 

Complainant,       )

v.                                                               )                    Appeal No.12-89515

CHUCK PENNEL, ASSESSOR,                         )

TANEY COUNTY, MISSOURI,                       )

Respondent.          ) 



Hearing Officer finds subject property to be exempt under Section 137.100(5) assessment is SET ASIDE, property to be placed on the list of exempt property in the supplemental tax book for Taney County for the tax year of 2012.

Complainant represented by Counsel, David S. Akers, Branson, Missouri.

Respondent represented Jason Coatney, Keck Austin, Springfield, Missouri.

Case submitted on documents and decided by Senior Hearing Officer, W. B. Tichenor.


Complainant appeals the assessment by the Assessor on the ground of exemption from taxation.The Commission takes this appeal to determine whether the subject property is exempt from ad valorem taxation under Section 137.100(5), RSMo for the tax year 2012.

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.[1]

2.  Submission on Documents.  On August 20, 2013, Complainant’s Counsel filed documents with the Hearing Officer, with his cover letter stating “I spoke with Mr. Strahan’s attorney, Jason Coatney, and he indicated he had no objection to me submitting the enclosed materials and requesting that you make a decision in this matter without the need of a hearing.”

Case is submitted on Complainant’s Exhibits and evidentiary hearing is deemed to have been waived.

3.  Identification and Description of Subject Property.[2]  The subject property is identified as a 2011 INTE Victory Trailer – 4RACS0813BC030533.It is further identified as Assessor’s Account No. 64817.[3]

4.  Assessment.[4]  The Assessor assessed the subject property at an assessed value of $680, or a true value in money of $2,040.[5]

5.  Complainant’s Evidence.  Complainant offered into evidence the following:




Attorney’s Cover Letter


Affidavit of Bryan Stallings


IRS 501 ( c) (3) Exemption Letter, dated 4/20/09


Missouri Sales & Use Tax Exemption Letter, dated 7/2/12


Articles of Incorporation for Complainant, dated 4/20/09


Bylaws of Complainant

 Exhibits A through F are received into evidence.

6.  Purpose, Character and Use.  The following specific Findings of Fact are made relative to the general purpose and character of Complainant and the use made of the subject property:

a.  Complainant’s Legal Status.[6]  Complainant is incorporated under the laws of the state of Missouri as a General Not-For-Profit (Nonprofit) Corporation.Incorporation as a nonprofit corporation does not automatically qualify the Complainant’s property as exempt for ad valorem tax purposes.

b.  Corporation Purpose.[7]  The Complainant was formed for charitable, educational and religious purposes and more particularly for the purpose of distribution of food to the homeless and providing shelter to the homeless. The Complainant’s stated corporate purpose does not automatically qualify its property as exempt for ad valorem tax purposes.

c.  501 (c) (3) Status.[8]  Complainant has been granted exemption from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code by letter dated 4/20/09.Being a 501 (c) (3) entity does not automatically qualify the Complainant’s property as exempt for ad valorem tax purposes.

d.  Ownership of Subject Property.[9]  The subject property is owned by Complainant.Ownership of the property under appeal by Complainant, as a nonprofit entity, is one of the requirements for the property to be granted tax exempt status, but does not automatically qualify the Academy’s property as exempt for ad valorem tax purposes.

e.  Use of Subject Property[10].  The subject property is used exclusively for the benefit of Complainant and the charitable purposes for which the corporation was formed.

7.  Establishment of Charitable Use.  Complainant’s evidence was substantial and persuasive establish the subject property to be exempt from ad valorem taxes under section 137.100 (5) RSMo.

8.  Respondent’s Evidence.  Respondent had no burden of proof in the case, and did not file any exhibits.

9.  No Rebuttal Evidence.  There was no evidence laid on the record that would provide any rational basis to rebut any of the factors and elements found in FINDING OF FACT 6.



The Commission has jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.[11]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.[12]Assessing a property the use of which qualifies it for exemption from ad valorem taxation would be an unlawful assessment requiring correcting.

Burden of Proof

Complainant has the burden to present substantial evidence to establish that the subject vehicle is exempt from taxation.The Hearing Officer concludes based upon the Findings heretofore made that Complainant has satisfied the burden to establish exemption.

Complainant seeks exemption of its property from taxation pursuant to Section 137.100(5):

“The following subjects are exempt from taxation for state, county or localpurposes: . . . 

(5) All property, real and personal, actually and regularly used exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, or for purposes purely charitable and not held for private or corporate profit, except that the exemption herein granted does not include real property not actually used or occupied for the purpose of the organization but held or used as investment even though the income or rentals received therefrom is used wholly for religious, educational or charitable purposes;” 

The evidence establishes an exclusive use of the subject vehicle by Complainant in carrying out its charitable purpose.Therefore, the property is exempt from taxation under 137.100 (5).


The assessment of the subject property made by the Assessor for Taney County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.

The county clerk is ordered to enter the subject property on the list of exempt property into the supplemental tax book for Taney County for the tax year 2012.

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 appeal is based will result in summary denial. [13]

The Collector of Taney 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 October 1, 2013.


W. B. Tichenor

Senior Hearing Officer


[1] Appeal is on a vehicle, Complainant mailed Complaint for Review of Assessment before 12/31/12.12 CSR 30-3.010 (B) 1 (b) & 2

 [2] Complaint for Review of Assessment and Attachment thereto

 [3] Other motor vehicles were identified in Exhibit B, however, the letter, dated 12/27/12, signed by Bryan Stallings, President of Complainant established that the subject property was the only vehicle owned by Complainant as of 1/1/11, the other vehicles were acquired during 2012 and would not be subject to assessment for 2012.The Commission is without jurisdiction to address any 2013 assessment on the other vehicles in this appeal.

 [4] 2012 Personal property Tax Bill, attached to Complaint for Review of Assessment

 [5] Personal Property is assessed at one-third of its appraised or true value in money – Section 137.115, RSMo.

 [6] Exhibits E & F

 [7] Exhibit E

 [8] Exhibit C

 [9] Exhibits B

 [10] Exhibit B

 [11]Article X, Section 14, Missouri Constitution of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.460(2), RSMo.

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

 [13] Section 138.432, RSMo.