Joe & Kathleen Moody v. Rouse (Putnam)

December 29th, 2011

State Tax Commission of Missouri





v.) Appeal Number 11-80501









Decision of the Putnam County Board of Equalization is SET ASIDE.True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2011 and 2012 is set at $502,850, residential assessed value of $95,540.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared in person and by Counsel, Tom Keedy, Prosecuting Attorney, Putnam County.

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


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Putnam County Board of Equalization, which reduced 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.Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Putnam County Board of Equalization.A hearing was conducted on December 8, 2011, at the Putnam County Courthouse, Unionville, Missouri.

2.Assessment.The Assessor appraised the property at $573,240, a residential assessed value of $108,915.[1]The Board of Equalization reduced the true value in money to $507,766,[2] assessed value of $96,476.The Assessor after making the additional changes ordered by the Board set the appraised value at $502,850, an assessed value of $95,540.

3.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 28025 Dogwood Dr., Unionville, Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 1102210003118.The property consists of 1.269 acres.It is improved by a one-story, single-family home with 2,030 square feet of living area, built in 1993.[3]

4.Complainant’s Evidence.Both Complainants testified in their own behalf.Their opinion of the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2011, was $425,000.Exhibit A consisting of a cover page and 27 pages was offered into evidence.See, Complainant’s Exhibit, infra.

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 not 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 $425,000.

5.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent testified in his own behalf.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of Respondent.




BOE Change Form, dated 7/27/11


BOE Letter to Assessor, dated 7/27/11


State Tax Commission Compliance Letter, dated 11/30/10


Property Record Card on Subject – after Assessor’s changes as per BOE Order




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.[5]

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.[6]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.[7]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.[8]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.[9]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.[10]Complainants failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the value of $425,000 as proposed in the Complaint for Review of Assessment.

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.[11]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[12]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[13]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.[14]

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.[15]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.[16]Complainants did not present any valuation methodology based upon a recognized and accepted appraisal approach.Respondent’s valuation was based upon a mass appraisal cost methodology.

Complainants Fail to Prove Value of $425,000

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]

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 owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.[21]The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.[22]

Complainant’s Exhibit

Complainants offered into evidence Exhibit A.The description of the various pages and the objections and rulings are as follows:[23]

Page 1 – Complainant’s Statement.Objection overruled, received into evidence.This document presents general information and background relative to the appeal.It however, provided no relevant information as to the true value in money of the subject property as of January 1, 2011, other than that the Board had appraised the property at $507,766.

Page 2 – BOE Change Form to Assessor.No objection, received into evidence.Document is the same as Exhibit 1.Only provides evidence of BOE value of $507,766.No evidence to establish value of $425,000.

Page 3 – BOE Decision Form.No objection, received into evidence.Provided no evidence to establish a value of $425,000.

Page 4 – STC Compliance Order.No objection, received into evidence.Document is the same as Exhibit 3.Provided no evidence to establish a value of $425,000.

Page 5 – Lake Thunderhead Real Estate Market.Objection – hearsay and relevance.Sustained, excluded.The document provides general information on the sales activity in the subject property’s neighborhood.However, there was no specific information from which a conclusion of value of $425,000 could be derived.

Page 6 – Distressed Sales at Lake Thunderhead.Objection – hearsay.Overruled, received.Document was from data which Mrs. Moody had collected as a real estate agent.However, no correlation was made to establish that the sales prices presented would be reflective of what the Complainants’ property would have brought on January 1, 2011.

Page 7 – Kathy Moody Real Estate Experience.Objection –hearsay and relevance.Overruled, received.The document provided information as to the background and experience of Mrs. Moody as a real estate agent/broker.However, the expertise presented was no sufficient to sustain the owner’s opinion of value of $425,000 absent the presentation of an accepted appraisal methodology.

Page 8 – America Underwater-The Week-12/9/11.Objection – hearsay and relevance.Sustained, excluded.Magazine and newspaper articles on the general state of America’s housing market are simply irrelevant hearsay.They provide no material evidence to establish the value of any single property.No evidence of the fair market value as of January 1, 2011 for the Complainants’ property.

Pages 9-13 – S & P Indices – Nation Home Price in 2011.Objection – hearsay and relevance.Sustained, excluded.Like other news articles, a graph showing what the housing market has done over the past several years is irrelevant hearsay.The document contained no evidence to establish the value proposed for Complainants’ property.

Pages 14-15 – Complainants’ Observations of the Putnam County BOE proceedings for 2011.Objection – hearsay and relevance.Sustained, excluded.What occurred at the BOE and

what the observations of individuals might be to the proceedings has no relevance to establish value of any property.

Page 16 – Putnam County Assessor Residential Depreciation.No objection, received.The document provides the depreciation table for use by the Assessor.There is no information from which a conclusion of value for the property under appeal can be made.

Page 17 – 2010 State Tax Commission Final Ratio Study-Ratio Report.No objection, received.No information to establish fair market value of the subject property.

Pages 18-20 – Vanguard Appraisal letter to Assessor, dated 9/15/04 on land valuation at Lake Thunderhead.Objection – hearsay and relevance.Objection sustained, excluded.Document provided no basis for making a determination of value on the subject property.

Pages 21 – 27 – Property Record Card on Subject, dated 11/29/11.No objection, received.Document provided no information to set a value of $425,000 as proposed by Complainants.Document showed the Assessor’s corrected value of $502,850.

Complainant’s presented no evidence to establish that as of January 1, 2011 that a willing buyer and seller would have paid $425,000 for the property under appeal.Accordingly, they failed to meet their burden of proof to both rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and to establish the fair market value of their property.

Respondent’s Valuation Affirmed

Respondent, in compliance with the Order of the BOE, made additional adjustments to the appraised value of the subject.This resulted in a further reduction in the appraised value from $507,766 as set by the Board to $502,850, an assessed residential value of $95,540.This valuation having been made in compliance with the Board of Equalization’s Order establishes

the value under the mass appraisal cost valuation utilized by the Assessor.Therefore, the Assessor’s corrected value of $502,850 is affirmed.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Putnam 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 $95,540.

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.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, MO65102-0146, 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. [24]

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Putnam 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 29, 2011.



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 29th day of December, 2011, to:Joe Moody, 28025 Dogwood Drive, Unionville, MO 63565, Complainant; Tom Keedy, Prosecuting Attorney, 1802 Lincoln Street, P.O. Box 205, Attorney for Respondent; Paul Rouse, Assessor, Putnam County Courthouse, Room 201, Unionville, MO 63565-1600; Chrystal Perkins, Clerk, Putnam County Courthouse, Unionville, MO 63565; Sharon Thompson Parks, Treasurer & ex officio Collector, Putnam County Courthouse, Room 200, Unionville, MO 63565.


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] Residential property is assessed at 19% of its true value in money (appraised or fair market value).Section 137.115, RSMo

[2] The Board instructed the Assessor to further adjust the true value in money by making the following changes:correct decks and patios, adjust map factor from 1.2 to 1.0, correct depreciation on house and garage to reflect age by the tables.Exhibit 1.

[3] Further description and amenities are provided in Exhibit 4 and pages 21 – 27 of Exhibit A.

[4] Section 137.115.1, RSMo.

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

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


[7] Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[8] 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)


[9] 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.


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


[11] 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).


[12] 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).


[13] Hermel, supra.


[14] 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.


[15] See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra; Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975).


[16] 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. Div. 2 1974).


[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] Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).


[22]Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).


[23] Excluded documents are maintained in the Commission file on the appeal as an offer of proof, but no as part of the evidentiary record upon which a determination of value can be made.


[24] Section 138.432, RSMo.