STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|v.||)||Appeal No. 16-10011|
|JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR||)|
|ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization (BOE) sustaining the assessment made by Jake Zimmerman, Assessor, St. Louis County, Missouri, (Respondent) is AFFIRMED. The evidentiary hearing in this case was scheduled for November 30, 2016, at the St. Louis County Government Administration Building in Clayton, Missouri. Complainant failed to appear at the evidentiary hearing and failed to prosecute the appeal. Respondent appeared by Counsel Steven Robson. Senior Hearing Officer Amy S. Westermann presiding.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2015.
Initially, Respondent appraised the subject property at $531,900 true market value, $101,060 assessed value, as residential property. The BOE sustained Respondent’s valuation of the subject property. Complainant appealed, on the ground of overvaluation. In his Complaint for Review of Assessment, Complainant proposed a value of $375,900 true market value ($71,421 assessed value).
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the BOE.
- The subject property is located at 1039 Barberry Lane, Kirkwood, Missouri. The property is identified by Parcel/Locator number 25O630396.
- By Order, this case was set for an Evidentiary Hearing at 3:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at the St. Louis County Government Administration Building, 41 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri. Complainant had attended a Prehearing Conference on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, and had met with the Senior Hearing Officer and Counsel for Respondent. Complainant had agreed to the scheduled date and time for the Evidentiary Hearing. The Order was provided to Complainant during the Prehearing Conference and informed Complainant that if he could not attend the Evidentiary Hearing and needed a continuance a request must be made in writing and filed with the Commission no later than five days before the hearing date. Complainant did not file any request for a continuance. Complainant did not communicate with the Senior Hearing Officer or the Commission that he would not be attending the Evidentiary Hearing as scheduled.
- The evidentiary hearing in Appeal No. 16-10011 was not held as scheduled at 3:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at the St. Louis County Government Administration Building in Clayton, Missouri, because Complainant did not appear and did not request a continuance. Respondent appeared by Counsel Steven Robson, who announced ready for trial. Cause was announced and a grace period for Complainant to appear was provided.
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 Senior 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.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith, and correctness of assessment by the county Board of 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). In order to prevail, complainants must rebut the presumption of correct assessment by presenting substantial and persuasive evidence as to the proper taxation of the subject property on the tax day at issue. Hermel, 564 S.W.2d at 895; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959). There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. In an appeal before the Commission, the taxpayer still bears the burden of proof because the taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief. Therefore, the Complainant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence 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, 161 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375, 379 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003); Daly v. P. D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 648 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002); Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. W.D. 1991).
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by Respondent and sustained by the Board of Equalization for St. Louis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2016 is set at $101,060 assessed value ($531,900 true market value).
Application for Review
Complainant 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 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. Section 138.432 RSMo 2000.
The Collector of St. Louis County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a 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 2000, as amended.
Any Finding of Fact that is a Conclusion of Law or Decision shall be so deemed. Any Decision that is a Finding of Fact or Conclusion of Law shall be so deemed.
SO ORDERED this 13th day of December, 2016.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Amy S. Westermann
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been electronically mailed or sent by U.S. Mail on this 13th day of December, 2016 to:
Joe Moore, Complainant, 1039 Barberry Lane, Kirkwood, MO 63122 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Robson, Attorney for Respondent, email@example.com
Jake Zimmerman, Assessor/Respondent, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Louis County Collector’s Office, email@example.com
Contact Information for State Tax Commission:
Missouri State Tax Commission
P.O. Box 146
301 W. High Street, Room 840
Jefferson City, MO 65102