State Tax Commission of Missouri
JOYCE ANN MARTIN,)
v.) Appeal No.07-12205
PHILIP MUEHLHEAUSLER, ASSESSOR,)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Complainant failed to prosecute the appeal and to comply with Commission Orders.Respondent appeared by Counsel Paula J. Lemerman.Appeal dismissed by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Complainant appealed, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $500,000, assessed value of $95,000, as residential property.Complainant proposed a value of $300,000, assessed value of $57,000 in the Complaint for Review of Assessment.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 9951 Bauer Road, St. Louis, Missouri.The property is identified by locator number 29L110521.
3.a.By Order issued March 28, 2008, case was set for evidentiary hearing at
11:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 8, 2008.
b.Complainant requested by letter dated June 25, 2008, that the evidentiary hearing be continued.By Order issued June 30, 2008, Complainant’s request for continuance was granted.
c.By Order issued July 21, 2008, case was set for evidentiary hearing at 11:20 a.m., Thursday, August 14, 2008.
d.Complainant requested by letter dated August 1, 2008, that the evidentiary hearing be continued.Evidentiary hearing was cancelled by Order, dated August 5, 2008.
e.By Order issued September 12, 2008, case was set for evidentiary hearing at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, 2008.
f.Complainant requested by letter dated October 13, 2008 that the evidentiary hearing be continued.
g.By Order issued October 17, 2008, evidentiary hearing set for October 22, 2008 was cancelled.Complainant was ordered as follows: “… to file with the Hearing Officer, copy to Attorney for Respondent, all documents to be offered in Complainant’s case in chief to establish a true value in money (fair market value) as of January 1, 2007, the value of $300,000 for the property under appeal (Locator No. 29L110521 – 9951 Bauer Road, St. Louis, Missouri) as set forth in the Complaint for Review of Assessment.Complainant shall also provide a narrative statement setting forth the basis for her opinion of true value in money and any explanation of the documents filed as to how they establish the market value of the subject property as of 1/1/07.Complainant’s documents and statement are to be filed on or before November 18, 2008.”
h.Complainant requested by letter dated October 20, 2008 a further continuance and setting of another date for an evidentiary hearing.
i.By Order issued October 23, 2008, the following was ordered in the appeal:
“The Order issued October 17, 2008, giving Complainant until November 18, 2008, to mailing her documents and a narrative statement in “explanation of the documents” remains in effect.Complainant shall submit a list of the documents, the individual documents shall be identified by letters in sequence (A, B, C, etc), photographs are to be copied to or affixed to letter size paper, with a brief description below each photographs of what is depicted.A group of photographs shall be submitted as a single exhibit.Complainant’s typewritten narrative shall provide a statement explaining what each document is offered to establish and how it relates to establishing the fair market value of the property under appeal.
“After review of the Complainant’s documents and typewritten narrative statement, the Hearing Officer will determine if Complainant’s evidence meets the burden of proof to make a prima facie case for the relief sought.If the Hearing Officer determines that he has need of further oral explanation in order to understand Complainant’s documents he will then set the case a fourth time for an evidentiary hearing.
“Failure of Complainant to comply with the Order and the Order of October 17th, will result in dismissal of the appeal.”
j.Complainant made no filings as ordered on or before November 18, 2008.
4.Complainant failed to prosecute her appeal and to comply with the Commission Order.
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.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.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.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.
Dismissal of Appeal
A Hearing Officer on his own motion may dismiss an appeal for failure of prosecution and failure to comply with the orders of the Commission.Appeal is dismissed for failure of prosecution and failure to comply with the orders of the Commission.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $95,000.
Complainant may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision on or before January 7, 2009.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, MO65102-0146, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.
The Collector ofSt. 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.
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 8, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
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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 8thday of December, 2008, to:Joyce Ann Martin, 9951 Bauer Rd, St. Louis, MO 63128, Complainant; Paula Lemerman, Associate County Counselor, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105, Attorney for Respondent; Philip Muehlheausler, Assessor, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105; John Friganza, Collector, County Government Center, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.
 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).