Kevin & Angela Smith v. Chrissy Gillis, Assessor Putnam County

January 30th, 2018



             Complainant )  
v. ) Appeal No. 17-80500
  ) Parcel/Loc. No. 11073500301501
Respondent )  






The decision Chrissy Gillis, Assessor, Putnam County, Missouri (Respondent) determining that the subject property was not entitled to exemption for tax year 2017 is AFFIRMED.  The evidentiary hearing in this case was scheduled for January 17, 2018, at the Putnam County Courthouse in Unionville, Missouri.  Kevin and Angela Smith (Complainants) failed to appear at the evidentiary hearing and failed to prosecute the appeal.


The Commission takes this appeal to determine whether the subject property is taxable or exempt for tax year 2017.


Complainants purchased the subject property on September 15, 2017.  Respondent appraised the subject property at $119,440 true value in money (TVM), as residential property.  Complainants appealed, on the ground of exemption.


  1. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission (STC).
  2. The subject property is located at 219 N. 19th Street, Unionville, Putnam County, Missouri. The property is identified by Parcel/Locator number 11073500301501.
  3. On December 1, 2017, an Order was issued setting an evidentiary date of January 17, 2018 and informing Complainants that if they 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. The Order also advised Complainants of the consequences if they failed to appear.  On January 10, 2018, the undersigned sent a reminder email regarding the scheduled January 17, 2018 Evidentiary Hearing and again reminded Complainants of the consequences if they failed to appear.  Complainants did not file any timely request for a continuance of such date.
  4. The evidentiary hearing in this appeal was commenced at the designated time. As stated above, Complainants did not appear. Respondent appeared personally.



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 BOE 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, a 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 determination by Respondent that the subject property was not exempt from ad valorem taxation for tax year 2017 is AFFIRMED.

Application for Review

Complainants 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 may result in summary denial.  Section 138.432 RSMo 2000.

The Collector of Putnam 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 January 30, 2018.


John Treu

Senior Hearing Officer


Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 30th day of January, 2018, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainants, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator