Larry Tomlin v. Davis (Jasper)

February 26th, 2008

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal Number 07-62525 & 07-62526












Decisions of the Jasper County Board of Equalization reducing the assessments made by the Assessor are SET ASIDE.Hearing Officer finds presumption of correct assessment rebutted. True value in money for the subject properties for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $81,500, residential assessed value of $15,480 for each property.

Complainant appeared pro se.

Respondent appeared by Counsel, Teresa Kenney, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

Case heard and decided 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 appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decisions of the Jasper County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.

The Assessor determined an appraised value for the property in Appeal 07-62525 of $106,950, assessed value of $20,320, as residential property.The Board reduced the value to $105,740, assessed value of $20,090.Complainant proposed a value of $78,000, assessed value of $14,820.

The Assessor determined an appraised value for the property in Appeal 07-62526 of $107,890, assessed value of $20,500, as residential property.The Board reduced the value to $105,710, assessed value of $20,080.Complainant proposed a value of $78,000, assessed value of $14,820.

A hearing was conducted on February 6, 2008, at the Jasper County Courthouse Annex,Carthage,Missouri.

The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.

Complainant’s Evidence

Mr. Tomlin testified as to his opinion of value of $78,000 for each of the properties.This was based upon the sale of a duplex property (802 Connecticut) on the same street in November 2005 for $81,500, and the sale of the 810 Connecticut duplex in January, 2001 for $77,500.The subject properties (818 & 806 Connecticut) have shared driveways with other duplexes.It was Mr. Tomlin’s contention that the 802Connecticut property was worth more because it does not have a shared driveway.

Exhibit A was received into evidence on behalf of Complainant.Exhibit A consisted of (1) a sketch of the location of the six duplex properties (802 – 822) on Connecticut Street; (2) the Multiple Listing Service spawn sheet on the sale of the 810 Connecticut property; and (3) the settlement statement on the November, 2005 sale of the 802 Connecticut duplex.

Respondent’s Evidence

Respondent offered into evidence the appraisal reports (Exhibit 1 in each case) of Ms. Christine Meadows, appraiser for Respondent.The appraiser testified as to her appraisals of the subject properties.Exhibits 1 were received into evidence.Exhibit 1 in Appeal 07-62525 concluded on a value for the subject property of $105,740 based upon a cost analysis.Exhibit 1 in Appeal 07-62526 concluded on a value for the subject property of $105,710 based upon a cost analysis.


1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decisions of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.

2.The subject property in Appeal No. 07-62525 is located at818 Connecticut Street,Joplin,Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 19-1.0-12-20-009-010.000.

3.The subject property in Appeal No. 07-62526 is located at806 Connecticut Street,Joplin,Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 19-1.0-12-20-009-013.000.

4.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2008.

5.Complainant’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by Board.

6.The six duplex units (802 – 822) located on the West side of Connecticut are identical structures all built circa 1977-78.Exhibit A; Exhibit 1.

7.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to establish a fair market value of $78,000 for each of the properties as of January 1, 2007.

8.Fair market value of each of the properties under appeal, as of January 1, 2007, was $81,500.



The Commission has jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, RSMo.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.Section 138.431.4, RSMo.

Presumptions In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof 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). 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.Snider, Hermel & Cupples Hesse, supra.Complainant’s testimony and exhibit was sufficient to rebut the presumption of correct 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.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).It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.Hermel, supra.

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.


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.

Complainant’s Burden of Proof

In order to prevail, Complainant 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, 2007.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, at 897.Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.See, Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).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.Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).See also, 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).

The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).The owner’s opinion in the present appeal is based upon the sales of two other duplex properties onConnecticut Street.Although one sale is somewhat dated, it does posses some probative value.The 2005 sale is clearly relevant and also persuasive to establish fair market value.

Mr. Tomlin’s contention that the 802 property is superior to his properties because it does not share a driveway with another duplex structure and the 806 and 818 properties do have shared driveways is not unreasonable.The problem is that there is no paired sales data upon which the hearing officer can find that this factor would have resulted in a value difference of $3,500 ($81,500 – $78,000 = $3,500), as between the 802 and the 806 and 818 properties.To make such a conclusion and find value as proposed by the taxpayer would be nothing more than an exercise in speculation and conjecture, neither of which are adequate to support a conclusion of value in appeals before the Commission.

This is an unusual situation in which the most recent sale of a Connecticut Street duplex supports a value of $81,500.The six year old sale of another Connecticut Streetduplex (which shares the driveway with subject 806) supports a value of $77,500.The absence of other sales data leaves the Hearing Officer to find value based upon these two sales.This evidence is substantial and persuasive in the Hearing Officer’s mind to conclude the fair market value for each of the properties to be $81,500 as of January 1, 2007, based upon the most recent sale of aConnecticut Street duplex.


The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Board of Equalization forJasperCountyfor the subject tax day are SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 07-62525 for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $15,480.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 07-62526 for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $15,480.

Either party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the appeal is based will result in summary denial.Section 138.432, RSMo 2000.

If an application for review of this decision is made to the Commission, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the Commission and an order to the Collector to release and disburse the impounded taxes.§139.031.3, RSMo.If no application for review is received by the Commission within thirty (30) days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of Jasper County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accord with the decision on the underlying assessment in this appeal.If any or all protested taxes have been disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031(8), RSMo, either party may apply to the circuit court having jurisdiction of the cause for disposition of the protested taxes held by the taxing authority.

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 February 26, 2008.


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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 26thday of February, 2008, to:Larry Tomlin, 1663 S. Oak Drive, Aurora, MO 65605, Complainant; Dean Dankelson, Prosecuting Attorney, 601 Pearl, Room 100, Joplin, MO 64801, Attorney for Respondent; Donald Davis, Assessor, 302 S. Main Street, Carthage, MO 64836; Bonnie Earl, Clerk; Stephen Holt, Collector, Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, MO 64836.



Barbara Heller, Legal Coordinator