State Tax Commission of Missouri
LAWRENCE & LAURA KICE,)
v.) Appeals Numbers 09-73001 & 09-73002
ROBERT RAINES, ASSESSOR,)
MORGAN COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decisions of the Morgan County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessments made by the Assessor are SET ASIDE.True value in money for the subject properties for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $215,000, residential assessed value of $40,850, for each property.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared pro se.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, 2009.
Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Morgan County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of each of the subject properties.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $220,000, assessed value of $41,800, as residential property.Complainant proposed a value of $185,000, assessed value of $35,150.A hearing was conducted on October 20, 2009, at the Morgan County Courthouse, Versailles, Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Morgan County Board of Equalization.
2.Complainants’ Evidence.Complainant Lawrence Kice testified on behalf of Complainants.Exhibit A was received into evidence in Appeal 09-73001.Exhibit B was received into evidence in Appeal 09-73002.Exhibit C was received into evidence in both appeals.
Exhibits A & B consisted of the following documents for each of the respective properties: Complaint for Review of Assessment; BOE Decision Letter; STC Acknowledge Letter; 2007 Tax Statement; 2008 Tax Statement; 2006 Change Notice; 2009 Change Notice; Page 20 of Declaration of restrictions for Millstone Subdivision; Boat Slip Lease; Garage Space Lease; 2005 MLS Listing Sheet on Subject Properties;MLS Sale Sheets on two properties; MLS Listing Sheets on two properties offered for sale; Sale Flyer on Millstone Condo; and advertisement on Millstone Waterfront Condominiums.
Exhibit C consisted of a two page typed statement of Complainants setting forth their position in support of a value of $185,000
3.Subject Property.The subject properties are located at 18132 Millstone Cover Road, Gravois Mills, Missouri.The properties are identified respectively by Map Parcel numbers 21-4-18-3-4-12-32 and 21-4-18-3-4-12-31.The properties are condominium units located in the Millstone Cove Development and they are units 324 and 323 respectively.
4.Boat Slips and Garages.Associated with each Unit is a Boat Slip and a Garage Space, under a ninety-nine year lease at a rate of $15,000, plus a quarterly assessment for maintenance and upkeep.It is the practice of the Assessor to assess all boat docks as part of the real property with which they are associated or identified.The true value in money of each Boat Slip and each Garage Space, for purposes of assessment of Complainants’ properties, is $15,000.Each boat slip and garage space is part of the property under appeal.
5.No New Construction and Improvement.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2009, to the time of the hearing and the owners have no plans for any new construction and improvements prior to January 1, 2010.Therefore the value set for tax year 2009 will remain the same for tax year 2010, unless there is new construction and improvement prior to January 1, 2010.
6.Respondent Stipulates to Value of Units.Respondent stipulated on the record that the value of each unit per se would be $185,000 and agreed to have the Hearing Officer determine how the valuation and assessment of the boat slip and garage for each unit should be handled, in light of decisions rendered in 2008.
7.Value of Properties Under Appeal.The value of each condominium unit is set at $185,000, the value of each boat slip is set at $15,000 and the value of each garage space is set at $15,000.The total true value in money of each subject property, i.e. condominium unit, boat slip and garage space, is $215,000, assessed at the residential rate of 19%, equals an assessed value per property of $40,850.
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.
Official and Judicial Notice
Courts will take judicial notice of their own records in the same cases.In addition, courts may take judicial notice of records in earlier cases when justice requires or when it is necessary for a full understanding of the instant appeal. Courts may take judicial notice of their own records in prior proceedings involving the same parties and basically the same facts.Official notice of the Decision in Neville v. Raines, STC Appeal No. 08-73001, 11/21/08 is taken.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.The presumption in favor of the Board is not evidence.A presumption simply accepts something as true without any substantial proof to the contrary.
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.The Board presumption was rebutted in that the value for the Boat Slips and Garage Spaces was established to be $15,000 each or $30,000 per unit over and above the true value in money of the individual units per se.
Boat Slip & Garage Space Assessment
The only issue in these valuations is how the boat slips and garage spaces are to be assessed.The slips and spaces are under ninety-nine year leases.If Complainants sell either unit, the slips and spaces must be transferred to a unit owner at Millstone Condominium.If it is not possible to sell the slips to a Millstone unit owner, the Owner’s Association must purchase the slips for $15,000 each or waive the requirement that the slips be assigned only to a Millstone unit owner.The base rental is $15,000, plus a quarterly maintenance assessment by the owner’s association.
The condominium association is not being taxed for the boat dock slips or the garage spaces that are assigned to or associated with given condominium units.Complainants’ argument is that the dock should be considered as personal property and assessed against the association.There is no assessment of a fee for taxes on boat docks or garage spaces by the association.
The uniform practice in Morgan County is that boat slips and garage spaces are assessed as real property along with the real estate, i.e. condominium units to which the dock and garage space are attached.This provides for a uniform and equitable assessment.It also reduces the cost to the county of assessing and billing for hundreds of boat slips and garage spaces on the Lake of the Ozarks.The assessment of condominium boat slips andgarage spaces as personal property would result in an increased tax burden for taxpayers.In the present instance, the $15,000 slip if assessed as personal property would have an assessed value of $5,000, instead of $2,850 as real property.The same would be true of the garage space.If Unit Owners in Millstone were not assessed for their docks, it is obvious that the homeowners association would have to impose special assessment fees to cover the increased tax burden.The lease of the boat slip and garage space was part and parcel of the sale transaction involving the two units under appeal.It is appropriate to include the value of the slip and garage space as part of the value of each unit.
The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for Morgan County for the subject tax day are SET ASIDE.
The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal 09-73001 for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $40,850.
The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal 09-73002 for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $40,850.
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.
The Collector of Morgan 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 November 19, 2009.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
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 19thday of November, 2009, to:Lawrence Kice, 18132 Millstone Cove Rd., #324, Gravois Mills, MO 65037, Complainant; Marvin Opie, Prosecuting Attorney, Morgan County Justice Center, Versailles, MO 65084, Attorney for Respondent; Robert Raines, Assessor, 100 East Newton, Versailles, MO 65084; Cathy Daniels, Clerk, 100 East Newton, Versailles, MO 65084; Kathy Francis, Collector, P.O. Box 315, Versailles, MO 65084.
 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).