Loren Winter v. Rick Kessinger, Green County Assessor

July 18th, 2014

State Tax Commission of Missouri


Complainant, )  
) Appeal Number 13-33021






Decision of the County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is SET ASIDE. Substantial and persuasive evidence was presented to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.

True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2013 and 2014 is set at $224,000, residential assessed value of $42,560.

Complainant appeared in person. Respondent appeared by attorney Aaron Klusmeyer.

Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Greene County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2013. The value as of January 1 of the odd numbered year remains the value as of January 1 of the following even numbered year unless there is new construction and improvement to the property. Section 137.115.1 RSMo


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


  1. Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Greene County Board of Equalization.
  2. Evidentiary Hearing. The Evidentiary Hearing was held on July 8, 2014 at the Greene County Administration Building/Courthouse, Springfield, Missouri.
  3. Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by map parcel number 19-27-400-004. It is further identified as 3895 E Pioneer Rd, Rogersville, MO
  4. Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of a 3.12 acre tract of land improved by a single family, residential ranch style home of average quality, with 1,679 square feet of living area on the main level and 1,594 square feet finished below. Amenities include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplace, covered porch, patios, and three car garage. The property also has a large barn/workshop.
  5. Assessment. The Assessor appraised the property at $ 241,500, an assessed residential value of $45,880. The Board of Equalization reduced the valuation to $233,000, an assessed residential value of $44,270.



  1. Complainant’s Evidence.
Exhibit Description
A Appraisal Report
B Land Sales Table
C Photos of Fireplace
D Photos of 3845 Pioneer Rd
E Photos of 3845 Pioneer Rd
F Photos of 6224 S. Farm Rd.
G Photos of 6224 S. Farm Rd.
H Photos of 6224 S. Farm Rd.
I Photos of 6224 S. Farm Rd.
J Photos of 2539 Melbourne RD


  1. No Evidence of New Construction & Improvement. There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2013, to January 1, 2014, therefore the assessed value for 2013 remains the assessed value for 2014. Section 137.115.1, RSMo.
  2. Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered into evidence Exhibit 1 – Appraisal Report dated 1/1/13 – Michael Crawford of the Greene County Assessor’s Office and Exhibit 2 Building Regulations. The Exhibits were received into evidence without objection.
  3. Presumption of Correct Assessment Rebutted – Value Established. The evidence presented by the parties was substantial and persuasive to both rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and to establish the fair market value of the subject property to be $224,000, assessed residential value of $42,560.



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. Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.

Presumption In Appeal

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). 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. Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).

Complainants’ Burden of Proof


In order to prevail, Complainants 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, 2013. Hermel, supra. There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayer in a Commission appeal still bears the burden of proof. The taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief.   Therefore, the Complainant bears the burden of proving 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 (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); Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. 1991). A valuation which does not reflect the fair market value (true value in money) of the property under appeal is an unlawful, unfair and improper 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).  True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use. Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 S.W.3d 645, 649 (Mo. App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 S.W.2d 376, 380 (Mo. App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).

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.


  1. Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.


  1. A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.


  1. Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.


  1. 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.


Methods of Valuation

Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission. It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case.  See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra; Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975). Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value.   St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (App. E.D. 1993); Aspenhof Corp. v. STC, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (App. E.D. 1990); Quincy Soybean Company, Inc., v. Lowe, 773 S.W.2d 503, 504 (App. E.D. 1989), citing Del-Mar Redevelopment Corp v. Associated Garages, Inc., 726 S.W.2d 866, 869 (App. E.D. 1987);and State ex rel. State Highway Comm’n v. Southern Dev. Co., 509 S.W.2d 18, 27 (Mo. Div. 2 1974).

The Supreme Court of Missouri has also held that evidence of the actual sales price of property is admissible to establish value at the time of an assessment, provided that such evidence involves a voluntary purchase not too remote in time. The actual sale price is a method that may be considered for estimating true value. St. Joe Minerals Corp., supra


Both the Complainant’s certified appraiser and the Assessor’s Office employee developed the cost and the sales comparison approach to value. The sales comparison approach is generally recognized to be the most reliable methodology to be utilized in the valuation of single-family residences. Both reviewed sales of properties located at 3845 E. Pioneer Road and 6224 S. Farm Road. The comparable property on Pioneer Road is next door to the subject. The comparable property sold in the later part of 2012 for $217,000. The comparable has 2 additional bedrooms. The appraisers made adjustments to the comparable’s sale price for an estimate of value of $210,900 by the county and $207,906 by the Complainant’s appraiser. The property on Farm Road is also in close proximity to the subject. The appraisers made adjustments for additional land, age/condition, square footage and basement finished area. The resulting estimate of value after adjustments was $232,600 and $207,884 by the Complainant’s appraiser.

The Complainant’s appraiser’s final opinion of value was $207,500. The Assessor’s appraiser’s final opinion of value was $230,000. Both appraisers had flaws in their appraisals. The Complainant’s appraiser failed to consider the contributory value of the large shop/garage on the subject property. The Assessor’s appraiser was not as familiar with the subject property and additional adjustments should be made using the correct square footage of the subject, etc.

The neighboring property provides the most persuasive indication of value. The Complainant’s appraiser’s indication of value of that property was approximately $208,000 which is supported by his cost estimate of $208,320. The addition of the outbuilding should be included in the valuation estimate. The County estimated the value of the outbuilding was $21,700 and made adjustments to comparable 2 of $16,000 for the lack of the outbuilding; the Complainant’s appraiser estimated a contributory value of $5,000. Using an estimate of value of $208,000 and the County’s contributory value of $16,000, the resulting valuation would be $224,000.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Greene County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2013 and 2014 is set at $42,560 residential assessed value.

Application for Review

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 for this Decision. 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, 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 application for review is based will result in summary denial. Section 138.432, RSMo

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Greene 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 this 18th day of July, 2014.




Maureen Monaghan

Hearing Officer


 Certificate of Service


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 18th day of July, 2014 to: Loren Winter, 3895 E. Pioneer Rd., Rogersville, MO 65742, Complainant; Theodore L. Johnson III, 901 St Louis St., 20th Fl., Springfield, MO 65806, Attorney for Respondent; Rick Kessinger Greene County Assessor, 940 Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802; Richard T. Struckhoff Greene County Clerk 940 Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802; Scott F. Payne Greene County Collector, 940 Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802.


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator