State Tax Commission of Missouri
LOUIS & BONNIE PFLECKL,)
v.) Appeal Number 07-32548
SCOTT SHIPMAN, ASSESSOR,)
ST. CHARLES COUNTY,MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor, AFFIRMED.Hearing Officer finds true value in money for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 to be $485,000, assessed value of $92,150.
Complainant appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared by Counsel, Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor.
Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.
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 decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $508,900, assessed value of $96,690, as residential property.The Board of Equalization reduced the appraised value to $485,000, assessed value of $92,150 as residential.Complainant proposed a value of $440,000, assessed value of $83,600.A hearing was conducted on January 8, 2008, at theSt. CharlesCountyAdministrationBuilding,St. Charles,Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
The following exhibits were offered into evidence on behalf of the Complainant.
Exhibit A – E-mail
Exhibit B -Correspondence with Missouri Bank
Exhibit C -Compact Disc of BOE hearing
Exhibit D – Photograph and narrative
Exhibit E – Drawing of proposed construction on subject property
Exhibit F – Cost Figures as of January 1, 2004
Exhibit G – Cost Figures as of January 1, 2005
Exhibit H, J, K, L – photographs
Exhibit I – Boarding Data Sheet
Exhibit M – Kersting Farm Roads Issue including e-mails
Exhibit N – Correspondence with Cornerstone
Exhibit 0 – Uniform Residential Appraisal Report
Respondent object to Exhibits A, B, C, E, F, G, I, M, and N.Said objections were sustained and exhibits were excluded from evidence.
Exhibit D was received into evidence as to the photograph only.
Exhibits H, J, K, L and O were received into evidence.
Testimony of Louis Pfleckl.
Testimony of Thomas Schulte
The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of the Respondent.
Exhibit 1 – Appraisal of Subject Property
All Exhibits were received into evidence.
Testimony of Lynne Mesey.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 126 Kersting Farms Drive, O’Fallon, Missouri.The property is identified by locator number T020200024.The property consists of 4.10 acre lot improved by a brick, stucco and frame one story atrium, single-family structure of average quality construction.The house was built in 2003 and appears to be in good condition.The residence has a total of eight rooms, which includes four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and contains approximately 3,380 square feet of living area.There is a full basement, partially finished and a three-car built-in garage and a three-car detached garage.
3.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement in 2007.
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.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.
Board of Equalization Presumption
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 in favor of the Board is not evidence.A presumption simply accepts something as true without any substantial proof to the contrary.In an evidentiary hearing before the Commission, the valuation determined by the Board, even if simply to sustain the value made by the Assessor, is accepted as true only until there is substantial and persuasive evidence to the contrary.The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer presents substantial and persuasive evidence to establish that the assessor’s or Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 348 (Mo. 2005); Hermel, Inc., supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696 (Mo. 1959).
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 is 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 each 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.
Burden of Proof
In order to prevail, a party 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).
Thomas Schulte, Certified Residential Appraiser, testified for the Complainant.The appraiser testified that the difficulty in appraising the subject property is that it is a large house in which a buyer would expect above average quality construction but the subject property is of average quality.The appraiser developed a cost and a sales comparison approach.Using the cost approach, the appraiser determined a land value of $100,000 and a value for improvements of $364,665 for a total value of $464,665.
The appraiser also used the sales comparison approach.The appraiser approached the appraisal by using properties of equivalent quality but smaller and making adjustments for size.The three comparables used by the appraiser were located within two miles of the subject property and sold between June and December 2006.The comparables were smaller than the subject property by 600 to 1000 square feet.The appraiser made upward adjustments from $25,900 to $45,800.The appraiser also made adjustments for design ($20,000 downward adjustment), finish of the basement (downward $2,000-$8,000) and for outbuildings and deck ($10,000 – $12,000 upward).The gross adjustments ranged from $86,800 to $92,400(19.5 -21.0%); net adjustments ranged from $8,400 to $32,800 (1.9-7.9%).The adjusted values ranged from $437,900 to $448,300.
The appraiser did not make adjustments for the difference in lot size of the subject to the comparables.The subject property is 4.1 acres and the comparables are 3 to 3.5 acres.
Lynne M. Mesey, Certified Residential Appraiser, testified on behalf of the Respondent.The appraiser developed a cost and a sales comparison approach.Using the Marshall and Swift Mass Appraisal System for the cost approach, the appraiser determined a value of $508,900; land value of $95,120 and value for improvements of $413,780.
The appraiser also used the sales comparison approach.The five comparables used by the appraiser were located within three miles of the subject property and sold between March 2005 and November 2006.The comparables ranged from 2,287 to 3,733 square feet.The appraiser adjustments ranged from -$13,600 to $44,240.The appraiser also made adjustments for date of sale ($2,250 to $60,380 upward adjustment), site size ($7,500 to $10,000 upward adjustment), finish of the basement ($5000 downward to $13,000 upward) and for outbuildings and deck ($13,000 – $17,000 upward).The appraiser also made downward adjustment of $25,000 for the finish work.Gross adjustments ranged from $89,000 to $221,980(17.1 -38.6%); net adjustments ranged from -$44,220 to $63,820 (1.1-13.1%).The adjusted values ranged from $473,090 to $549,720.
Summary and Conclusion
Both appraisers used properties comparable to the subject property for the purpose of making a determination of value of the subject property.The properties were located within three miles of the subject.Each sale property sold at a time relevant to the tax date of January 1, 2007.
Each appraiser used20 Prairie Crossing Drive as a comparable.The comparable property is within 2 miles of the subject property and sold in November 2006 for $450,000.Both appraisers adjusted the property for its smaller size, basement finish, type of garage, deck/porch, additional outbuilding and other finish. The Complainant’s appraiser adjusted for the location.The Respondent’s appraiser adjusted for the additional acreage, exterior finish and time of sale.The Complainant’s adjusted value for the comparable was $435,900 and the Respondent’s was $473,090; for both appraisers the comparable property was their lowest value comparable.
The final values of the appraisers for the subject property after reconciling the cost and sales approach were $440,000 for the Complainant’s appraiser and $520,000 for the Respondent’s appraiser.The Board of Equalization determined the value of the subject property to be $485,000.There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by theCountyBoardof Equalization.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization forSt. CharlesCountyfor the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $92,150.
A 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.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 St. Charles 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 January 15, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 15th day of January, 2008, to:Louis and Bonnie Pfleckl, 126 Kersting Farms Drive, O’Fallon, MO 63366, Complainant; Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor, 100 North Third Street, Room 216, St. Charles, MO 63301, Attorney for Respondent; Scott Shipman, Assessor, 201 North Second, Room 247, St. Charles, MO 63301-2870; Amy Gann, Registrar, 100 North Third Street, Suite 206, St. Charles, MO 63301; Michelle McBride, Collector, 201 North Second Street, Room 134, St. Charles, MO 63301.