STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|MARCIA ANN KYNION,||)|
|v.||)||Appeal No. 17-33002|
|RICK KESSINGER, ASSESSOR,||)|
|GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI,
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the Greene County Board of Equalization (BOE) is AFFIRMED. Complainant Marcia Ann Kynion (Complainant) did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE.
Complainant appeared by pro se.
Respondent Rick Kessinger, Assessor, Greene County, Missouri, (Respondent) appeared by counsel Aaron Klusmeyer.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer Amy S. Westermann (Hearing Officer).
Complainant appealed on the ground of overvaluation. Respondent initially set the true market value (TMV) of the subject property at $131,400, as residential property, as of January 1, 2017. The BOE valued the subject property at $131,400, thereby sustaining Respondent’s valuation. The State Tax Commission (STC) takes this appeal to determine the TMV for the subject property as of January 1, 2017.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Evidentiary Hearing. The issue of overvaluation was presented at an evidentiary hearing on November 3, 2017, at the Greene County Historic Courthouse, 940 N. Booneville Ave., Springfield, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by parcel/locator number 19-06-214-027. It is further identified as 2640 South McCann, Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. (Complaint; Exhibit F; Exhibit 1)
- Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of an 18,758 square foot (.43 acre) residential lot, which is improved by a 1,728 square-foot ranch-style single-family home constructed in 1966. (Exhibit F; Exhibit 1) The subject property includes three bedrooms; two full bathrooms; a concrete foundation and crawl space; a two-car attached garage; a two-car detached garage; a screened patio; a stoop; one fireplace; central air conditioning; and a fenced yard. (Exhibit 1) The exterior consists of brick and wood veneer. (Exhibit 1) The subject property is located in a residential/church area in the City of Springfield. (Exhibit 1)
- Assessment. Respondent initially set a TMV for the subject property of $131,400, residential, as of January 1, 2017.
- Board of Equalization. The BOE set a TMV of the subject property at $131,400, residential, as of January 1, 2017.
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant testified on her own behalf. Complainant testified that she had purchased the subject property in 2009 from an individual for $135,000. Complainant testified that the subject property had not been listed with a realtor and that Complainant did not know whether the sale had been publicly advertised. Complainant testified that the subject property had not been listed for sale within the three years prior to the evidentiary hearing. Complainant testified that no improvements had been made to the subject property between January 1, 2015, and January 1, 2017. Complainant testified that she believed the subject property had been valued higher than neighboring properties. Complainant testified that the location of a property drives its true market value. Complainant testified that the subject property faced a busy street and was sited across the street from a church. Complainant opined that the subject property’s TMV as of January 1, 2017, was between $125,000 and $130,000. Complainant also testified that she had hoped the parties would be able to come to a compromise at the hearing and agree the TMV of the subject property was $122,600. On cross examination, Complainant testified that she did not have training or education in appraisal methodology and that she was not a certified appraiser.
To support Complainant’s opinion of value, Complainant offered as evidence the following exhibits:
|Exhibit A||Grid of comparables presented by Respondent to BOE|
|Exhibit B||Complainant’s 2017 Notice of Change in Value/Impact Notice|
|Exhibit C||Sales listings of comparable properties obtained from the MLS|
|Exhibit D||List of data for neighboring properties|
|Exhibit E||Packet of form letters related to BOE proceedings|
|Exhibit F||Property Record Card for subject property|
Respondent did not object to Exhibits B and F, which were received into the record. Respondent objected to Exhibits A, C, D, and E on grounds of relevance, lack of foundation, hearsay, and the best evidence rule. The Hearing Officer reserved ruling on the objections to Exhibits A and C until the entry of the Decision and Order in the case. The Hearing Officer overruled the lack of foundation, relevance, and best evidence objections to Exhibit D and received Exhibit D into the record to be given the weight deemed necessary in light of all of the other evidence because the information presented in Exhibit D was public information Complainant had obtained and compiled from Greene County’s own publicly accessible website, Beacon. The Hearing Officer sustained the relevance objection to Exhibit E, which was excluded from the record.
- Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered as evidence the testimony of Missouri State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser Sandra Burnett (the Appraiser). The Appraiser opined that the subject property’s TMV as of January 1, 2017, was $138,000, which was higher than the BOE’s valuation. The Appraiser’s report noted that the opinion of TMV did not include 800 square feet of basement and a bathroom in the two-car detached garage because those features had been discovered during the course of the appeal. (Exhibit 1) In support of the Appraiser’s opinion of value, Respondent offered as evidence the following exhibits:
|Exhibit A||Appraisal Report of Sandra Burnett, dated October 26, 2017|
|Exhibit B||Curriculum Vitae of Sandra Burnett|
Complainant did not object to Respondent’s exhibits, which were received into the record.
The Appraiser testified that, in arriving at an opinion of TMV, she considered the cost approach and the income approach in developing an opinion of value but determined these approaches were neither reliable nor applicable to the subject property due to the age of the subject property and the limited available data. The Appraiser relied on the sales comparison approach to developing an opinion of value of the subject property because that approach was considered the most reliable indicator of value. In her report, the Appraiser noted that her research had revealed that the subject property had been sold to Complainant in December 2009 for $135,500, which was above the appraised value as of January 1, 2017, set by Respondent and the BOE.
The Appraiser’s report analyzed six comparable sales, which had been sold between November 2015 and February 2017. (Exhibit 1) The sale prices of the comparables ranged from $120,000 to $149,900. (Exhibit 1) The Appraiser made market-based adjustments to the comparables for the size of the lots, quality of the construction of the improvements, the square footage of the improvements, bathroom count, detached two-car garage, and stoop/patio. The adjusted sale prices of the comparables ranged from $134,500 to $143,900. (Exhibit 1)
- Presumption of Correct Assessment Not Rebutted. Complainant did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE, which determined the TMV of the subject property as of January 1, 2017, to be $131,400.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The STC 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 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.
Basis of Assessment
The Constitution mandates that real property and tangible personal property be assessed at its value or such percentage of its value as may be fixed by law for each class and for each subclass. Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945. The constitutional mandate is to find the true value in money for the property under appeal. By statute, real property and tangible personal property are assessed at set percentages of true value in money: residential property at 19%; commercial property at 32%; and agricultural property at 12%. Section 137.115.5 RSMo (2000) as amended.
Investigation by Hearing Officer
In order to investigate appeals filed with the STC, the Hearing Officer may inquire of the owner of the property or of any other party to the appeal regarding any matter or issue relevant to the valuation, subclassification, or assessment of the property. Section 138.430.2 RSMo (2000) as amended. The Hearing Officer’s decision regarding the assessment or valuation of the property may be based solely upon his inquiry and any evidence presented by the parties or based solely upon evidence presented by the parties. Id.
In the present appeal, the Hearing Officer inquired of Complainant and of the Appraiser.
Board Presumption and Computer-Assisted Presumption
There exists a presumption of correct assessment by the BOE – the BOE presumption. The BOE presumption operates in every case to require the taxpayer to present evidence to rebut it. If Respondent is seeking to prove a value different than that set by the BOE, then Respondent is required to rebut the BOE presumption. The BOE’s valuation is assumed to be an independent valuation.
In the present appeal, the BOE’s valuation of the subject property was the same as Respondent’s initial valuation of the subject property. Complainant is seeking to lower the BOE’s valuation; therefore, the BOE presumption applies with regard to Complainant.
Complainant’s Burden of Proof
To obtain a reduction in assessed valuation based upon an alleged overvaluation, the Complainant must prove the true value in money of the subject property on the subject tax day. Hermel, Inc., v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978). True value in money is defined as the price that the subject property would bring when offered for sale by one willing but not obligated to sell it and bought by one willing or desirous to purchase but not compelled to do so. Rinehart v. Bateman, 363 S.W.3d 357, 365 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012); Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, 348 (Mo. App. E.D. 2008); Greene County v. Hermel, Inc., 511 S.W.2d 762, 771 (Mo. 1974). True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not in terms of value in use. Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973). In sum, true value in money is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date. Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 897.
“True value’ is never an absolute figure, but is merely an estimate of the fair market value on the valuation date.” Drury Chesterfield, Inc., v. Muehlheausler, 347 S.W.3d 107, 112 (Mo. App. E.D. 2011), citing St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. State Tax Comm’n of Mo., 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993). “Fair market value typically is defined as the price which the property would bring when offered for sale by a willing seller who is not obligated to sell, and purchased by a willing buyer who is not compelled to buy.” Drury Chesterfield, Inc., 347 S.W.3d at 112 (quotation omitted).
A presumption exists that the assessed value fixed by the BOE is correct. Rinehart, 363 S.W.3d at 367; Cohen, 251 S.W.3d at 348; Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 895. “Substantial and persuasive controverting evidence is required to rebut the presumption, with the burden of proof resting on the taxpayer.” Cohen, 251 S.W.3d at 348. Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959). Persuasive evidence is evidence that has sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact. Cupples Hesse Corp., 329 S.W.2d at 702. 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).
There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayer in a STC 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.” Westwood Partnership, 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. W.D. 1991).
Generally, a property owner, while not an expert, is competent to testify to the reasonable market value of his own land. Cohen, 251 S.W.3d at 348-49; Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992). “However, when an owner’s opinion is based on improper elements or foundation, his opinion loses its probative value.” Carmel Energy, Inc., 827 S.W.2d at 783. A taxpayer does not meet his burden if evidence on any essential element of his case leaves the STC “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise.” See Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. E.D. 1980).
Respondent’s Burden of Proof
Respondent, when advocating a value different from that determined by the original valuation or a valuation made by the BOE, must meet the same burden of proof to present substantial and persuasive evidence of the value advocated as required of the Complainant under the principles established by case law. Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 895; Cupples-Hesse, 329 S.W.2d at 702; Brooks, 527 S.W.2d at 53.
In this case, Respondent presented the Appraiser’s report as evidence indicating that he subject property had a higher TMV than the value finally determined by the BOE and higher than the value previously determined by Respondent. However, Respondent specifically advocated that the Appraiser’s report should be received as evidence to support Respondent’s argument that the BOE’s valuation of the subject property should be sustained at $131,400 as of January 1, 2017.
Weight to be Given Evidence
The Hearing Officer is not bound by any single formula, rule, or method in determining true value in money and is free to consider all pertinent facts and estimates and give them such weight as reasonably they may be deemed entitled. The relative weight to be accorded any relevant factor in a particular case is for the Hearing Officer to decide. St. Louis County v. Security Bonhomme, Inc., 558 S.W.2d 655, 659 (Mo. banc 1977); St. Louis County v. STC, 515 S.W.2d 446, 450 (Mo. 1974); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650 (Mo. 1968).
The Hearing Officer, as the trier of fact, may consider the testimony of an expert witness and give it as much weight and credit as deemed necessary when viewed in connection with all other circumstances. Beardsley v. Beardsley, 819 S.W.2d 400, 403 (Mo. App. W.D. 1991). The Hearing Officer, as the trier of fact, is not bound by the opinions of experts but may believe all or none of the expert’s testimony or accept it in part or reject it in part. Exchange Bank of Missouri v. Gerlt, 367 S.W.3d 132, 135-36 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012).
Hearsay and Relevance
In evidentiary law there are two important and fundamental concepts relating to the admissibility of evidence, whether in testimonial or documentary form. Those two principles are hearsay and relevance. Either can be sufficient in various circumstances to exclude testimony or documents from coming into the evidentiary record.
Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition (1999), p. 726, defines generally hearsay testimony that is given by a witness who relates not what he or she knows personally but what others have said and is, therefore, dependent upon the credibility of someone other than the witness and inadmissible under the rules of evidence unless an exception to the hearsay rule applies. McCormick on Evidence, Third Edition, (1984), p. 729, defines the term as; “a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” The Courtroom Handbook on Missouri Evidence Missouri Practice, William A. Schroeder – 2012, Principle 800.c, p. 504,
follows the definition given by the Federal Rules and cited by McCormick. The out-of-court statement can take the form of either oral or written assertions. Therefore, documents which make assertions of facts are hearsay, just as well, as the speech of another person.
The hearsay rule provides that “no assertion offered as testimony can be received unless it is or has been open to test by cross-examination or an opportunity for cross-examination, except as otherwise provide by the rules of evidence, by court rules or by statute.” Black’s, supra – hearsay rule, p. 726. The rationale behind the rule is quite simply that out-of-court hearsay statements are not made under oath and cannot be subject to cross-examination. Accordingly, when various documents, such as but not limited to, Internet, newspaper and magazine articles are offered as exhibits in a hearing before the Commission, unless the document falls within one of the exceptions to the hearsay rule, upon objection, such must be excluded.
The principle of relevance is the second critical evidentiary factor that must be considered when testimony and documents are tendered for admission into an evidentiary record. For facts, information or opinions to be relevant they must be connected in a logical manner and tend to prove or disprove a matter that is at issue in the proceeding. Black’s, supra – relevant, p. 1293. McCormick explains that “There are two components to relevant evidence: materiality and probative value. Materiality looks to the relation between the propositions for which the evidence is offered and the issues of the case. If the evidence is offered to help prove a proposition which is not a matter in issue, the evidence is immaterial. . . . The second aspect of relevance is probative value, the tendency of evidence to establish the proposition that it is offered to prove.” McCormick, supra – p. 541. Evidence, that tends to prove or disprove a fact that is at issue or of consequence, is relevant. Missouri Practice, supra – p. 95.
In appeals on the value of property, the issue is what a willing buyer and seller would have agreed to as the purchase price on the applicable valuation date. The issue is not what real estate price trends in general may have been or any given period of time. The issue is specific to the property that is under appeal. Therefore, general statements, claims, conclusions and opinions as to what the “market for homes” has or hasn’t done do not meet the factors of materiality and probative value and are accordingly irrelevant. The fact that some report provides general information on home values is addressing a matter that is not at issue in an appeal. Such information is not material. Furthermore, such general data does not tend to prove what the property under appeal was worth on the given valuation date. For example, a report that home prices in the nation, region or certain metropolitan area over a four or five year period decreased by a certain average percentage provides no factual information as to the price or value of any given home. In other words, such information is not probative on the issue of value. It does nothing to prove that a given property is worth one amount or another.
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, 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, Inc., 564 S.W.2d at 897; 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. 1974).
“For purposes of levying property taxes, the value of real property is typically determined using one or more of three generally accepted approaches.” Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 346 (Mo. banc 2005), citing St. Louis County v. Security Bonhomme, Inc., 558 S.W.2d 655, 659 (Mo. banc 1977). “Each valuation approach is applied with reference to a specific use of the property—its highest and best use.” Snider, 156 S.W.3d at 346-47, citing Aspenhof Corp., 789 S.W.2d at 869. “The method used depends on several variables inherent in the highest and best use of the property in question.” Snider, 156 S.W.3d at 347.
“Each method uses its own unique factors to calculate the property’s true value in money.” Id. “The ‘comparable sales approach’ uses prices paid for similar properties in arms-length transactions and adjusts those prices to account for differences between the properties. Id. at 348. “Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.” Id. (quotation omitted). “This approach is most appropriate when there is an active market for the type of property at issue such that sufficient data [is] available to make a comparative analysis.” Id.
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:
- Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
- Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.
- A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
- Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.
- Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.
- 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.
In this case, Complainant’s evidence was neither substantial nor persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE. Substantial evidence is that which is relevant, adequate, and reasonably supports a conclusion. Cupples Hesse Corp., 329 S.W.2d at 702. Persuasive evidence is that which causes the trier of fact to believe, more likely than not, the conclusion advocated is the correct conclusion. Id.
In particular, Complainant testified that she had purchased the subject property in 2009 for $135,000. Complainant testified that she believed the subject property’s TMV as of January 1, 2017, was between $125,000 and $130,000. The BOE’s valuation of the subject property as of January 1, 2017, was $131,400. To support her claim that the subject property had been overvalued, Complainant presented, inter alia, Exhibit A, Exhibit C, and Exhibit D.
Exhibit A consisted of a grid of comparable properties and their prices per square foot. Complainant did not offer Exhibit A as direct evidence supporting her opinion of TMV of the subject property; rather, it was the Hearing Officer’s understanding that Complainant was offering Exhibit A to propose a method for determing TMV of the subject property by using the price per square foot of the comparables contained in Exhibit A. Complainant also testified that Respondent had presented the grid of comparable properties to the BOE. Respondent objected to the admission of Exhibit A on grounds of hearsay and relevance. Respondent argued that the individual from Respondent’s office who had prepared the exhibit was not present to testify and that the evidence presented to the BOE was not necessarily the same evidence being presented to the STC.
Given that the individual from Respondent’s office who prepared Exhibit A was not present to be cross examined, Exhibit A constitutes hearsay and is, therefore, excluded. However, even if the individual who had prepared the grid had been present to testify at the evidentiary hearing, Exhibit A is irrelevant. Complainant argued that Respondent had presented Exhibit A to the BOE and that the BOE relied upon Exhibit A to determine the TMV of the subject property. Complainant’s argument implied that the BOE’s reliance on Exhibit A was somehow improper. But Complainant offered no evidence indicating that (1) the BOE’s decision was based upon Exhibit A, in whole or in part; or (2) the BOE’s alleged reliance on the grid, if any, was improper. The BOE’s valuation of the subject property is presumed to be an independent determination. Complainant is the moving party seeking affirmative relief. Therefore, Complainant bears the burden of proving the vital elements of the case, i.e., the assessment was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” Westwood Partnership, 103 S.W.3d at 152. Without affirmative evidence establishing that the BOE relied on Exhibit A or any such reliance was improper, Exhibit A was irrelevant to proving the vital elements of Complainant’s case.
Exhibit C consisted of sales listings of five properties. Complainant testified that a realtor had obtained the sales listings from the MLS and that the five properties were comparable to the subject property and indicative of the subject property’s TMV. Respondent objected to the admission of Exhibit C on grounds of lack of foundation and hearsay. Upon considering the arguments of the parties, Exhibit C is excluded as hearsay because the realtor who had prepared the exhibit was not present to testify and to be cross examined.
Exhibit D consisted of a table of data regarding Complainant’s neighbors’ homes. The data showed the street addresses, the square footage, the “change” in valuation, and the “difference.” Complainant testified that the data showed only one neighboring property with a valuation change that exceeded the subject property’s change in valuation. Complainant testified the valuations of the neighbor’s homes should be averaged to arrive at a value for the subject property. Exhibit D is not a proper basis for determining the TMV of the subject property because Complainant’s proposed use of the use of data contained in Exhibit D does not represent one of the three approaches to determining value approved by Missouri courts.
Although Respondent did not have the burden of proof in this appeal, Respondent presented substantial and persuasive evidence to support the BOE’s valuation of the subject property. The Appraiser, a state certified residential real estate appraiser, used one of the three court-approved approaches for valuing residential property to arrive at an opinion of TMV for the subject property, the sales comparison approach.
The Appraiser’s report analyzed sales data from six comparable properties, all of which were located less than one half of one mile from the subject property. According to the Appraiser’s report:
The subject site consists of two lots, one with the dwelling, and one with the detached garage. The appraiser was unable to find a sale of a property with two lots similar as compared to the subject, however Comparable 6 is on a somewhat similar sized parcel. The second lot on the subject parcel is similar in size as all other lots within this neighborhood, and could potentially be sold and a house plan designed to incorporate the existing detached garage, or the detached garage could be removed to allow for a new dwelling to be constructed. The adjustment for the double lot site was determined by the value of land within this area, substantially reduced due to the existing detached garage making [it] more difficult to be sold and built upon without removing it, or designing a floor plan around it.
The sale prices of the comparables ranged between $120,000 and $149,900. (Exhibit 1) The Appraiser made market based positive and negative adjustments to account for the similarities and differences between the subject property and the comparables. All of the comparable properties had significantly smaller lots than the subject property. The Appraiser made a $10,000 positive adjustment to Comparable Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and a $5,000 positive adjustment to Comparable No. 6 to account for the difference. All of the comparable properties lacked a second detached garage. The Appraiser made a $10,000 positive adjustment to Comparable Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 to account for the difference. Comparable No. 3 had a detached workshop, so no adjustment was made. Like the subject property, all of the residences of the comparable properties were of similar age, quality, and condition as the subject property. All were single-family, ranch-style homes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, attached garages, one fireplace, and a fence.
The adjusted sale prices of the comparables calculated on the market-based adjustments for the specific similarities and the differences between the comparables and the subject property ranged between $134,500 and $143,900. The Appraiser’s opinion as to the TMV of the subject property, $138,000, fell squarely within that range of values. Comparable No. 2 was similar to the subject property in all respects except for the much smaller lot and the lack of a second garage. Comparable No. 2 required the fewest market-based adjustments. (Exhibit 1) The adjusted sale price of Comparable No. 2 was $143,900, notably higher than the Appraiser’s opinion of value ($138,000) and the BOE’s valuation of the subject property ($131,400). The Appraiser’s opinion of value was not used to advocate an increase in the assessed value of the subject property but was used to support Respondent’s argument that the BOE’s valuation should be affirmed.
The TMV for the subject property as determined by the BOE is AFFIRMED.
Application for Review
A party may file with the STC 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
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 December 26, 2017.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Amy S. Westermann
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 26th day of December, 2017, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainant, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.
 Respondent specifically argued that the BOE’s valuation of $131,400 should be affirmed and did not advocate for an increase in the valuation of the subject property.