McIntyre v. Rinehart

April 9th, 2008

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.)Appeal Number 07-32000










The decision of the assessor, affirmed by the Board of Equalization, setting value at $245,600 (assessed value $46,660) is affirmed.


The issue in this case is the true market value of a residential property on January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2008.


The subject property is a two-story, four bedroom home built in 1994.The appraiser originally valued the home at $245,600, which value was approved by the Board of Equalization.Complainant asserts a value of $225,000.An evidentiary hearing was held on January 8, 2008, in the Clay County Administration Building before Senior Hearing Officer Luann Johnson.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by counsel, Patricia Hughes.


The following exhibits were entered into the record:

Complainant’s Exhibits

Exhibit A –Presentation and supporting exhibits

Respondent’s Exhibits

Exhibit 1 – Appraisal Report


1.Jurisdiction is proper.Complainant timely filed his appeal from the decision of the Clay County Board of Equalization.

2.                  The subject property is a 2,482 square foot, four bedroom two and one-half bath

two-story home built in 1994.The property is of good quality construction in average condition and utility.The property is identified as parcel number 13-307-00-02-006.00, more commonly known as 9502 North Lydia Avenue, Kansas City, Clay County, Missouri.

3.Respondent’s appraiser found sales of three similar homes which sold for $250,000, $255,000 and $252,000.All properties were the same age as the subject property, a similar style to the subject property and within the same immediate neighborhood.The properties sold between February, 2006 and October, 2006.The Respondent’s appraiser adjusted for number of bathrooms, basement finish, number of garages, patios and fireplaces.After adjustments, these properties indicated a range of value for the subject property between $246,500 and $251,000.Based upon these sales, Respondent’s appraiser determined a market value for the subject property of $248,000 on January 1, 2007.Respondent’s appraiser testified that his determination of value took into consideration the deficiencies in the property thatComplainant had brought to his attention.Respondent’s appraiser also stated that Respondent was not requesting a raise from the value approved by the Board of Equalization.

4.Complainant testified the he had to cut some corners when building his home.He chose a lot that was 20% cheaper than other lots in the subdivision.When choosing features for his home, he opted for lap siding rather than stucco and a one-story bay or box window rather than a two-story bay or box window.His home has a full basement but it is not the more desirable “walk-out” or “daylight” basement.Complainant did not present an appraisal report establishing the value of his home but, rather, presented assessment records for four similar homes in the subdivision which were appraised at $221,500;$230,800;$237,000; and $199,000.Complainant determined his opinion of value based upon these four appraised values.

Complainant’s evidence is not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.

5.No evidence was presented which suggested that any new construction or property improvements occurred between January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2008.Therefore the value determined for tax year 2007 shall also be the value determined for tax year 2008.

6.The true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007, and

January 1, 2008, is $245,600 (assessed value $46,660).

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Highest and Best Use

True value in money is the fair market value of the property on the valuation date, and is a function of its highest and best use, which is the use of the property which will produce the greatest return in the reasonably near future.Aspenhof Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (Mo. App. 1990).

It is true that property can only be valued according to a use to which the property is readily available.But this does not mean that in order for a specific use to be the highest and best use for calculating the property’s true value in money, that particular use must be available to anyone deciding to purchase the property. . . .A determination of the true value in money cannot reject the property’s highest and best use and value the property at a lesser economic use of the property.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d. 341, 348-349 (Mo. 2005).

True Value in Money

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 purchased by one who is desiring 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, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978).

Taxpayer has Burden of Proof

In Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003), the court of appeals stated:

There is no longer an automatic presumption regarding the correctness of an assessor’s valuation. Section 138.431.3. This statutory change from the previous situation in which the assessor’s valuation was presumed to be correct does not mean that there is now a presumption in favor of taxpayer. The taxpayer in a Commission tax appeal still bears the burden of proof and must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was improperly classified or valued. Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. 1991).

In Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003), the court of appeals described the taxpayer’s burden as follows:

Taxpayers were the moving parties seeking affirmative relief, and as such, they bore the burden of proving the vital elements of their case, i.e., the assessments were “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.” Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Comm’n, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo.1959); Westwood P’ship v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161[8] (Mo. App. 2003); 84 C.J.S. Taxation §§710, 726. This is true regardless of the existence or non-existence of the challenged presumption. As the Supreme Court of Missouri explained, “even were we to hold that it [the presumption] has been overcome, the burden of proof on the facts and inferences would still remain on petitioner, for it is the moving party seeking affirmative relief.”Cupples, 329 S.W.2d at 702[16].See also 84 C.J.S. Taxation §710, which states: “Even where there is no presumption in favor of the assessor’s ruling, if no evidence is offered in support of the complaint, the reviewing board is justified in fixing the valuation complained of in the amount assessed by the assessor.”
To prevail, Taxpayers had to “present an opinion of market value and then … present substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value is indicative of the market value of the subject property on tax day.” Daly v. P.D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645, 651 (Mo. App. 2002).

Substantial and Persuasive Evidence

Substantial evidence is that evidence which, if true, has probative force upon the issues, i.e., evidence favoring facts which are such that reasonable men may differ as to whether it established them, and from which the Commission can reasonably decide an appeal on the factual issues.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).

Comparable Sales Approach

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.Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.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.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d 341, 347-348 (Mo. 2005). (citations omitted).


In order to prevail on a claim of overvaluation, Complainant had to present an opinion of value and then present substantial and persuasive evidence tending to demonstrate that his opinion of value is supported by market evidence.Complainant has failed to meet this burden of proof.The evidence presented at hearing was that this was a large subdivision containing between 250 and 300 lots.It would not be unusual for some of the properties to inadvertently vary in appraised value, depending on the accuracy of the data collection and computation.Even accepting Complainant’s testimony as accurate, a few lower valued homes in a large subdivision does not establish that Complainant was treated improperly or that his property was overvalued.The test for determining market value is market sales, not appraised values.

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The assessed value determined by the Board of Equalization, is AFFIRMED.

A party may file with the Commission an application for review of a hearing officer decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific detailed 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.

If an application for review of a hearing officer 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 Clay 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 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 April 9, 2008.






Luann Johnson , Senior Hearing Officer

Certificate of Service


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid this 9th day of April, 2008, to:Donlee McIntyre, 9502 N. Lydia Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64155, Complainant; Patricia Hughes, Assistant County Counselor, 17 W. Kansas, Liberty, MO 64068, Attorney for Respondent; Cathy Rinehart, Assessor, Tom Brandom, Clerk, Sandra Reeves, Collector, Administration Building, 1 Courthouse Square, Liberty, MO 64068.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator