STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|v.||)||Appeal No. 16-12635|
|JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR||)|
|ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment made by the Board of Equalization of St. Louis County (BOE) is SET ASIDE. Complainant Norman Ding (Complainant) did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE. Respondent Jake Zimmerman, Assessor, St. Louis County, Missouri, (Respondent) presented substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE.
Complainant appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared by counsel Steven Robson.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer Amy S. Westermann.
Complainant appealed on the ground of overvaluation. Respondent initially set the true market value (TMV) of the subject property, as residential property, at $99,000. The BOE lowered Respondent’s valuation to $90,000. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the TMV of the subject property on January 1, 2015. 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
The Senior 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 January 25, 2017, at the St. Louis County Government Administration Building, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by parcel/locator number 06J310238. It is further identified as 3020 Heatherton Drive, St. Louis County, Missouri. (Complaint; Exhibits A and 1)
- Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of an 11,186 square foot (approximately .25 acre) residential lot improved by a 1,387 square foot, ranch style, single-family home built in 1964. (Exhibit 1) The subject property includes three bedrooms; two full bathrooms; a 1,131 square foot basement with 432 square feet of finished area; a two-car attached garage; a patio; and one fireplace. (Exhibit 1) The exterior consists of brick construction. (Exhibit 1)
- Assessment. Respondent set a TMV for the subject property of $99,000 residential, as of January 1, 2016.
- Board of Equalization. The BOE lowered Respondent’s TMV of the subject property to $90,000.
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant testified in his own behalf. Complainant testified that he had purchased the subject property in March 2016 for $60,000. Complainant testified that the subject property had been listed with a realtor and publicly advertised and that he had purchased the subject property from the Department of Housing and Urban Development through an open bidding process. Complainant testified that the subject property was not encumbered by a mortgage and that Complainant did not have the subject property appraised before or after he purchased it. Complainant testified that he had purchased the subject property in order to rent it to others. Complainant testified that the subject property was “bank owned” and in “bad shape” when he purchased it. Complainant testified that he had made improvements to the subject property between March 2016 and July 2016, including (1) installed new electrical wiring; (2) installed a new floor in the basement; (3) repaired and painted the walls in the basement; (4) installed new window trim and baseboard in all of the rooms; and (5) installed a new sewer stack. Complainant opined that the subject property’s TMV as of January 1, 2016, was $60,000, which was the price he had paid for it.
To support his opinion of value, Complainant offered as evidence the following exhibits:
|Exhibit A||MARIS Matrix Multi-listing service (MLS) sales listing report regarding the subject property|
|Exhibit B||MLS detailed information report regarding the subject property|
|Exhibit C||Table containing addresses, locator numbers, and assessed values of subject property and properties on the same street|
|Exhibit D||Photographs of the interior of the basement and an exterior brick wall of the subject property|
Respondent did not object to Complainant’s Exhibits A and D, which were admitted into the record. Respondent objected to Complainant’s Exhibit B to the extent that it was evidence of the estimated value of the subject property on January 1, 2016, on the grounds of relevance and lack of foundation/hearsay. Respondent objected to Complainant’s Exhibit C on the grounds that the assessed values of properties on the same street as the subject property were not relevant to establishing the fair market value of the subject property. The Senior Hearing Officer noted the objections but Exhibits B and C were admitted into the record to be given the weight deemed necessary when considered along with all of the other evidence.
Complainant testified that the subject property was located in a flood zone and that the basement had extensive water damage at the time of purchase, which Complainant was required to repair before he could obtain an occupancy permit to rent the home. Complainant testified that he discovered a crack on an exterior wall after he purchased the property and that the crack signaled a potential structural problem, which would need to be repaired at a “substantial cost.”
Complainant further testified that he is a real estate agent but not a certified residential real estate appraiser. Complainant testified that real estate agents utilize the “RealAVM”TM estimated value shown on Exhibit B to determine the TMV of a prospective purchase. The “RealAVM”TM shown on Complainant’s Exhibit B estimated the value of the subject property to be $75,102 as of December 9, 2016. Complainant testified that the “RealAVM”TM estimated value was computer generated based on comparable sales in the neighborhood and provided a base price for the subject property but did not take into account the interior condition of the subject property. The “RealAVM”TM shown on Complainant’s Exhibit B also provided an estimated value range for the subject property, $62,335 to $87,869. Complainant testified that his opinion as to the fair market value of the subject property was supported by the CMA 1 Line Portrait report, which was incorporated into Exhibit B. The Portrait report listed 32 properties within the same geographical area of North St. Louis County that had sold between July 2015 and July 2016. Only 14 of the 32 sold properties were within same high school boundaries as the subject property, McCluer North of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. All 14 of those sold properties were comparable to the subject property in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, and age. Other than high school boundaries, the Portrait report did not indicate the proximity of the comparables to the subject property. The sale prices of those 14 comparable properties ranged from $50,500 to $111,800. The Portrait report did not provide any information concerning condition of the comparable properties or make any value adjustments to the comparable properties for specific similarities and differences between them and the subject property.
On cross-examination, Complainant testified that he did not commission an inspection of the subject property prior to purchasing it. Complainant testified that he had not obtained any estimates for the anticipated structural repairs. Complainant testified that he did not allow Respondent’s appraiser to perform an interior inspection of the subject property because renters were living in the residence.
On rebuttal, Complainant testified that mold and water had been present in the basement and there were problems with the water line and the electrical power supply to the property when he purchased it, which had prevented the utility services from being turned on until Complainant made the necessary repairs. Complainant testified that Respondent’s appraisal report did not account for those condition issues. Complainant did not present any estimates for repairs or any receipts for repairs he had made.
- Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered as evidence the testimony of Missouri State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser Mark Stuart (the Appraiser). The Appraiser opined that the subject property’s TMV as of January 1, 2016, was $86,000, which was a lower value than the BOE’s valuation. In support of the Appraiser’s opinion of value, Respondent offered as evidence Exhibit 1, the Appraiser’s report. Complainant did not object to Respondent’s exhibit, which was admitted into the record.
The Appraiser testified that, in arriving at his opinion of TMV, he considered the circumstances surrounding the sale of the subject property and determined the sale was not an “arms-length transaction” because Complainant had purchased the subject property from HUD, which is not a typically motivated seller as defined by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). In his report, the Appraiser had analyzed the prior sale transfer history of the subject property and comparable sales and concluded that “[b]ased on the Market and pictures from the listing[,] this appears to have been a below market sale.” The Appraiser testified that he placed all weight on the sales comparison approach to valuation because he had determined the cost approach and the income approach were less reliable and inapplicable to valuing the subject property. The Appraiser testified that he was a licensed real estate broker and that use of the “RealAVM”TM estimated value as shown in Complainant’s Exhibit B was not an accepted method for appraising real property. The Appraiser testified that Complainant did not give permission for the Appraiser to perform an interior inspection of the subject property due to the renters living in the house. The Appraiser testified that he determined the condition factor for the subject, C4, from the description and photographs of the subject property contained in the MLS report from the March 2016 sale. The Appraiser further testified that he had seen no evidence of the subject property being uninhabitable at the time of the March 2016 sale.
On cross-examination, the Appraiser testified that if Complainant presented evidence showing that the subject property was uninhabitable at the time of the March 2016 sale, the Appraiser would change his opinion of value.
The Appraiser’s report analyzed six comparable sales, noting that most weight was placed on Comparable Nos. 1, 2, and 3 due to their sales dates being within two years of the sale of the subject property. (Exhibit 1) All six comparables were situated on the same street as the subject property. The Appraiser’s report showed that the subject property and all six comparables were located within the 100-year flood zone established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (Exhibit 1) However, the subject property was situated on the side of the street farthest from a creek in the flood zone while Comparable Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 6 were situated on the side of the street closest to the creek. The Appraiser made adjustments to the terms of the sales of Comparable Nos. 2 and 3 due to the nature of the financing and the payment of closing costs and/or for repairs as part of the sales. (Exhibit 1) Comparable Nos. 1, 2, and 3 all were similar to the subject property in lot size; design/style (ranch, single family); age (approximately 50 years); quality of construction (either Q4 or Q5); condition (C4); number of bedrooms and bathrooms (three and two); square footage; basement size and finish; and amenities such as garages, patios, and fireplaces. (Exhibit 1) The Appraiser’s report included the definitions for quality of construction and condition. The rating for Q4 was defined as:
Dwellings with this quality rating meet or exceed the requirements of applicable building codes. Standard or modified standard building plans are utilized and the design includes adequate fenestration and some exterior ornamentation and interior refinements. Materials, workmanship, finish, and equipment are of stock or builder grade and may feature some upgrades.
The rating for C4 was defined as:
The improvements feature some minor deferred maintenance and physical deterioration due to normal wear and tear. The dwelling has been adequately maintained and requires only minimal repairs to building components/mechanical systems and cosmetic repairs. All major building components have been adequately maintained and are functionally adequate.
The adjusted sale prices of Comparable Nos. 1, 2, and 3 ranged from $81,800 to $90,200. (Exhibit 1)
Complainant presented rebuttal evidence to Respondent’s evidence and Exhibit 1 in the form of his own testimony. Complainant testified that the subject property was uninhabitable when he purchased it due to a problem with the water line and the electrical power, so he could not turn on those services. Complainant further testified that mold and water had been present in the basement and that structural problems were present based on a gap between the exterior wall and the foundation. Complainant testified that the Appraiser’s report did not account for these issues. Complainant admitted that he did not bring along any estimates for repair or receipts for repairs he had made.
- Presumption of Correct Assessment Rebutted – True Market Value Established. Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE. However, Respondent’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE and to establish the TMV of the subject property to be $86,000.
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, including the application of any abatement. The Senior 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.
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 Commission, 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, sub-classification, 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.
During the hearing, the Senior Hearing Officer inquired of Complainant.
Board Presumption and Computer-Assisted Presumption
There exists a presumption of correct assessment by the BOE – the BOE presumption. In charter counties or the City of St. Louis, there exists by statutory mandate a presumption that the Assessor’s original valuation was made by a computer, computer-assisted method or a computer program – the computer-assisted presumption. These two presumptions operate with regard to the parties in different ways.
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 computer-assisted presumption is applicable only if (1) the BOE lowered the value of the Assessor and Respondent is seeking to sustain the original assessment and (2) it has not been shown that the Assessor’s valuation was not the result of a computer assisted method. The BOE’s valuation is assumed to be an independent valuation.
In the present appeal, the BOE lowered the initial valuation of Respondent, and both Complainant and Respondent are seeking to change the BOE’s assessment; therefore, the BOE presumption applies.
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 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.” 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 Commission “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).
Weight to be Given Evidence
The Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior 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).
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.
Sale of Subject
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. St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526 (App. E.D. 1993).
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, who testified that he is a real estate agent but is not a certified residential real estate appraiser, did not use any of the court approved methods of valuation to arrive at an opinion of TMV for the subject property. Although Complainant testified that he purchased the property through an “open” bidding process with the seller, HUD, this evidence established that the sale of the subject property in March 2016 was not a sale between a typically motivated buyer and seller; rather, the evidence established that selling process and the selling price were atypical and indicative of a distressed sale. In response to questioning from the Senior Hearing Officer, Complainant testified that he submitted his bid for the subject property without knowing the amount of the bids submitted by other potential buyers. “Blind” bidding does not indicate that a willing seller was involved in the transaction but indicates that the seller is under duress and the potential buyers are attempting to take advantage of the situation to obtain a property for less than its full fair market value.
Although Complainant’s testimony and exhibits indicated that the subject property suffered from some deteriorated and/or damaged conditions, Complainant’s evidence lacked any market data assigning a particular value to the condition issues. Complainant did not provide evidence in the form of bids or estimates or receipts for the repairs he had made to the subject property, which might have established the depreciated value of the subject property on the date of purchase when subtracted from the value of the subject property after the repairs were completed. Consequently, based on the evidence presented, one would be forced to speculate in order to accept Complainant’s opinion as to the TMV of the subject property on January 1, 2015.
On the contrary, Respondent presented substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the BOE. The Appraiser, a state certified residential real estate appraiser and licensed real estate broker, used one of the three court-approved methods for valuing residential property to arrive at an opinion of TMV for the subject property. The Appraiser’s report analyzed sales data from closely-comparable properties on the same street as the subject property. Because Comparable Nos. 1, 2, and 3 were so similar to the subject property, minimal market-based value adjustments were required to arrive at a narrow range of values for the comparables. The Appraiser’s opinion as to the TMV of the subject property, $86,000, fell squarely within that range of values.
The TMV for the subject property as determined by the BOE is SET ASIDE. The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2016 is set at $16,340 residential ($86,000 TMV).
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
The Collector of St. Louis 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 February 28, 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 28th day of February, 2017, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainant, the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.
 During Complainant’s cross-examination testimony, Respondent asked whether Complainant was aware of any sold properties on the same street as the subject property that were not HUD sales or bank sales. Complainant responded that he was not aware of any such sales but also referred to the data contained in the Portrait report. Respondent objected to the Portrait report as hearsay because the report had not been prepared or produced by Complainant but by Complainant’s business partner. Complainant counter argued that the Portrait report had not “cherry picked” comparable sales and that he would have chosen comparable sales that were more helpful in supporting his opinion of value. The Senior Hearing Officer instructed Complainant to testify only as to his personal knowledge of the information contained in the Portrait report and took the specific objection to the Portrait report with the case. Given that (1) Complainant is a real estate agent engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate; (2) Complainant testified concerning his personal knowledge of the information contained in the Portrait report; and (3) Exhibit B was received into evidence in its entirety to be given the weight deemed necessary in light of all of the evidence, the objection is hereby overruled.