State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.) Appeal Number 09-62541
CONNIE HOOVER, ASSESSOR,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is SET ASIDE.True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $2,200,000, residential assessed value of $418,000.Complainant appeared by Counsel, Jerome Wallach,St. Louis,Missouri.Respondent appeared by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jeremy Crowley.
Case submitted on Complainant’s Exhibits and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation and equalization, the decision of the Jasper 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, 2009.The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.Evidentiary Hearing was waived and case was submitted on the Exhibits and Written Direct Testimony filed by Complainant.
2.Assessment.The assessor appraised the subject property at $4,064,330, residential assessed value of $772,220, and $30,460, commercial assessed value of $9,750, for a total appraised value of $4,094,790, total assessed mixed-use value of $781,970.The Board sustained the assessment.
3.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 3502 E. Newman Road, Joplin, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 20-3-6-5.005.The property is otherwise known as Northpark Apartments.The property consists of 8.57 acres (373,309 square feet), improved by five apartment buildings with 120 units.
4.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainant presented the following exhibits:Exhibit A – Summary Appraisal of Owen S. Ard, MAI, Missouri Certified Real Estate Appraiser; Exhibit B – Affidavit of Mr. Ard; Exhibit C – Sworn Written Direct Testimony of Mr. Ard.The Appraiser appraised the property under appeal relying on the sales comparison and income approaches to value. He concluded a fair market value as of January 1, 2009, of $2,200,000.
Complainant’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2009, to be $2,200,000.
6.Assessment of Property.The subject property is used for residential multifamily use and the entire site is zoned for multifamily purposes.This constitutes a residential use of the property and requires that it be assessed at the residential ratio of 19% of its true value in money.Accordingly the assessed value of the property on January 1, 2009, is $418,000.
7.Equalization Claim Abandoned.No evidence was presented to support a claim of inequity or discrimination in the assessment.No evidence was presented to establish that the average residential assessment ratio forJasperCounty for the 2009-10 assessment was less than 19%.Therefore the claim of Equalization pled on the Complaint for Review of Assessment is deemed abandoned before the Commission.
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.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.
Presumption in Appeal
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption.It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.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.When some substantial evidence is produced by the Complainant, “however slight,” the presumption disappears and the Hearing Officer, as trier of facts, receives the issue free of the presumption.Upon presentation of the Complainant’s evidence the presumption in this appeal disappeared.The case is decided free of the presumption.
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.True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.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.
2.Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both 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.
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.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.Complainant’s appraiser concluded an opinion of value based upon the development of both the sales comparison and income approaches.Accordingly, the conclusion of value rests upon two well recognized and accepted appraisal methodologies.
Complainant Proves Value
In order to prevail, Complainant 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, 2009.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.”
Complainant’s evidence met the standard of substantial and persuasive to both rebut the presumption of correct assessment and to establish the true value in money of the property under appeal as of January 1, 2009, to be $2,200,000.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization forJasperCountyfor the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2009 and 2010 is set at $418,000.
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, MO65102-0146, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.
The Collector of Jasper 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 August 17, 2010.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 17thday of August, 2010, to:Jerome Wallach, Three City Place Drive, Suite 1070, St. Louis, MO 63141, Attorney for Complainant; Jeremy Crowley, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 601 Pearl, Room 100, Joplin, MO 64801, Attorney for Respondent; Connie Hoover, Assessor, 302 S. Main Street, Carthage, MO 64836; Bonnie Earl, Clerk; Stephen Holt, Collector, Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, MO 64836.
Contact Information for State Tax Commission:
Missouri State Tax Commission
301 W. High Street, Room 840
P.O. Box 146
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146
 Failure to offer evidence of value, gives the appearance of consent to the value presented by Complainant’s prima facie case (qui tacet consentire videtur – a party who is silent appears to consent).
 Exhibit A:Appraiser’s observation and conclusion at page 29 – “It should also be noted that the assessor values a portion of the property as commercial.The entirety of the property is used for residential multifamily uses and the entire site is zoned for multifamily purposes.It is unclear why a portion of the site is valued as commercial and considered an error by the assessor.”
 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)
 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).
 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.
 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).
 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).
 Hermel, supra.
 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).
 See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.
 Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).
 Section 138.432, RSMo.