Olymbec USA v. Jake Zimmerman, Assessor St Louis County

April 19th, 2016

State Tax Commission of Missouri


Complainant, )  
v. ) Appeal No. 13-13506, 13-13507
  )                     13-13509, & 13-13510
Respondent. )  






Decision of the County Board of Equalization reducing the value made by the Assessor is SET ASIDE. Complainant did present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.  The true values and assessed values of the properties for 2013 and 2014 are set as follows:

Appeal Parcel True Value Assessed Value
13-13506 11P640261 $   4,685,350 $ 1,499,310.00
13-13507 11P640094 $       200,560 $       64,180.00
13-13509 11O430106 $       286,660 $       91,730.00
13-13510 11O430094 $   5,337,440 $ 1,707,980.00
    $ 10,510,010 $ 3,363,200.00


Complainant appeared by counsel Jason Rush.

Respondent appeared by counsel Ed Corrigan.

Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.



            Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Louis 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, 2013.  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 RSMo


The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.


  1. Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.  Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization.
  2. Evidentiary Hearing. The parties were to request an Evidentiary Hearing by February 5, 2016.  Neither party requested a hearing and the appeals were taken under advisement on Exhibits.
  3. Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is located in St. Louis County and identified as:
Appeal Parcel Address
13-13506 11P640261 13801 Riverport Drive
13-13507 11P640094 13741 Riverport Drive
13-13509 11O430106 13711 Riverport Drive
13-13510 11O430094 13721 Riverport Drive


  1. Assessment. The Assessor appraised the property and the Board of Equalization reduced the value.
Appeal Assessor’s Value BOE’s Value
13-13506 $8,135,500 $7,851,900
13-13507 $336,100 $336,100
13-13509 $480,400 $480,400
13-13510 $8,944,700 $8,944,700
Total $17,896,700 $17,613,100


  1. Complainant’s Evidence. The Complainant submitted six exhibits.  The Hearing Officer lettered the exhibits and describes them as follows:

Exhibit A –  Offering Memo

Exhibit B – Offer to Purchase dated 12/11/2012 for $10,500,000

Exhibit C – Purchase agreement dated March 25, 2013 for $10,000,000.

Exhibit D – Closing Documents dated March 19, 2013.

Exhibit E – Appraisal Report of a Certified, General Appraiser setting forth a value of $10,510,000 as of August, 2013.

Exhibit F –Written Direct Testimony of three witnesses. Witness #1 is Paul Hilton.  The witness is a real estate broker.  He was the listing agent for the subject property.  The witness explained the purpose of the documents submitted as exhibits.   Witness #2 is Douglas Zink, the certified appraiser.  Witness #3 is Amanda Creech, the current property manager.

The subject property is a class A suburban office building complex on approximately 20 acres. The complex includes two office buildings, an express hotel, and conference center.  (The hotel is not part of the subject property)  The property includes two lakes, outdoor patio and parking.  One five story office building is 112,934 net rentable area on 8.23 acres constructed in 1988; the other five story office building is 96,221 net rentable area on 7.32 acres constructed in 1990.  The conference center has 11,650 square feet constructed in 1988.

  1. No Evidence of New Construction & Improvement. There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2013, to January 1, 2014; therefore, the assessed value for 2013 remains the assessed value for 2014.  Section 137.115.1, RSMo. 
  2. Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent submitted the Board of Equalization’s Decisions setting forth a true value of the property as of January 1, 2013
  3. Presumption of Correct Assessment Rebutted. Complainant’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.



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.  Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.

Issuance of Decision Absent Evidentiary Hearing

            The Hearing Officer, after affording the parties reasonable opportunity for fair hearing, shall issue a decision and order affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the Board of Equalization, correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious. Section 138.431.5 RSMo; 12 CSR 30-3.080 (2) The filing of exhibits and written direct testimony establishes the basis upon which opportunity for an evidentiary hearing can be held.  The Complainant has the burden to present substantial and persuasive evidence.  Since neither party requested a hearing, the Hearing Officer simply considered the exhibits filed and then proceeded to ascertain if said exhibits met the standard of substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the market value of the property.

Presumption In Appeal

            There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of 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 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. Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.  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).

Complainants’ Burden of Proof


In order to prevail, Complainants 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, 2013. Hermel, supra. 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.” 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).

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).

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, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra; 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. Div. 2 1974).

The Supreme Court of Missouri has also held that 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. The actual sale price is a method that may be considered for estimating true value. St. Joe Minerals Corp., supra

Complainant Met Their Burden of Proof

            Complainant presented substantial and persuasive evidence to establish market value.  The Complainant presented a sale and purchase of the property during a time period relevant to the valuation date of January 1, 2013.  Further, the Complainant presented the opinion of value developed by a certified, general appraiser; with an effective date of August 8, 2013.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and modified by the Board of Equalization for St. Louis County for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE. True and Assessed Values of the subject property for 2013-2014 is set as follows:

Appeal Parcel True Value Assessed Value
13-13506 11P640261 $   4,685,350 $ 1,499,310.00
13-13507 11P640094 $       200,560 $       64,180.00
13-13509 11O430106 $       286,660 $       91,730.00
13-13510 11O430094 $   5,337,440 $ 1,707,980.00
  Total $ 10,510,010 $ 3,363,200.00



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


Disputed Taxes

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 this 19th day of April 2016.





Maureen Monaghan

Hearing Officer


Certificate of Service


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been sent electronically or mailed postage prepaid this 19th day of April, 2016, to: Complainants(s) counsel and/or Complainant, the county Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and county Collector.


Jacklyn Wood

Legal Coordinator


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


573-751-1341 Fax