Pace Branson LLC et al v. Susan Chapman, Assessor, Taney County, Missouri

May 6th, 2022


PACE BRANSON LLC et al, ) Appeal No. 21-89526 through 21-89528
Complainants, ) Parcel No. See table, below.
v. )
Respondent. )


Pace Branson, LLC, and Welk Resort Group Inc. (collectively Complainants) filed their Complaints for Review of Assessment with the State Tax Commission (STC) alleging overvaluation and discrimination in the 2021 valuation assessments of the subject properties for ad valorem purposes.  Susan Chapman, Assessor, Taney County, Missouri, (Respondent) filed a motion to dismiss the appeals on the ground that the STC does not have jurisdiction to review the assessments because Complainants did not appeal the assessments to the Taney County Board of Equalization (BOE) by the statutory deadline.

Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss is granted. Complainants’ appeals are dismissed.

Complainant is represented by counsel R. Brian Mueller. Respondent is represented by counsel Travis Elliott. Case decided by Chief Counsel Amy S. Westermann (hearing officer).


Counsel for the parties attended a pre-hearing conference in these appeals on April 19, 2022.  During the pre-hearing conference, the hearing officer requested information regarding the BOE decisions for the subject properties, which were not in the case files.  Counsel for the parties discussed that Complainants’ did not receive BOE decisions because the BOE did not accept the appeals, which were postmarked July 12, 2022, and received by the BOE on or about July 14, 2022.  The hearing officer stated that she would review the documentation in the case files following the pre-hearing conference to determine if the STC had authority to hear the appeals.

On April 29, 2022, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, alleging the STC lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeals.  Specifically, Respondent asserted that Complainants’ appeals were required to be filed “before the second Monday in July,” pursuant to Section 137.385[2].  Respondent argued that Complainants’ appeals were postmarked on the second Monday in July and were not received by the BOE until two days after the deadline; thus, the BOE did not accept the appeals, did not hear the appeals, and did not issue decisions regarding the appeals.  Also on April 29, 2022, counsel for Complainants acknowledged their appeals to the BOE were not timely filed with the BOE.


  1. Subject Property. The subject properties are identified as follows:
Appeal No. Appeal Name Parcel No.
21-89526 Pace Branson LLC 08-9.0-30-000-000-060.000
21-89527 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.003
21-89528 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.000


  1. Valuation. Respondent determined the TVM for the subject properties as follows:
Appeal No. Appeal Name Parcel No. Value
21-89526 Pace Branson LLC 08-9.0-30-000-000-060.000 $2,383,001.00
21-89527 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.003 $1,716,173.00
21-89528 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.000 $7,306,267.00


  1. Jurisdiction. The STC lacks authority or jurisdiction over these appeals because Complainants did not timely file their appeals with the BOE.


Any person aggrieved by the assessment of his property may appeal to the county board of equalization.  Section 137.385.  An appeal shall be in writing and the forms to be used for this purpose shall be furnished by the county clerk.  Id.  Such appeal shall be lodged with the county clerk as secretary of the board of equalization before the second Monday in July; provided, that the board may in its discretion extend the time for filing such appeals.  Id.

Every owner of real property or tangible personal property shall have the right to appeal from the local boards of equalization to the STC under rules prescribed by the STC, within the time prescribed in this chapter or 30 days following the final action of the local board of equalization, whichever date later occurs, concerning all questions and disputes involving the assessment against such property, the method or formula used in determining the valuation of such property, or the assignment of a discriminatory assessment to such property.  Section 138.430.

As a general rule, courts will refrain from acting until the litigants have exhausted all available administrative remedies provided by statute.  In establishing a system for levying of taxes and the appeal of property tax assessments, including those set out in Sections 138.060, 138.430 and 139.031, the General Assembly has properly charged administrative agencies with responsibilities associated with the determination of property valuation methods as well as the actual assessment of property.  Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation v. Estes, 323 S.W.3d 100, 104 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010).

The doctrine of exhaustion of remedies is a jurisdictional requirement.  Pessin v. State Tax Com’n, 875 S.W.2d 143 (Mo. App. E.D. 1994).  Where an administrative remedy is available, a court will generally require a litigant to exhaust the administrative remedy before assuming jurisdiction.  Premium Standard Farms, Inc. v. Lincoln Township, 946 S.W.2d 234, 237 (Mo. banc 1997); Willamette Indus., Inc. v. Clean Water Comm’n, 34 S.W.3d 197, 201 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000).

Under the statutory framework of Chapter 137, the General Assembly created the local boards of equalization and gave them the duty to hear and determine taxpayers’ appeals from an assessor’s valuation of property.  There can be no dispute that the General Assembly never intended to allow taxpayers to appeal to the STC without first appealing to the local boards of equalization.[3]

As an administrative agency, the STC’s authority is limited to that granted expressly or necessarily implied by statute.  See United Pharmacal Co. of Mo., Inc. v. Mo. Bd. of Pharmacy, 208 S.W.3d 907, 913 (Mo. banc 2006).   The authority to dismiss an untimely appeal is necessarily implied from the statutory grant of authority to hear and decide appeals filed within definite deadlines.  See Oberreiter v. Fullbright Trucking, 24 S.W.3d 727, 729 (Mo. App. E.D. 2000) (holding an agency has inherent authority to dismiss an untimely claim).

The STC’s authority to review an appeal from the BOE is “derivative or appellate in nature and hence the power or jurisdiction of the Commission [is] no more extensive than that possessed by the [BOE].”  Foster Bros. Mfg. Co. v. State Tax Comm’n, 319 S.W.2d 590, 595 (Mo. 1958); see also Armstrong-Trotwood, LLC v. State Tax Comm’n, 516 S.W.3d 830, 837 (Mo. banc 2017) (holding the Commission’s authority to consider an appeal “is derivative” of the BOE).  Therefore, Complainants’ untimely BOE appeal, in effect, is no appeal at all, and leaves the STC with nothing to review.

The record reveals, and Complainants acknowledge, that the appeals were not filed timely with the BOE.  The lack of a timely filing of their appeals to the BOE denies the STC of any jurisdiction to hear an appeal and leaves the STC with nothing to review in these matters.


The values for the subject properties for the tax year 2021[4] remains as follows:

Appeal No. Appeal Name Parcel No. Value
21-89526 Pace Branson LLC 08-9.0-30-000-000-060.000 $2,383,001.00
21-89527 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.003 $1,716,173.00
21-89528 Welk Resort Group Inc 18-6.0-14-003-001-006.000 $7,306,267.00


Application for Review

A party may file an application for review of this decision within 30 days of the mailing date set forth in the certificate of service for this decision.  The application “shall contain specific detailed grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.”  Section 138.432.  The application must be in writing, and may be mailed to the State Tax Commission of Missouri, P.O. Box 146, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146, or emailed to  A copy of the application must be sent to each person 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.

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Taney County, and 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 the disputed taxes have been disbursed pursuant to a court order under the provisions of section 139.031.8.

SO ORDERED May 6, 2022.


Amy S. Westermann

Chief Counsel

Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been electronically mailed and/or sent by U.S. Mail on May 6, 2022, to: Complainant(s) and/or Counsel for Complainant(s), the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.

Amy S. Westermann

Chief Counsel

[1] This Decision and Order is amended nunc pro tunc to correct a scrivener’s error in the tables identifying the subject properties in the Findings of Fact and in the Conclusion and Order. In the previously-issued version of the Decision and Order, the parcel locator numbers for appeal numbers 21-89527 and 21-89528 were transposed. This Decision and Order and its date of issue remains otherwise unchanged.

[2] All statutory citations are to RSMo 2000, as amended.

[3] Under its rulemaking authority, the STC has promulgated 12 CSR 30-3.010(1)(B)1, which provides that taxpayers may file appeals directly with the STC in two limited circumstances, neither of which apply here:

(a) where the assessor fails to notify the current owner of the property of an initial assessment or an increase in assessment from the previous year, prior to thirty (30) days before the deadline for filing an appeal to the board of equalization, including instances in which real property was transferred and the prior owner was notified, or

(b) where a new owner purchased real property less than thirty (30) days before the deadline for filing an appeal to the board of equalization or later in the tax year, regardless if the assessment is an initial assessment, an increase or decrease in assessment, or an assessment established in the prior year.

[4] The assessed value shall also apply to the following even-numbered year (2022) except for new construction and property improvements. See Section 137.115.