State Tax Commission of Missouri
PHILLIP & BARBARA CASSIDY,)
v.) Appeal Numbers 07-57030
BILL OVERSCHMIDT, ASSESSOR,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Hearing Officer finds presumptions of correct assessment not rebutted. True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2007 & 2008 is set at $38,850, agricultural, assessed value of $4,662.
The Commission takes these appeals to determine the true value in money for the subject properties on January 1, 2007.
Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $38,850, assessed value of $4,662, as agricultural property.Complainant appealed to the State Tax Commission and proposed a value of $24,000, assessed value of $2,880 on the Complaint for Review of Assessment.A hearing on the appeal was set for March 7, 2008 at theFranklinCountyGovernmentBuilding, Assessor’s Conference Room,Union,Missouri.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared in person and by counsel, Mark Vincent.Complainant provided some testimony and then requested a copy of the Assessor’s appraisal report.A copy was provided.Complainant moved for a continuance.Motion for Continuance was granted.Complainant requested the case be heard on April 24, 2008, at 1:00 p.m.; Hearing Officer granted their request.Case was reset for April 24, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. and notice was mailed to all parties.On April 24, 2008, case was called.Complainants failed to appear.Respondent appeared in person and by counsel, Mark Vincent.
Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.
The Hearing Officer enters the following Decision and Order.
Complainants appeared on March 7, 2008.Complainant Philip Cassidy testified that the property has been in the family over sixty years.The property is hillside property and somewhere between fifteen and eighteen acres.Complainant requested a copy of the Assessor’s appraisal report and moved for a continuance. Complainant’s motion for continuance was granted.Case was reconvened on April 24, 2008.Complainants appeared not.
Respondent placed into evidence the appraisal report of Donald Dodd, Missouri State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and appraiser for the Franklin County Assessor’s Office.The appraiser located three comparable land sales.The properties were located from one to seven miles of the subject properties.The sales occurred in March 2004, June 2005 and December 2006.The properties ranged in size from 8.3 acres to 21 acres.The sales prices ranged from $2,033 per acre to $3,373 per acre.The properties relied upon by Respondent’s appraiser in performing his appraisal were comparable to the subject properties for the purpose of making a determination of value of the subject property. The appraiser properly adjusted for differences between the subject properties and each sale property.The adjustments made were appropriate for the present appraisal problem.The appraiser determined a fair market value of the property of $40,000 or $2,200 per acre.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is 18.5 acres located onChapel Hill Roadand its parcel number is 34-1-01.1-0-000-007.000.There are no improvements.The property is classified as agricultural.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The Commission has jurisdiction to hear appeals from every owner of real property or tangible personal property from the final action of the local boards of equalization.Section 138.430, RSMo.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof 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 assessor’s or Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.Snider, Hermel & Cupples Hesse, supra.Complainant’s evidence failed to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.
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).It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.Hermel, supra.
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.
6.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.
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, 2007.
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 (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. 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).
By not appearing and presenting evidence, Complainants have failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence tending to demonstrate that his property would sell for no more than $24,000 on January 1, 2007.Likewise, Complainants failed to present any evidence tending to demonstrate that the subject property would have sold for less than $38,850 on the tax day.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $4,662, agricultural.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific 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 appeal is based will result in summary denial.Section 138.432, RSMo 2000.
If an application for review of this 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 Franklin 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 or all 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 May 5, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid this 5th day of May, 2008, to:Philip Cassidy, 127 Timka Drive, Ballwin, MO 63011, Complainant; Mark Vincent, Franklin County Counselor, P.O. Box 439, Union, MO 63084, Attorney for Respondent; Bill Overschmidt, Assessor, 400 E. Locust, Suite 105A, Union, MO 63084; Debbie Door, Clerk, Franklin County Courthouse, 400 E. Locust, Suite 201, Union, MO 63084; Linda Emmons, Collector; Franklin County Courthouse, 400 E. Locust, Suite 103, Union, MO 63084.