Richard Poeling v. Bushmeyer (SLCY)

February 5th, 2008

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.)Appeal Number 07-20075














On February 5, 2008, Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan entered her Decision and Order (Decision) setting aside the assessment by the St. Louis City Board of Equalization and setting value for Complainant’s property at $296,400.

Complainant timely filed his Application for Review of the Decision.Respondent timely filed his Response.


Standard Upon Review

The Hearing Officer is not bound by any single formula, rule or method in determining true value in money, but 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 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 Hearing Officer as the trier of fact may consider the testimony of an expert witness and give it as much weight and credit as she may deem it entitled to when viewed in connection with all other circumstances.The Hearing Officer is not bound by the opinions of experts who testify on the issue of reasonable value, but may believe all or none of the expert’s testimony and accept it in part or reject it in part.St. Louis County v. Boatmen’s Trust Co., 857 S.W.2d 453, 457 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993); Vincent by Vincent v. Johnson, 833 S.W.2d 859, 865 (Mo. 1992);Beardsley v. Beardsley, 819 S.W.2d 400, 403 (Mo. App. 1991); Curnow v. Sloan, 625 S.W.2d 605, 607 (Mo. banc 1981).

The Commission will not lightly interfere with the Hearing Officer’s Decision and substitute its judgment on the credibility of witnesses and weight to be given the evidence for that of the Hearing Officer as the trier of fact.Black v. Lombardi, 970 S.W.2d 378 (Mo. App. E.D. 1998); Lowe v. Lombardi, 957 S.W.2d 808 (Mo. App. W.D. 1997); Forms World, Inc. v. Labor and Industrial Relations Com’n, 935 S.W.2d 680 (Mo. App. W.D. 1996); Evangelical Retirement Homes v. STC, 669 S.W.2d 548 (Mo. 1984); Pulitzer Pub. Co. v. Labor and Indus. Relations Commission, 596 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. 1980); St. Louis County v. STC, 562 S.W.2d 334 (Mo. 1978); St. Louis County v. STC, 406 S.W.2d 644 (Mo. 1966).


A review of the record in the present appeal provides support for the determinations made by the Hearing Officer.There is competent and substantial evidence to establish a sufficient foundation for the Decision of the Hearing Officer.A reasonable mind could have conscientiously reached the same result based on a review of the entire record. The Commission finds no basis to support a determination that the Hearing Officer acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner or abused her discretion as the trier of fact and concluder of law in this appeal.Hermel, Inc. v. STC, 564 S.W.2d 888 (Mo. 1978); Black v. Lombardi, 970 S.W.2d 378 (Mo. App. E.D. 1998); Holt v. Clarke, 965 S.W.2d 241 (Mo. App. W.D. 1998); Smith v. Morton, 890 S.W.2d403 (Mo. App. E.D. 1995); Phelps v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 598 S.W.2d 163 (Mo. App. E.D. 1980).

Complainant’s Issues

Complainant seeks a reversal of the Hearing Officer’s Decision on essentially the following lines of argument:

1.                  The subject property is assessed over three and a half times more than a comparable property next to the subject.


2.                  The subject property’s assessment is 71% higher than the average property on the subject street.


3.                  Respondent values homes based on sale prices and not actual values.


4.                  Subject home was purchased during the 2005 real estate bubble


5.                  Setting aside the reduction made by the Board was an abuse of the Hearing Officer’s power and was made only to penalize Complainant for exercising his rights to appeal.


Commission Ruling on Points Raised

Value of Property Next Door

The value which the assessor placed on the adjoining property did not establish either the true value in money of the property under appeal or a claim for discrimination.Comparing appraised values of properties even on the same street or on neighboring streets is not a methodology recognized by the courts of this state or the Commission for determining fair marked value.Decision, p. 7.

Complainant failed to present any evidence based upon a recognized valuation methodology from which the Hearing Officer could have properly concluded the fair market value as of January 1, 2007, was only $195,000.There is no market data to support such a value.To conclude such a value the Hearing Officer would have had to rely on nothing but speculation and conjecture.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. 1980).

As to Complainant’s claim of discrimination, it likewise must fail.In order to obtain a reduction in assessed value based upon discrimination, the Complainant had to prove that the subject property was assessed at a greater percentage of value than other residential property generally in St. Louis City.Koplar v. State Tax Commission, 321 S.W.2d 686, 695 (Mo. 1959).Evidence of value and assessments of a few properties does not prove discrimination.Substantial evidence must show that all in general other residential property in St. Louis City generally, was actually undervalued.State ex rel. Plantz v. State Tax Commission, 384 S.W.2d 565, 568 (Mo. 1964).The difference in the assessment ratio of the subject property and the average residential assessment ratio in St. Louis City must be shown to be grossly excessive.Savage v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 722 S.W.2d 72, 79 (Mo. banc 1986).No other methodology is sufficient to establish discrimination.Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696 (Mo. 1958).

Without proving the fair market value of his own property, the taxpayer was unable to prove what its actual assessment ratio was.Failing to prove the average residential assessment ratio for St. Louis City, the taxpayer could not establish that the assessment ratio on the subject property was grossly excessive when compared to the average residential ratio

Average Assessment

Likewise, the argument relating to a comparison between the subject and the alleged average assessment on the subject street fails to comply with the case law to establish discrimination in the assessment of the taxpayer’s property.Nor is a comparison to average assessment on a street appropriate to establish the value which a willing buyer and setter would agree to for the purchase of a given property on the street.

Sales Prices to Establish Value

Complainant’s argument under this point is simply in error.The actual sales price of comparable homes at a time relevant to the assessment date is relevant evidence to establish value.Sales prices represent actual values of the sale properties.Sales prices of comparable homes are used to establish value of other properties which have not recently sold.This is what appraisers do every time they appraise a property.They rely upon sales of comparable homes to arrive at the indicate value for the property being appraised.Use of sales of comparable properties does not violate Article X, Section 3 of the Missouri Constitution.The evidence does not establish the claim of Complainant that homes being sold in the two years prior to the assessment date (1/1/07) were being assessed higher than houses that had not sold.

2005 Real Estate Bubble

This argument is not persuasive.The property was clearly purchased for what a willing buyer and seller negotiated for the property.The sale price of the property in August, 2005 of $310,500 established the fair market value of the property as of that date.Decision, p. 7.That does not mean that was the fair market value on January 1, 2007.It was a factor that could be considered in valuing the property.However, Complainant’s evidence failed to establish that the subject property’s value had decreased by $115,500 or just over 37% ($310,500 – $195,000 = $115,500 ÷ $310,500 = .372) of its August, 2005 value as proposed by the taxpayer.Irrespective of whether or not August 2005 represented a “bubble” in the real estate market in St. Louis City for property such as the subject, the valuation made by Respondent’s Appraiser (Exhibit 1) was made based upon comparable properties which sold at a time relevant to the assessment date of January 1, 2007.

Abuse of Hearing Officer’s Power

The final ground for appeal is Complainant’s claim that the Hearing Officer abused her power and increased the value on the subject property to $296,400 as punishment for the taxpayer appealing his assessment.The Commission finds no merit to this assertion.

Complainant was advised by the Commission Order dated November 1, 2007 which set the case for evidentiary hearing that “It is possible the assessment might remain the same, be lowered, or be raised.” Emphasis added.The Hearing Officer found the Respondent’s evidence to be substantial and persuasive to establish the value of $296,400, based upon a sales comparison approach to value.It is important to note that each of the sale properties used to value the subject sold within 3 to 34 days of the assessment date of January 1, 2007.

The adjusted sales prices ranged from $247,600 to $321,000.The net adjustments to the comparable sales were only 4.2%, 4.6% and 5.5%.The adjusted per square foot sales prices calculated to $124.08, $101.47 and $95.71, compared to the unadjusted sales prices of $134.00, $103.93 and $102.42 per square foot of living area.Therefore, the indicated value of $296,400 calculates to a square foot of living area value of $114.57, well within the range of the indicated values.The evidence presented in Exhibit 1 provided substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the value of $296,400.

The Commission finds no basis in the face of this evidence to conclude that the Hearing Officer abused her power.The increasing of the value on Complainant’s home was not a penalty for appealing the assessment.The Hearing Officer’s decision was the carrying out of her responsibility to determine the true value in money for the property under appeal as of January 1, 2007 based upon the evidence in the record.Complainant’s evidence failed to establish the true value in money (fair market value) of the property as of January 1, 2007.Respondent’s evidence was substantial and persuasive to establish the value of $296,400.

Documents Included with Application for Review

Complainant submitted additional documents (Revised Spreadsheet, photographs of other properties) with his Application for Review.These documents were not shown to have been offered into evidence at the evidentiary hearing and no claim of error was raised that the documents were wrongly excluded.Therefore, they cannot be considered in the Commission’s review of the record.The evidence presented and received at the evidentiary hearing constitutes the record upon which the Decision was rendered.That is what the Commission considers when

an Application for Review is filed.Parties are not generally allowed to supplement the record after the close of the evidentiary hearing.


The Commission upon review of the record and Decision in this appeal, finds no grounds upon which the Decision of the Hearing Officer should be reversed or modified.Accordingly, the Decision is affirmed.

Judicial review of this Order may be had in the manner provided in Sections 138.432 and 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo within thirty days of the date of the mailing of this Order.The Collector of St. Louis City is to continue to hold the disputed taxes in escrow pending an order of the Commission advising if a petition for judicial review is filed, unless said taxes have been disbursed pursuant to an order of the circuit court under the provisions of Section 139.031.8 RSMo.§139.031.3, RSMo.


The evidence presented by Complainant, though insufficient to establish discrimination, was sufficient to warrant a review of the valuation of the subject neighborhood by Respondent.Respondent is to review the assessments of the properties located in the immediate neighborhood of the subject, described as follows:Bounded by Russell Boulevard on the South and I-44 on the North, Compton Hill Place on the West and Compton Avenue on the East.Respondent shall file a written report on this review with the Commission on or before June 30, 2008.

SO ORDERED April 15, 2008.


Bruce E. Davis, Chairman

Jennifer Tidwell, Commissioner

Charles Nordwald, Commissioner








Decision of the St. Louis City Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor, SET ASIDE.Hearing Officer finds true value in money for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 to be $296,400, assessed value of $56,320.

Complainant appeared in person.

Respondent appeared by Counsel, Carl W. Yates, III, Associate County Counselor.

Case heard and decided by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.


The Commission takes this appeal to determine (1) the true value in money for the subject residential property on January 1, 2007; and (2) whether the subject residential property was assessed at a ratio greater than 19% or the average assessment ratio for residential property inSt. LouisCity.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation and discrimination, the decision of the St. Louis City Board of Equalization, which reduced the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $296,400, assessed value of $56,320, as residential property.The Board of Equalization reduced the true value to $250,000, assessed value $47,500.Complainant proposed a value of $195,000, assessed value of $37,050.A hearing was conducted on January 23, 2008, at theSt. LouisCity Hall,St. Louis,Missouri.

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

Complainant’s Evidence

The following exhibits were offered into evidence on behalf of the Complainant.

Exhibit A – Includes a Chart of Neighboring Properties and data from the Assessor’s Office

Exhibit A was received into evidence.

Testimony of Richard Poeling.

Respondent’s Evidence

The following exhibits were offered into evidence on behalf of the Respondent.

Exhibit 1 –Appraisal of Subject Property

All Exhibits were received into evidence.

Testimony of John Norton.


1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Louis City Board of Equalization.

2.The subject property is located at1926 Compton Hills Place,St. Louis,Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 1299-00-00600.The property consists of a lot measuring 25 feet by 131 feet. The lot is improved by a two-story brick, single-family structure.The house was built in 1904 and appears to be in average condition.The residence has 2,587 square feet of living area and a full basement.There is a two-car detached car garage.

3.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2008.

4.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2007, for the residential tract as improved to be $195,000.

5.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to establish that the property under appeal was being assessed at a ratio greater than 19% or the average ratio for residential property inSt. LouisCity

5.Respondent’s evidence met the standard of substantial and persuasive to establish the value of the subject, as of January 1, 2007, to be $296,400.



The Commission has jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, RSMo.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.Section 138.431.4, RSMo.

Board of Equalization Presumption

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).

Presumption on Assessor’s Value

TheSupreme Court of Missouri has held, “A tax assessor’s valuation is presumed correct.” Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d. 341, 348-349 (Mo. 2005).Citing to Hermel, supra; and Cupples Hesse Corp. v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).

Rebutting of Presumption of Correct Assessment

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.

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

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 is 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 each 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; Exhibit 1, pp. 3-4.

Opinion Testimony by Experts

If specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert on that subject, by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto.

The facts or data upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to the expert at or before the hearing and must be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject and must be otherwise reliable, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence.Section 490.065, RSMo; Courtroom Handbook on Missouri Evidence, Wm. A. Schroeder, Sections 702-505, pp. 325-350; Wulfing v. Kansas City Southern Industries, Inc., 842 S.W.2d 133 (Mo. App. E.D. 1992).

Complainant’s Burden of Proof

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, 2007.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, at 897.Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.See, 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).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).

Owner’s Opinion of Value

The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).

The Complainant purchased the property in October, 2005 for $310,500.The Complainant testified that the property was marketed and listed by a realtor for $369,000 and the asking price was reduced to $329,000.The Complainant was represented by a realtor and made an offer for the property of $300,000.The parties eventually agreed on $310,500.The Complainant obtained a mortgage for the property and the bank obtained an appraisal on the property.

The Complainant summarized information from the Assessor’s Office Property Record Card on properties surrounding the subject property.Only two sales of property sold at a time relevant to the tax date of January 1, 2007; the subject property and property located at1944 Compton Place. The properties have similar square footage but differ on room count, garage space, and porch space.The condition and quality finish of the other property is unknown.

Methods of Valuation

Missouricourts 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).

Assessor’s Opinion of Value

The Assessor presented the testimony of John Norton, a real property appraiser at the St. Louis Assessor’s Office.Mr. Norton presented an appraisal of the subject property.Mr. Norton used the sales comparison approach as it is the most indicative of buyers and sellers in the market place.Mr. Norton found three sales within four blocks of the subject property and the sales occurred between January and December of 2006. The properties were in the same location, all brick, average quality of construction, approximately 100 years of age, 2600 square footage, similar room count, and had full basements. The properties sold from between $262,000 and $335,000.Downward adjustments were made for front footage.Upward adjustments were made for garage space.After all adjustments were made, a final value of $296,400 was determined.

The properties relied upon by Respondent’s appraiser in performing his appraisal were comparable to the subject property for the purpose of making a determination of value of the subject property. The appraiser properly adjusted for differences between the subject and each sale property.The adjustments made were appropriate for the present appraisal problem.

Evidence of Increase in Value

In any case in St. Louis City where the assessor presents evidence which indicates a valuation higher than the value finally determined by the assessor or the value determined by the board of equalization, whichever is higher, for that assessment period, such evidence will only be received for the purpose of sustaining the assessor’s or board’s valuation, and not for increasing the valuation of the property under appeal.Section 138.060, RSMo; 12 CSR 30-3.075.

Complainant Failed To Prove Discrimination

In order to obtain a reduction in assessed value based upon discrimination, the Complainant must (1) prove the true value in money of his property on January 1, 1997.Koplar v. State Tax Commission, 321 S.W.2d 686, 690 (Mo. 1959); and (2) show an intentional plan of discrimination by the assessing officials resulting in an assessment of that property at a greater percentage of value than other property, generally, within the same class within the same taxing jurisdiction.Koplar, supra, at 695.

Under this theory, Complainant must first establish the market value of his property in order to determine the percentage of true value at which it is being assessed.Next, he must establish the true value of the other properties generally which he claims are assessed at a lower percentage of true value.Then he must compare the ratio of assessed value to true value for both his property and the comparable properties to establish that his property is being assessed at a higher percentage of value.No other methodology is sufficient to establish discrimination.

Here, Complainant’s discrimination claim failed the moment he failed to establish the market value for his home.However, even if he had established his own market value, his discrimination claim must still fail because he did not establish the market value for the properties which he now suggests are receiving more favorable treatment.We cannot conclude that unequal ratios exist when Complainant failed to establish those ratios.

Because each property is unique, the mere fact that other properties in Complainant’s subdivision are assessed at a lower value in no way establishes that they are assessed at something less than market value.They may have genuine physical differences affecting value or they may be legally entitled to a lower ratio — such as certain not-for-profit parcels.Further, even if Complainant had shown that these few properties were assessed at less than market value, the sample is too small to establish any discriminatory intent.Finally, even if a few properties are undervalued, it does not mean that Complainant is being unlawfully assessed – it only means that those few properties may be getting a tax break; a situation that should be corrected.

Based on the foregoing, the Hearing Officer finds Complainant has failed to establish that he is entitled to a reduction based upon discrimination.


Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof.There was no substantial and persuasive evidence provided to support the fair market value of $195,000 proffered by Complainant.

The owner failed to rebut the presumptions of correct assessment, therefore the assessment as made by the Assessor must be affirmed.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization forSt. LouisCityfor the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $56,320.

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.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 St. Louis City, 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 February 5, 2008.


Maureen Monaghan

Hearing Officer