Robert & Gail Jones v. James (Texas)

December 16th, 2008

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal Nos.08-90012 & 08-90013












Decisions of the Texas County Board of Equalization SET ASIDE.Hearing Officer finds value for subject properties.True value in money for the property in Appeal No. 08-90012 is set at $6,000, assessed value of $720.00, as agricultural land.True value in money for the property in Appeal No. 08-90013 is set at $102,732.50, assessed value of $18,570 as mixed residential and agricultural property.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared pro se.Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007, and the correct agricultural land grades.


Complainants appeal, on the ground of overvaluation and misgrading of agricultural land, the decisions of the Texas County Board of Equalization.The Board set the true value in money for the land in Appeal 08-90012 at $10,170, agricultural assessed value of $1,220.The Board set the true value in money for the property in Appeal 08-90013 at $98,918, residential assessed value of $18,790, and $16,460, agricultural assessed value of $1,980.Evidentiary hearing was held on November 6, 2008, at the Texas County Courthouse, Houston, Missouri. The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.

Complainants’ Evidence

Complainants testified in their own behalf.Exhibit A consisting of interior and exterior photographs of some of the structures on the subject property and an aerial map of the subject property was received into evidence.Complainants gave their opinion of value for the residential portion of their property to be $75,040.

Respondent’s Evidence

Respondent testified in her own behalf.Exhibit 1 consisting of the property record cards on the subject properties was received into evidence.


1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainants timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization.

2.The subject property in both appeals is located at 9452 Lynch Drive, Bucyrus, Missouri.The property in Appeal No. 08-90012 is identified by parcel map number 14-5-15-5.It consists of 80 acres of land.The property in Appeal No. 08-90013 is identified by parcel map number 14-5-15-7.It consists of a one acre home site with a residence and a mobile home, with structural additions, and 40.5 acres of land with two barns.[1]

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

4.Appeal No. 08-90012: The 80 acres comprising the property in Appeal No. 08-90012 is valued as agricultural land grade 7 at $75.00 per acre.[2]The true value in money for the property in Appeal No. 08-90012 is $6,000, assessed value of $720.00.

5.Appeal No. 08-90013 – Agricultural Real Property: The 40.50 acres of agricultural land comprising the property in Appeal No. 08-90013 is valued as 13 acres agricultural land grade 5 at $195.00 per acre and 27.5 acres agricultural land grade 7 at $75.00 per acre.[3]The true value in money for the agricultural land in Appeal No. 08-90013 is $4,597.50.The true value in money for the agricultural buildings is $8,900.See, Hearing Officer Finds Value, infra.The total true value in money for the agricultural real estate is $13,497.50, assessed value of $1,620.

6.Appeal No. 08-90013 – Residential Real Property:The one acre home site and residence has a true value in money of $89,235, assessed value of $16,950.See, Hearing Officer Finds Value, infra.



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.[4]

Presumption In Appeals

There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.[5]The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer, or respondent when advocating a value different than that determined by the Board, 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.[6]The evidence rebuts the presumption of correct assessment and supports a change in the true value in money and the agricultural land grades.

Standard for Valuation

Residential Property and Agricultural Structures

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.[7]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[8]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.[9]

Agricultural Land

The true value in money for agricultural land is its use or productivity value as set by agricultural land grades.[10]

Hearing Officer Finds Value

In order to prevail, Complainants must present an opinion of market value and substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value for the residential portion of their property is indicative of the market value of the subject property on January 1, 2007.[11]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.”[12]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[13]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.[14]

Complainants’ evidence as to the value of the home site was not persuasive to establish a value of $75,040 as testified to at hearing.Photographs showing deferred maintenance items on their home did not provide sufficient evidence to establish fair market value for the home.In like manner, photographs showing portions of one of the barns did not establish that the barn was in such a state of disrepair as to have no contributory value to the property.

With regard to the mobile home and its additions (screened porch, cabana, deck), the photographic evidence was sufficient for the Hearing Officer to conclude that this structure has no contributory value to the property.The Hearing Officer is persuaded that any informed buyer would not pay any additional for this structure.It is basically uninhabitable.It would require some expense to remove or demolish it.Therefore, the values shown on the property record card for the mobile home and its additions were deducted from the residential value.


The assessed valuations for the subject properties as determined by the Board of Equalization for Texas County for the subject tax day are SET ASIDE.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 08-90012 for tax year 2008 is set at $720.

The assessed value for the subject property in Appeal No. 08-90013 for tax year 2008 is set at $18,570.

A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the mailing date shown in the Certificate of Service.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, MO65102-0146, 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. [15]

The Collector of Texas County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a 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 December 12, 2008.





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 12thday of December, 2008, to:Gail Jones, 9452 Lynch Drive, Bucyrus, MO 65444, Complainant; Mike Anderson, Prosecuting Attorney, Texas County Courthouse Annex, 116 E. Main, Houston, MO 65483, Attorney for Respondent; Debbie James, Assessor, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Don Troutman, Clerk, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Tammy Cantrell, Treasurer and ex officio Collector of Revenue, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator




[1] Exhibit 1.


[2] Agreement of Parties at Hearing.


[3] Agreement of Parties at Hearing.


[4] Article X, section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.


[5] 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).


[6] Hermel, supra; Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696, 702 (Mo. 1959).


[7] 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).


[8] Hermel, supra.


[9] 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.


[10] Sections 137.017 & 137.021, RSMo; 12 CSR 30-4.010.


[11] Hermel, supra.


[12] 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).


[13] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


[14] Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).


[15] Section 138.432, RSMo.