State Tax Commission of Missouri
ROBERT H & HELEN L GOEBEL,)
v.)Appeal(s) Number 07-57005
BILL OVERSCHMIDT, ASSESSOR,)
FRANKLIN COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the Board of Equalization sustaining the Assessor’s value at $5,590 residential (assessed value $1,062) is SET ASIDE.
The issue in this case is the true market value of the residential real property on January 1, 2007.
The subject property is a 7,200 square foot site.The Assessor valued the land at $5,590 residential.The Board of Equalization sustained the valuations by the Assessor.Complainant appealed and proposed a value at the time of the appeal of $1,000. The evidentiary hearing was held on
March 7, 2008, in the Assessor’s Conference Room, Union, Missouri. Complainants Robert and Helen Goebel appeared in person.Assessor Bill Overschmidt appeared in person and by counsel Mark Vincent.Evidence was heard and the case was taken under advisement.
Complainant offered the following evidence:
Exhibit A:Statement of Complainant’s Education and Professional background
Exhibit B:Narrative of Complainant’s Opinion of Value
Testimony of Complainant.
Respondent offered the following evidence:
Exhibit 1:Narrative Appraisal
Testimony of Donald Dodd, State Certified General Appraiser
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction is proper.Complainant timely filed their appeal from the decision of the Franklin County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is a site of 7,200 square feet. The property is identified as parcel number 04-7-35.0-1-001-094.000, property located on Catawba Street, New Haven, Missouri.
3.Complainant testified that the true value of the property is $1,000.Complainant testified that he sold the property in February 2008 for $2,500.He stated that the property is sloped with gravel road access.The view from the property is of older houses.
4.Respondent presented the appraisal of Donald Dodd, a certified general appraiser.Respondent developed a sales comparison approach to determine market value.He located three properties within .3 miles of the subject property which sold from July 2005 to October 2006.The comparable properties ranged in size from 12,024 square feet to 13,374 square feet.The appraiser made adjustments for size as well as road frontage, landscape and accessibility.The net adjustments ranged from -50% to -40% resulting in a $0.8031 per square foot price or $5,800 for the subject property.The comparable properties appear to be lots within a newer subdivision development with paved roads and curbing.The subject property does not appear to be within a subdivision and shares a gravel road with older homes.
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lang=EN-CA style=’mso-ansi-language:EN-CA’>CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
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 Assessor, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.Section 138.431.4, RSMo.
True Value in Money
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 purchased by one who is desiring 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, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, 897 (Mo. banc 1978).
Taxpayer has Burden of Proof
In Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003), the court of appeals stated:
There is no longer an automatic presumption regarding the correctness of an assessor’s valuation. Section 138.431.3. This statutory change from the previous situation in which the assessor’s valuation was presumed to be correct does not mean that there is now a presumption in favor of taxpayer. The taxpayer in a Commission tax appeal still bears the burden of proof and must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was improperly classified or valued. Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App.1991).
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).
Comparable Sales Approach
The comparable sales approach uses prices paid for similar properties in arms-length transactions and adjusts those prices to account for differences between the properties.The adjustments are based upon market data.Comparable sales consist of evidence of sales reasonably related in time and distance and involve land comparable in character.This approach is most appropriate when there is an active market for the type of property at issue such that sufficient data is
available to make a comparative analysis.Snider v. Casino Aztar/Aztar Missouri Gaming Corp., 156 S.W.3d, 341, 347-348 (Mo. 2005). (citations omitted).
Complainant has presented substantial and persuasive evidence tending to demonstrate that his property would sell for no more than $2,500 on January 1, 2007.Complainant testified that he placed the property on the market in 2007 and sold the property for $2,500 in February 2008.A sale of the subject property at or near the effective date is substantial and persuasive evidence that the true value of the property on January 1, 2007, was $2,500.
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The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor for Franklin County and sustained by the Board of Equalization for the subject tax day is SET ASIDE.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2007-2008 is set at $475.
A party may file with the Commission an application for review of a hearing officer decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific detailed 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.
If an application for review of a hearing officer 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 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 March 14, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid this 14th day of March, 2008, to:Robert Goebel, 1808 Shiloh Valley Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005, 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.