State Tax Commission of Missouri
ROBERT H. SCOTT, JR.,)
CONNIE HOOVER, ASSESSOR,)
JASPER COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
AFFIRMING HEARING OFFICER DECISION
UPON APPLICATION FOR REVIEW
On May 21, 2012, Senior Hearing Officer W.B. Tichenor entered his Decision and Order (Decision) affirming the assessment by the Board of Equalization.
Complainants filed their Application for Review of the Decision.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
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.
The Hearing Officer as the trier of fact may consider the testimony of witnesses 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 witnesses who testify on the issue of reasonable value, but may believe all or none of the testimony and accept it in part or reject it in part.
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.
Complainant set forth the followings grounds in support of its Application for Review:
1. The weight the Hearing Officer gave to Exhibit C (a realtor’s opinion of listing price in May, 2011); and
2. Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal and application of Section 137.115.1, RSMo.
Exhibit C is a letter from a realtor expressing a listing price for the subject property of $115,000 as of May, 2011.Missouri Courts have approved the sales comparable approach, cost approach and income approach.The Complainant failed to present an opinion under any of the approved methodologies.A realtor’s listing opinion does not constitute an appraisal of the property.It is a comparative market analysis.Its purpose is to determine an appropriate price to list the property at the current time.An appraisal determines a fair market value of the subject property on a valuation data.
The Hearing Officer reviewed all the evidence, including Exhibit C, presented by the Complainant and determined that the Complainant failed to satisfy the required burden of proof.The Complainant’s opinion of value was not shown to be based upon proper elements and a proper foundation.Since the valuation determined by the Board is presumed to be correct, it must be affirmed, absent substantial and persuasive evidence to the contrary.
Complainant’s argument under Section 137.115.1 is not relevant in this appeal.Section 137.115.1 provides in part:
“In the event a valuation of subclass (1) real property within any county with a charter form of government, or within a city not within a county, is made by a computer, computer-assisted method or a computer program, the burden of proof, supported by clear, convincing and cogent evidence to sustain such valuation, shall be on the assessor at any hearing or appeal. In any such county, unless the assessor proves otherwise, there shall be a presumption that the assessment was made by a computer, computer-assisted method or a computer program.”
Since Jasper County is not a county operating under a charter form of government, this section is not applicable.
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.
The Hearing Officer did not err in is determination on the issue of fair market value of the subject property.
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.The Decision and Order of the hearing officer, including the findings of fact and conclusions of law therein, is incorporated by reference, as if set out in full, in this final decision of the Commission.
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 mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service for this Order.
If judicial review of this decision is made, any protested taxes presently in an escrow account in accordance with this appeal shall be held pending the final decision of the courts unless disbursed pursuant to Section 139.031.8, RSMo.
If no judicial review is made within thirty days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector ofJasper 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.
SO ORDERED August 8, 2012.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Bruce E. Davis, Chairman
Randy B. Holman, Commissioner
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization reducing the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Complainant failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board of Equalization.
True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2011 and 2012 is set at $126,310, residential assessed value $24,000.
Complainant appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jeremy Crowley
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject property.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1,
2011.The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.A hearing was conducted on March 13, 2012, at the Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage, Missouri.
2.Subject Property.The subject property is located at 1330 Valle Dr., Joplin, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 16-8-34-3-3-4.
4.Complainant’s Evidence.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of the Complainant.
Mr. Scott’s Background Statement
Photographs of the Subject Property
Realtor’s Listing Opinion
Mr. Scott testified at hearing that his opinion of the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2011, was $112,500.The opinion of value was based on Exhibit C, the value being the mid-point in the range established in the Listing Opinion.
Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2011, to be $112,500.
5.Respondent’s Evidence.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of the Respondent.
Property Record Card on Subject Property
Property Record Card on Eggleston Property
Property Record Card on Moore Property
Property Record Card on Burgess Property
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
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.
Basis of Assessment
The Constitution mandates that real property and tangible personal property be assessed at its value or such percentage of its value as may be fixed by law for each class and for each subclass.The constitutional mandate is to find the true value in money for the property under appeal. By statute real and tangible personal property is assessed at set percentages of true value in money.In an overvaluation appeal, true value in money for the property being appealed must be determined based upon the evidence on the record that is probative on the issue of the fair market value of the property under appeal.
Presumption In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption.It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer 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.Complainant’s evidence did not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence 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.True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.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.
Complainant’s Exhibits and his testimony at hearing failed to establish a value under the Standard for Value.
Methods of Valuation
Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission.It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case.Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value. Complainant failed to present an opinion of value derived from any accepted method for the appraisal of property.A Realtor’s® Listing Opinion does not constitute an appraisal of the property under appeal.
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, 2011.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.”A valuation which does not reflect the fair market value (true value in money) of the property under appeal is an unlawful, unfair and improper assessment.
Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.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.
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value.The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Generally sales information only has probative value before the Commission when it is part of an appraisal of the property under appeal.The record fails to show that the realtor who prepared Exhibit C was qualified by education, training and experience to offer an opinion of value of what a willing buyer and seller would have paid for the property on January 1, 2011.The opinion tendered in Exhibit C is an opinion of what the property would have listed for in May, 2011.This hearsay evidence does not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence to prove value.
Mr. Scott’s opinion was not shown to be based upon proper elements and a proper foundation, therefore, it has no probative value.Complainants failed to satisfy the required burden of proof.The valuation determined by the Board which is presumed to be correct must be affirmed.The Complainant’s argument in Exhibit D under section 137.115.1 RSMo is not relevant to this appeal since Jasper County is not a county operating under a charter form of government.
The Complainant having failed to meet his burden of proof, there is no need to do an analysis of the evidence presented on behalf of Respondent.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Jasper County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2011 and 2012 is set at $24,000.
Application for Review
Complainants may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service for this Decision.The application shall contain specific facts or law as 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.
The Collector of Jasper County, as well as 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 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 May 21, 2012.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer
 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).
 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).
 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).
 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.2d 403 (Mo. App. E.D. 1995); Phelps v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 598 S.W.2d 163 (Mo. App. E.D. 1980).
 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)
 Daly v. P. D. George Company, et al, 77 S.W.3d 645, 649 (Mo. App E.D. 2002), citing, Equitable Life Assurance Society v. STC, 852 S.W.2d 376, 380 (Mo. App. 1993); citing, Stephen & Stephen Properties, Inc. v. STC, 499 S.W.2d 798, 801-803 (Mo. 1973).
 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.
 See, Nance v. STC, 18 S.W.3d 611, at 615 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000); Hermel, supra; Xerox Corp. v. STC, 529 S.W.2d 413 (Mo. banc 1975).
 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).
 Section 339.503 (14) RSMo: “Comparative market analysis”, the analysis of sales of similar recently sold properties in order to derive an indication of the probable sales price of a particular property undertaken by a licensed real estate broker or agent, for his or her principal. A comparative market analysis is not an appraisal and shall specifically state it is not an appraisal. The Listing Opinion is the same as a comparative market analysis.
 Hermel, supra.
 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).
 See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.
 Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975).
 Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).
Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).
 Section 138.432, RSMo.