Stephen & Lisa Bredensteiner v. Shipman (St. Charles)

April 27th, 2011

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal Number 10-32500












Decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization sustaining the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.True value in money for the subject personal property (motor vehicle) for tax year 2010 is set at $25,550, assessed value of $8,516.Complainants appeared pro se.Respondent appeared by Assistant County Counselor Charissa L. Mayes.

Case decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.


Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization, which sustained the valuation of the subject motor vehicle.The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2010.The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.


1.Jurisdiction.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the St. Charles County Board of Equalization. Case is decided on documents filed.[1]

2.Assessment.The Assessor appraised the property at $25,550, a personal property assessment of $8,516.[2]The Board of Equalization sustained the assessment.[3]

3.Subject Property.The subject property[4] is a 2007 GMC Yukon – ½ ton – V-8, 4-door – SLE – Model C13.[5]It is identified by VIN: 1GKEC13J37J119662.[6]The Letter and Number C13 appearing in the VIN identifies the NADA Model.[7]

4.Complainant’s Evidence.Complainants submitted the following exhibits[8] which are received into evidence:




Complainants’ Statement on issue in appeal


Listing of asserted standard equipment not on Subject Vehicle


Kelly Blue Book – 1/20/11 – Values for Subject Vehicle


Edmunds – 1/20/11 – Values for Subject Vehicle


Complainants’ 2007 & 2008 Personal Property Tax Bills


Complainants’ 2009 & 2010 Personal Property Tax Bills


Complainants’ 2010 – Personal Property Assessment Form


Notice of Personal Property Assessment – 6/1/10


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 for the subject motor vehicle as of January 1, 2010, to be $22,325, as proposed.[9]

5.Respondent’s Evidence.Respondent submitted the following exhibits which are received into evidence:





Complainants’ 2010 – Personal Property Assessment Form


BOE Decision Letter


Missouri Dept. of Revenue Motor Vehicle Record – Subject Vehicle


Section 137.115 Revised Statutes of Missouri


October 2009 – NADA[10] Official Used Car Guide, p. 124 – Subject Vehicle


October 2009 – NADA Website – Value on Subject Vehicle


NADA Website – Glossary of Terms


Excerpt from Kelley Blue Book


AutoTrader Website – Value on Subject Vehicle – $27,459 – Mileage 41,152


AutoTrader Website – Value on Subject Vehicle – $32,035 – Mileage 61,089



Written Direct Testimony – Matt Brown – St. Charles County Special Assessments Manager




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.[11]

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.[12]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.[13]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.[14]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.[15]Complainants’ evidence failed to reach the level of substantial and persuasive to rebut the valuation by the Board and to establish the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2010.

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.[16]True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use.[17]It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.[18]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.[19]


Complainants’ Fail To Prove Value

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, 2009.[20]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.”[21]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[22]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.[23]

The main thrust of the argument advanced by Complainants is that the 2010 valuation of the Yukon SUV was higher than it had been in 2007, 2008 or 2009.This fact is irrelevant.There is no presumption that the Assessor’s values in those years were correct.[24]The only issue is what a willing buyer and seller would have agreed to as the purchase price of the Complainants’ 2007 Yukon on January 1, 2010.The valuations provided in Complainants’ exhibits tender values as of January 20, 2011, a full year after the valuation date.Therefore, such information is not evidence of value as of January 1, 2010.It has no probative weight.

Having failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and to establish value as of January 1, 2010, the Complainants cannot prevail.The assessment sustained by the Board must be affirmed.


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor and sustained by the Board of Equalization for St. Charles County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2010 is set at $8,516.

Application for Review

A party 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.

Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the application for review is based will result in summary denial. [25]

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of St. Charles 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.If no Application for Review is filed with the Commission within thirty days of the mailing date set forth in the Certificate of Service, the Collector, 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.

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 April 27, 2011.





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 27thday of April, 2011, to:Stephen Bredensteiner, 1123 North Fifth, St. Charles, MO 63301, Complainant; Charissa Mayes, Assistant County Counselor, 100 North Third Street, Room 216, St. Charles, MO 63301, Attorney for Respondent; Scott Shipman, Assessor, 201 North Second, Room 247, St. Charles, MO 63301-2870; Ruth Miller, Registrar, 201 North Second Street, Room 529, St. Charles, MO 63301; Michelle McBride, Collector, 201 North Second Street, Room 134, St. Charles, MO 63301.




Barbara Heller

Legal Coordinator




Contact Information for State Tax Commission:

Missouri State Tax Commission

301 W. High Street, Room 840

P.O. Box 146

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146


573-751-1341 Fax


[1] By Order issued 12/20/10, parties were required to file exhibits and written direct testimony.Case was submitted on documents filed, unless objected to by either party on or before 3/15/11.Neither party objected on or before 3/15/11.


[2] Personal property is assessed at 33 & 1/3 of true value in money (fair market value), Section 137.115.5(1), RSMo


[3] Exhibits 1 & 2


[4] The subject motor vehicle was one of three listed on the Complainants’ Assessment Form, however, the other items of personal property (Pick-up Truck & Motorcycle) were not appealed.


[5] Exhibits 1 & 3


[6] Exhibit 3


[7] Exhibit 3, Exhibit 11 – Q & A 14 & 15


[8] Order setting filing of exhibits instructed that Complainants’ exhibits were to be assigned letters (A, B, etc.), the Hearing Officer has so assigned letters in place of numbers marked on the Exhibits by Complainants.


[9] Amount given as Taxpayer’s Proposed True Value (Market) on the Complaint for Review of Assessment.


[10] National Automobile Dealers Association


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


[12] Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945


[13] Section 137.115.5, RSMo


[14] 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)


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


[16] 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).


[17] 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).


[18] Hermel, supra.


[19] 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.


[20] Hermel, supra.


[21] 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).


[22] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


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

[24] RSMo – §138.431. 4.“. . . There shall be no presumption that the assessor’s valuation is correct. . . . .”

[25] Section 138.432, RSMo.