STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
|STEVEN CARL VIRES,||)|
|)||Appeal No. 21-18351|
|v.||)||Parcel No. 29L140353|
|JAKE ZIMMERMAN, ASSESSOR,||)|
|ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
Steven Carl Vires (Complainant) appeals the St. Louis County Board of Equalization’s (BOE) decision finding the true value in money (TVM) of the subject residential property was $264,600 as of January, 1, 2021. Complainant alleges overvaluation and proposes a value of $230,000. Complainant did not appear for the June 23, 2022, evidentiary hearing. The BOE decision is affirmed.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The evidentiary hearing was scheduled for June 23, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Respondent’s counsel, Tim Bowe, timely appeared at the evidentiary hearing. Complainant did not appear. Complainant did not seek a continuance or otherwise communicate any intent to proceed with the appeal.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Section 138.430.5 governs the disposition of appeals by an STC hearing officer. The statute provides: “[u]nless an appeal is voluntarily dismissed, a hearing officer, after affording the parties reasonable opportunity for fair hearing, 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.”
The parties were afforded notice and a reasonable opportunity to participate in the evidentiary hearing. Complainant did not voluntarily dismiss the appeal.
Complainant bore the burden of proof and was required to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the subject property was overvalued. Westwood P’ship v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003). Complainant did not appear at the evidentiary hearing and produced no evidence to support his overvaluation claim. Complainant’s failure to appear and present evidence necessarily means Complainant did not meet his burden of proving overvaluation. As Missouri law has recognized for over 150 years, “if there be no evidence sufficient in law to make a prima facie case on this issue, plaintiff cannot be entitled to recover.” Callahan v. Warne, 40 Mo. 131, 135 (Mo. 1867). The BOE decision is affirmed. Section 138.430.5
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
The BOE’s decision is affirmed. The TVM of the subject property as of January 1, 2021, was $264,600.
Application for Review
A party may file an application for review of this decision within 30 days of the mailing date set forth in the certificate of service for this decision. The application “shall contain specific detailed grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.” Section 138.432. The application must be in writing, and may be mailed to the State Tax Commission of Missouri, P.O. Box 146, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146, or emailed to Legal@stc.mo.gov. A copy of the application must be sent to each person 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. Section 138.432.
The Collector of St. Louis County, and 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 the disputed taxes have been disbursed pursuant to a court order under the provisions of section 139.031.
SO ORDERED July 1, 2022.
Eric S. Peterson
Senior Hearing Officer
State Tax Commission
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been electronically mailed and/or sent by U.S. Mail on July 1, 2022, to: Complainant(s) and/or Counsel for Complainant(s), the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.
Amy S. Westermann
 Complainant timely filed a complaint for review of assessment. The State Tax Commission (STC) has authority to hear and decide Complainant’s appeal. Mo. Const. art. X, sec. 14; Section 138.430.1, RSMo 2000. All statutory citations are to RSMo 2000, as amended.