State Tax Commission of Missouri
|v.||)||Appeal # 14-68500|
|DENNIS BRADFORD, ASSESSOR,||)|
|MADISON COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
This appeal is submitted on the record. By Amended Order of January 8, 2015, the parties were to advice if they desired an Evidentiary Hearing and that if they did not respond that they would be deemed to have consented to a Decision being rendered upon the exhibits submitted by the parties.
The assessment of Complainant’s automobile is AFFIRMED as to the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe. Complainant did not present any substantial and persuasive evidence of the value of the vehicle on January 1, 2014.
Assessed value for the subject automobile for tax year 2014 is set at:
1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe- $1,610.
Appeal considered and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu.
Complainant appeals the valuations of his 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the value in money for the subject personal property on January 1, 2014. The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
FINDINGS OF FACT
- Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper. Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission.
- Subject Property. The subject property is a 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe identified in Assessor’s Account 1165.
- Assessment. The Assessor assigned an assessed value to the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe of $1,610.
- Evidence. Complainant offered into evidence Exhibit A & B. Exhibit A consisted of a hand-written letter describing the vehicle, the owner’s opinion of its value and the previous assessments. Exhibit B consisted of the 2011-2014 Madison County Tax Receipts and various pictures of the vehicle. Respondent offered into evidence Exhibits 1 through 4. Exhibit 1 consisted of a letter from the Assessor. Exhibit 2 consisted of a computer printout of the calculated assessed value of the subject vehicle. Exhibit 3 consisted of the 2014 Madison County Assessment List for Complainant. Exhibit 4 consisted of the Madison County Assessment List sent to Complainant at the beginning of 2014.
- Concluded Value. The assessed value of Complainant’s 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe as of January 1, 2014 was $1,610. See, Hearing Officer Finds Value, infra.
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 correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious. Article X, Section 14, Mo. Const. of 1945; Sections 138.430, 138.431, 138.431.4, RSMo.
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. Article X, Sections 4(a) and 4(b), Mo. Const. of 1945. 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. Section 137.115 RSMo.
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. 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). True value in money is defined in terms of value in exchange and not value in use. 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). It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date. Hermel, supra. 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:
- Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
- Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.
- A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
- Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.
- Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.
- 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. 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.
Recommended Guide for Automobile Valuation
The assessor of each county and each city not within a county shall use the trade-in value published in the October issue of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association Official Used Car Guide, or its successor publication, as the recommended guide of information for determining the true value of motor vehicles described in such publication. In the absence of a listing for a particular motor vehicle in such publication, the assessor shall use such information or publications which in the assessor’s judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle. Section 137.115.9, RSMo
Complainants’ Burden of Proof
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, 2014. Hermel, supra. 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.” 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).
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. Brooks v. General Motors Assembly Division, 527 S.W.2d 50, 53 (Mo. App. 1975). A taxpayer does not meet his/her burden if evidence on any essential element of his case leaves the Commission “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise.” See, Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. 1980).
In the present case, Complainant did not present any substantial and persuasive evidence. Simply because the subject vehicle has been valued at a different amount in the three (3) years prior to 2014 does not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence as to the market value of the property on 1/1/14. In such years, the vehicle could very well have been severely undervalued. The Hearing Officer would also note Complainant initially proposed an assessed value of $75 in his Complaint for Review; however, posited an opinion of value of the subject vehicle of $3,000 in Exhibit A. Nevertheless, Complainant did not submit any evidence to support such opinion of value.
Hearing Officer Finds Value
The Hearing Officer considered the information provided by Complainant and Respondent and concluded on affirming the use of the NADA valuation resulting in an assessed value of $1,610.
The assessed valuation for the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe as determined by the Assessor for Madison County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED. The valuation of the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, 2-door Coupe is $1,610.
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. 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, MO 65102-0146, 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. Section 138.432, RSMo.
The Collector of Madison 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 March 19, 2015.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
John J. Treu
Senior Hearing Officer
Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on March 19, 2015 to the following Individuals of this Order
Terry Flanagan, Complainant, 2022 Madison 208, Fredericktown, MO 63645;
Dwight Robbins, Prosecuting Attorney & Attorney for Respondent, 116 N. Mine La Motte, Fredericktown, MO 63645
Dennis Bradford, Assessor, email@example.com
Debby Boone, Collector, firstname.lastname@example.org
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