State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.)Appeal(s) Number 07-57002
BILL OVERSCHMIDT, ASSESSOR,)
FRANKLIN COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
The decision of the Board of Equalization sustaining the Assessor’s value at $22,680 agricultural (assessed value $2,722) is AFFIRMED.
The issue in this case is the true market value of the residential real property on January 1, 2007.
The subject property is an 8.4 acres of vacant ground.The Assessor valued the land at $22,680 agricultural.The Board of Equalization sustained the valuations by the Assessor.Complainant appealed and proposed a value at the time of the appeal of $15,120. The evidentiary hearing was held on March 7, 2008, in the Assessor’s Conference Room, Union, Missouri. Complainants Terry Stricklin 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:Handwritten argument – notes
Exhibit B:MLS on properties for sale and sold
Exhibit C:Topographical Map
Exhibit D:Grading and Value Chart
Exhibit E:Notices of Assessment on all Complainant’s Properties
Exhibit F:Aerial Photo
Respondent objected to Exhibits A and B for lack of foundation, hearsay, relevance.Objections Sustained.
Testimony of Complainant.
Respondent offered the following exhibits:
Exhibit 1:Complaint for Review of Assessment
Exhibit 2:Appraisal for Subject Property.
Testimony of Lori Ruby, State Certified Residential Appraiser
All exhibits were admitted into evidence.
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 8.4 acres that is wooded and rolling.The property is identified as parcel number 14-6-13.0-0-000-006.000 more commonly known as Highway Y, rural Franklin County, Missouri.
3.Complainant testified that he purchased the property from a friend in January 2007 for $6,400.Complainant stated that he did not understand how agricultural property was
valued and attempted to determine the value of his property by using the values placed on his other property by the Assessor.
4.Respondent’s appraiser found sales of six vacant properties which sold in 2005 – 2006 for $2,200 per acre to $6,667 per acre.The comparables were adjusted for road access and terrain.The net adjustments range from -20% to 20%.Comparable 4 was most comparable to the subject property.Comparable 4 is also difficult to access, similar size, rough terrain, and no front footage.Comparable 4 sold for $21,800 or $2,600/acre on October 26, 2006..
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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.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 failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence tending to demonstrate that his property would sell for no more than $15,120 on January 1, 2007.Without using a recognized method to determine value, Complainant does not demonstrate that the Assessor’s valuation as sustained by the Board of Equalization is incorrect.
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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 AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2007-2008 is set at $2,722.
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:Terry Stricklin, #10 2nd Street, St. Peters, MO 63376, 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.