State Tax Commission of Missouri
RICHARD & MARY THOMPSON,)
v.)Appeal Number 07-62505
DON DAVIS, ASSESSOR,)
JASPER COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
AFFIRMING HEARING OFFICER DECISION
UPON APPLICATION FOR REVIEW
On March 27, 2008, Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor entered his Decision and Order (Decision) affirming the assessment by the Jasper County Board of Equalization.
Complainants timely filed their Application for Review of the Decision.Respondent did not file a Response.
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.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).
The Hearing Officer as the trier of fact may consider the testimony of an expert witness and give it as much weight and credit as he may deem it entitled to when viewed in connection with all other circumstances.The Hearing Officer is not bound by the opinions of experts who testify on the issue of reasonable value, but may believe all or none of the expert’s testimony and accept it in part or reject it in part.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).
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.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).
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 his discretion as the trier of fact and concluder of law in this appeal.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.2d403 (Mo. App. E.D. 1995).Phelps v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 598 S.W.2d 163 (Mo. App. E.D. 1980).
Submission of Documents with Application for Review
Complainants submitted with their Application for Review certain documents asserted to be part of the information presented to the Jasper County Board of Equalization when Complainants were before the Board.These are not documents which are shown by this record to have been offered as exhibits at the evidentiary hearing, therefore they are not part of the record on review.The Hearing Officer could not have erred with regard to documents which Complainants failed to tender as exhibits.Parties are not permitted to supplement the record in their filing of the Application for Review.The Review is based upon the evidentiary record established at the hearing.Accordingly, the new documents submitted with the Application for Review cannot be considered.
Complainants’ Grounds On Appeal
Complainants’ thirteen page Complaint for Review of Assessment consists of, in large part, an attempt to introduce new testimony into the record and an arguing of matters not addressed in the Decision.Like the attempt to submit documents not offered at the evidentiary hearing, new testimony cannot be received.It is therefore not considered.The essential claims of error with regard to the Hearing Officer’s Decision can be identified as follows:
1. The Hearing Officer erred by testified at hearing.
2. The Hearing Officer erred in setting forth questionable citations, statements or opinions.
The matters addressed under the sections of the Application entitled Discussion of Complainant’s (sic- Complainants’) Appeal and Errors in Appeal Process do not address any alleged error on the part of the Hearing Officer.Therefore, there is no need to make response to the arguments and claims asserted in these sections.
Hearing Officer Testifying At Hearing
A review of the transcript of the proceedings does show that the Hearing Officer provided extensive information to the Complainant regarding general matters in the assessment process in Missouri.Tr. 23, L. 10 – Tr. 30, L. 13.However, a review of the Decision and the transcript shows that the Hearing Officer did not rely on his statements at hearing in finding that Complainants had failed to meet their burden of proof.Decision, pp. 5-9.The Hearing Officer was not testifying on behalf of Respondent when he gave general information in an attempt to better inform Mr. Thompson concerning the mass appraisal of property under the Marshall-Swift costing system.Information provided to a taxpayer at an evidentiary hearing by the Hearing Officer does not constitute either testimony or evidence for the record in the appeal.
The Hearing Officer did not err in his attempt to inform Mr. Thompson concerning the matters discussed.The Hearing Officer did not rely upon the information provided to Mr. Thompson during the course of the hearing to decide this appeal.The Decision found Complainants failed to meet their burden of proof.The discussion by the Hearing Officer was after Mr. Thompson had concluded his case in chief.Tr. 3 L. 13 – Tr. 15, L. 25.The information provided by the Hearing Officer related to the Respondent’s case.The Hearing Officer correctly determined, the Complainants having failed to prove the true value in money of their property, there was no need to review Respondent’s evidence.Decision, p. 9.
The Hearing Officer did not testify at the hearing.The Hearing Officer did not err in providing information to Mr. Thompson during the course of the hearing.The Hearing Officer did not appear as a witness for Respondent.The Hearing Officer did not consider evidence that was not presented by the parties.Complainants’ claims of defects in the hearing process are without merit.
Questionable Citations, Statements or Opinions
Complainants set forth nine points of what they assert are questionable citations, statements or opinions.Each of the points raised under this ground on appeal will be addressed separately.
a. Complainants’ assert the Hearing Officer erred in the Decision, p. 3, lines 1 and 2 by stating, “Exhibit 1 concluded on a value for the subject property of $189,620 based upon a Marshall and Swift cost analysis.”
Complainants put forth information not appearing in the transcript asserting that the Marshall-Swift cost analysis was supplemented by an “Integrated AssessmentSystem” computer program produced by Cole-Layer-Trumble.Assuming, without finding that Complainants’ additional information is correct, the sentence in the Decision was based upon the testimony provided at the hearing from Respondent’s witness.Tr. 17, L. 21 – Tr. 18, L. 15.Irrespective of other computer programs which may supplement the mass appraisal system, referring to it as “a Marshall and Swift cost analysis” was not in error.More importantly, the statement is irrelevant to the underlying fact that Complainants failed to meet their burden of proof, rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the board and prove the fair market value of their property.
b. Complainants assert the Hearing Officer erred in his Finding of Fact 4, “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, 2007, to be $164,520.”Decision, p. 3.Complainants also claim error in the Hearing Officer’s statement on page 4 of the Decision, “There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.”
Complainants’ point is not well taken.The Decision is not in error.The Hearing Officer correctly cited to the controlling case law regarding the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.Complainants fail to establish in any manner how the Hearing Officer erred in his reliance on well established case law on the issue of the Board presumption.
c. Complainants’ assert the Hearing Officer erred in the Decision on page 6, by the statement, “There was no market evidence to support the opinion of value of $164,520 presented by Mr. Thompson.”
The argument made under this point relates to Complainants’ Exhibits C and E.Exhibit C consisted of information on five (5) sales.These sale properties sold at a range of prices from $161,500 to $180,000.Complainants failed at the evidentiary hearing to utilize this raw sales data in a proper sales comparison approach to establish that these sales, properly adjusted for differences between each of them and the subject property, would support an opinion of value of $164,520.
When a taxpayer presents such raw sales data as Complainants’ Exhibit C, the only thing that the Hearing Officer has before him is a list of sales prices.This is insufficient to prove a value asserted by a taxpayer.In such a case, the Hearing Officer might elect to rely upon the highest, lowest, median or average sale price.However, to do so would be in error since neither the Commission, nor the Courts recognize such a method for valuation.See, Decision, p. 6.
In this particular case, the highest sales price was $180,000 that value would not support Complainants’ opinion of value.The lowest sales price was $161,500 that is lower than the value tendered by Complainants.Therefore it does not establish the value asserted.The average sale price was $172,080. It does not support the owners’ opinion of value.The median sale price was $175,900.It does not support the opinion of $164,520.Absent a properly developed sales comparison approach to value, relying on these sale properties, the data has no probative value.
Complainants’ Exhibit E presents the basis for their opinion of value.The Hearing Officer properly determined that Complainants’ methodology was not a recognized and accepted approach to value.Therefore, it did not constitute market evidence.For sales prices to be transformed into market evidence upon which a decision as to fair market value can be made, the sales prices have to be properly adjusted.Complainants’ method of making a comparison between sales prices and appraised values set by the Assessor does not establish market value.The Hearing Officer did not err in his rejection of Complainants’ methodology and thereby concluding there was no market evidence to establish a value of $164,520.
d. Complainants assert the Hearing Officer erred on page 6 of the Decision in stating,Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, … .”Complainants argue that their methodology is a “comparable sales” approach.Complainants are in error.The taxpayers cite to no recognized treatise on the appraisal of real property in ad valorem tax appeals which considers the theory asserted by Complainants to be a comparable sales approach to establish value.The method used by Complainants does not conform to Commission Rule 10 CSR 30-3.065(1)(B)2.It does not constitute appraisal evidence. The Hearing Officer properly concluded the calculations made by Mr. Thompson to arrive at the opinion of value of $164,520 were not a sales comparison approach.
e. Complainants’ next argue the Hearing Officer erred on p. 6 of the Decision in stating, “The procedure employed by Mr. Thompson does not fall within any of these accepted approaches to value.”As discussed in paragraph d, supra, the Hearing Officer did not err on this point.Complainants’ argument is without merit and cannot support an overturning of the Decision.
The claim that Exhibits C and E demonstrate uniform overvaluation of five properties was fully discussed in the Decision at pages 7 and 8.The Hearing Officer properly applied the controlling law on claims of discrimination in property assessment.Exhibits C and E failed to meet the required evidentiary standard to establish discrimination or general overvaluation of residential property in Jasper County.
f. The next claimed error by Complainants is that the Hearing Officer set forth the following statement at page 7 of the Decision:“In actuality, the Complainant was not even attempting to establish the fair market value of his property.He was attempting to demonstrate an in equality (discrimination) in the assessment of residential properties in Jasper County.”
A review of the record provides support for the Hearing Officer’s statement.If Complainants truly desired to prove what a willing buyer and seller would have agreed to as a purchase price for the sale of the subject property on January 1, 2007, they would have presented evidence to establish that.As addressed in the Decision and in the Order, Complainants’ evidence fell totally short of establishing the true value in money (fair market value) of the subject property on January 1, 2007.
The taxpayers attempted, but failed, to prove that property in Jasper County was overvalued by the Assessor by 14%, therefore the value placed on the property under appeal should be reduced by 14%.Having already establish the methodology present by Mr. Thompson can be given no probative weight in the appeal, Complainants failed to prove fair market value.Furthermore, as the Hearing Officer correctly determined, based upon the applicable case law, Complainants failed to establish the average assessment ratio for residential property in Jasper County.Furthermore, the use of five properties is totally inadequate on a statistical basis to establish that residential property in general is overvalued or undervalued in Jasper County.
Complainants’ argument on this point is without merit.It failed to establish any rational basis for modifying or overturning the Hearing Officer Decision.
g. Complainants next assert error on the part of the Hearing Officer in his statement:“Mr. Thompson’s claim is that residential property in Jasper County is overvalued by approximately 14%, based on the sales of five properties (Exhibit F) …The selection of five sale properties was not a random and representative sample of all residential properties in Jasper County …There was no evidence upon which the Hearing Officer could conclude that only five properties constituted a statistically significant sample of all residential properties in Jasper County.”Decision, pp. 7 – 8.
The Commission finds no basis to conclude the Hearing Officer erred in these statements.The Decision properly sets forth the case law which is applicable when a taxpayer is asserting
discrimination.Complainants’ evidence was totally inadequate to establish the claim of discrimination on a claim of asserted overvaluation of all residential property by 14%.
h. Complainants claim error on the part of the Hearing Officer in his Decision by the statement, “Sales data, assuming the properties are established to be comparable to the property under appeal (which was not done in this instance), does not provide the necessary adjustments for differences between the property being appraised and the sale property to arrive at an indicated value for the subject property.”Decision, pp. 8 – 9.
The Commission finds no error in the conclusion of the Hearing Officer on this point.Sales prices on properties, even if converted to per square foot of living area price, do not constitute an appraisal of the subject property.Such data is basis information that would be part of a proper appraisal.However, it does not meet the standards of an accepted sales comparison appraisal.10 CSR 30-3.065(1)(B)2.There is no basis under the statutes, regulations or case law applicable to the rendering of a Hearing Officer’s Decision that permits an appraisal short-cut for taxpayers.Just because the taxpayer thinks they have presented a fairly good method of value that does not make it sufficient to establish true value in money.
This is certainly the case in this instance.The Hearing Officer cannot take sales prices or even per square foot sales prices and convert that into an appraisal.The Hearing Officer is not the appraiser for either the Complainant or the Respondent.It was Complainants’ burden to present evidence under an recognized appraisal methodology to support their opinion of value.They failed to do so.The Hearing Officer so found, and properly so.Complainants’ argument on this point is not persuasive.
i. The final point argued by Complainants is an alleged error by the Hearing Officer in concluding at page 9 of the Decision, the following: “The Complainants having failed to make a prima facie case to rebut the presumption of correct assessment, there is no need to review the evidence presented on behalf of Respondent.”Complainants assert that new evidence developed under their preceding claim should be considered to arrive at a now asserted value of $171,724.In essence, Complainants want to get a second bite of the evidentiary apple.There is no basis in the record to accord a second bite.
When a taxpayer fails to establish prima facie a rebuttal of the presumption of correct assessment by the Board, the Hearing Officer has not obligation to analyze and review the Respondent’s evidence.This would be an exercise in futility.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.”The taxpayer must prove the fair market value asserted.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).
When, as in this case, the Complainants fail to establish the true value in money for their property, they have failed to establish an “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious” assessment.Complainants’ failure on this point – to meet their burden of proof on the issue of
fair market value – negates any need for the Hearing Officer to provide a review of Respondent’s evidence.There was no error on the part of the Hearing Officer as claimed by Complainants.
The Commission finds none of the points raised by Complainants under their second ground for appeal are well founded.The Hearing Officer did not err in his conclusions or the application of the controlling statutes, regulations and case law.
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.
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 date of the mailing of this Order.
The Collector of Jasper County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the protested taxes pending a filing for judicial review. 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.If no judicial review is made within thirty (30) days, this decision and order is deemed final and the Collector of Jasper County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall disburse the protested taxes presently in an escrow account to the appropriate political subdivisions.
SO ORDERED July 1, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
Bruce E. Davis, Chairman
Jennifer Tidwell, Commissioner
Charles Nordwald, Commissioner
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization decreasing the assessment made by the Assessor is AFFIRMED.Hearing Officer finds presumption of correct assessment not rebutted. True value in money for the subject property for tax years 2007 & 2008 is set at $189,620, residential assessed value of $36,030.
Complainant Richard Thompson appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jeremy Crowley.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization, which decreased the valuation of the subject property.The Assessor determined an appraised value of $191,840, assessed value of $36,450, as residential property.The Board decreased the value to $189,620, assessed value of $36,030.Complainant proposed a value of $164,520, assessed value of $31,260, on the Complaint for Review of AssessmentA hearing was conducted on March 13, 2008, at the Jasper County Courthouse Annex,Carthage,Missouri.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
Mr. Thompson testified in his own behalf.The following exhibits were received into evidence on behalf of Complainants.
Exhibit APhotographs, with descriptions of photos, plat, and schematic drawing of subject house.
Exhibit BCopies of the property record cards on the following properties in Joplin:(1) subject; (2) 2921 Hickory; (3) 2902 Wickersham Rd.; (4) 2920 N. Park Ave., (5) 2714 Minnesota; and (6) 2719 N. Iowa
Exhibit CCopies of Joplin Board of Realtors sales listings on the properties 2 through 5 shown in Exhibit B.
Exhibit DInformation relating to errors on the subject’s PRC, which resulted in the gross living area of the subject being understated by 280 square feet, a 462 square foot wooden deck being omitted and the subject being part brick, instead of all brick.
Exhibit EComparison of Assessor’s Cost Value and Sales Prices of properties 2 through 5 shown in Exhibit B.
Exhibit FCalculation of Complainant’s proposed value
Respondent offered into evidence the appraisal report (Exhibit 1) of Christine Meadows, appraiser for Respondent.The appraiser testified as to her appraisal of the subject property.Exhibit 1 was received into evidence.Exhibit 1 concluded on a value for the subject property of $189,620 based upon aMarshall and Swift cost analysis.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Jasper County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 2802 North Miller Avenue, Joplin, Missouri.The property is identified by parcel number 16-7.0-25-40-007-015.000.The subject property was purchased by Complainants in July, 2002 for $178,000 in an open market transaction.Testimony of Complainant; Exhibit 1.
3.There was no evidence of new construction and improvement from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2008.
4.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, 2007, to be $164,520.
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.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 board of equalization, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.Section 138.431.4, RSMo.
Presumption In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.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).
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.Snider, Hermel & Cupples Hesse, supra.The testimony and evidence presented by Complainant in support of his opinion of fair market value did not rebut the presumption of correct assessment.
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).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:
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.
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.
Complainants Fail to Meet 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, 2007.Hermel, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 564 S.W.2d 888, at 897.Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.See, 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).See also, 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).
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970).The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).There was no market evidence to support the opinion of value of $164,520 presented by Mr. Thompson.The requisite elements and foundation to establish probative value for the owner’s opinion were not established in this appeal.
The methodology employed by Mr. Thompson to arrive at his advocated value was not shown to be an approach recognized for the appraisal of real property.Mr. Thompson calculated the average percentage of sales price to the Assessor’s appraised value for five different properties.He then multiplied the resulting average times the appraised value shown on the 2007 Notice of Change in Value. A valuation of property based upon this type of calculation is not a recognized methodology for establishing fair market value for ad valorem tax purposes.
Missouricourts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value. 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).The procedure employed by Mr. Thompson does not fall within any of these accepted approaches to value.The amount proposed by the taxpayer does not represent what a willing buyer and seller would have agreed to as a purchase price on January 1, 2007.The record provides no market date to support a value of $164,520 as proposed by Complainant.The amount calculated by Mr. Thompson is simply the product of multiplying an arbitrary percentage times the original 2007 appraised value of the property under appeal.
In actuality, the Complainant was not even attempting to establish the fair market value of his property.He was attempting to demonstrate an inequality (discrimination) in the assessment of residential properties in Jasper County.The Thompson technique failed to so demonstrate.
In order to obtain a reduction in assessed value based upon discrimination or an unequal assessment, Complainants must show an intentional plan by the assessing officials resulting in an assessment of that property at a greater percentage of value than other property, generally, within the same class within the same taxing jurisdiction.Koplar v. State Tax Commission, 321 S.W.2d 686, 695 (Mo. 1959).Evidence of value and assessments of a few properties does not prove discrimination.Substantial evidence must show that all other property in the same class, generally, is actually undervalued.State ex rel. Plantz v. State Tax Commission, 384 S.W.2d 565, 568 (Mo. 1964).The difference in the assessment ratio of the subject property and the average residential assessment ratio in the subject county must be shown to be grossly excessive.Savage v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 722 S.W.2d 72, 79 (Mo. banc 1986).No other methodology is sufficient to establish discrimination or inequity in assessment.Cupples-Hesse Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 329 S.W.2d 696 (Mo. 1958).
Mr. Thompson’s claim is that residential property in JasperCountyis overvalued by approximately 14%, based upon the sales of five properties (Exhibit F).In other words, instead of Jasper County residential property being assessed at 19% of its true value in money as required by statute, it is being assessed at approximately 21.7%.Therefore, he argues the appraised value set by the Assessor for 2007 on his property should be reduced by 14%.That is it should only be assessed at $31,350, instead of $36,450 ($36,450 x .14 = $5,100; $36,450 – 5,100 = $31,350). The selection of the five sale properties was not a random and representative sample of all residential properties in Jasper County for the purpose of establishing inequality in assessment. There was no evidence upon which the Hearing Officer could conclude that only five properties constituted a statistically significant sample of all residential properties in Jasper County.The information provided by Exhibits B, C, E and F was irrelevant to the issue of establishing the average residential assessment ratio for Jasper County.
However, assuming Complainant would have established by substantial and persuasive evidence that Jasper County residential property in general is being assessed at 21.7%, it would still be necessary to establish the fair market value of the subject property in order to determine if in fact it is actually assessed at 21.7%, at 19% of true value in money, as required by statute, or at an assessment ratio greater than 21.7%. Koplar v. State Tax Commission, 321 S.W.2d 686, 690 (Mo. 1959).Complainant presented no such evidence.There is no evidence in the record presented by Complainant from which it can be determined under any recognized approach to value what the fair market value of the property under appeal was on January 1, 2007.
The information on the five sales presented by Complainant was insufficient to establish fair market value of the subject property.Raw sales data from realtor listings is not a recognized method for appraising property.Sales data, assuming the properties are established to be comparable to the property under appeal (which was not done in this instance), does not provide the necessary adjustments for differences between the property being appraised and the sale property to arrive at an indicated value for the subject property.Therefore, raw sales data lacks the necessary foundation to establish relevancy for appraisal of property.
Complainants’ evidence failed to establish the fair market value of the subject property.The evidence failed to establish that residential property inJasperCountyfor the 2007 – 08 assessment cycle was over overvalued.Therefore, no probative weight could be given to the opinion of value presented by Complainant.Accordingly, the valuation set by the Board of Equalization must be affirmed.
The Complainants having failed to make a prima facie case to rebut the presumption of correct assessment, there is no need to review the evidence presented on behalf of Respondent.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization forJasperCountyfor the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2007 and 2008 is set at $36,030.
Complainant may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty (30) days of the mailing of such decision.The application shall contain specific 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.Section 138.432, RSMo 2000.
If an application for review of this 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 and an order to the Collector to release and disburse the impounded taxes.§139.031.3, RSMo.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 Jasper 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.
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 27, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer