Tom Mueller v. Holman (Jefferson)

December 23rd, 2008

State Tax Commission of Missouri






v.) Appeal No.08-34130









The parties in these appeals have reached an agreed settlement by stipulation.Pursuant to Section 536.060, V.A.M.S., the Commission confirms this stipulation and enters an order thereon.Decision issued December 23, 2008, is SET ASIDE.

The assessor for Jefferson County is hereby ordered to place upon the assessment roll for that county and for the year 2008 an assessed valuation of $15,000.

The collector of Jefferson 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 these appeals.If any or all protested taxes have been disbursed pursuant to §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.

SO ORDERED March 3, 2009.


Bruce E. Davis, Chairman

Jennifer Tidwell, Commissioner

Charles Nordwald, Commissioner







The decision of the Jefferson County Board of Equalization approving the valuation of $225,225 (assessed value $75,000) made by the Assessor, is SUSTAINED.

This appeal was heard and this Decision is rendered by Hearing Officer Maureen Monaghan.Complainant appeared in person.Respondent appeared in person and by Counsel, David Senkel, Hillsboro, Missouri.


The issue in this appeal is the true value in money of Complainant’s personal property as of January 1, 2008.


Respondent valued the property at $225,225 (assessed value $75,000) for tax year 2008, which value was approved by the Board of Equalization.The Complainant proposed a value of $0.00 on his Complaint for Review of Assessment and at the hearing stated that he did not know the value of his personal property.

A hearing was held on December 8, 2008, in the Jefferson County Government Center, Hillsboro, Missouri.Complainant testified on his own behalf.Respondent presented the following exhibits on cross examination of the Complainant:


Construction Company Property Declaration


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Farm Equipment for Sale


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Hay and Feed for Sale


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Cattle for Sale


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Horses for Sale


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Goats for Sale


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch; Home Page describing Ranch


Web Page from Dry Creek Ranch for Goats


Complaint for Review of Assessment



1.Jurisdiction is proper.Complainant timely filed his appeal from the decision of the Jefferson County Board of Equalization.

2.Complainant is Tom Mueller.He is the owner of Dry Creek Ranch.He owned Advanced Construction.His residence, Dry Creek Ranch and Advanced Construction are all located at 6960 Russell Road, Hillsboro, Missouri.

3.Complainant appeals the valuation of the personal property as determined by the Assessor.

4.The Complainant completed a declaration of personal property for Advanced Construction Company in 2008.The Complainant wrote on his declaration that Advanced Construction Company was “Out of Business” and made no claim for personal property.

5.The Complainant testified that at one time Advanced Construction Company owned eleven vehicles and those vehicles were sold in late 2007 and 2008.He does not know how many vehicles he possessed on January 1, 2008.He currently has two of the vehicles.

6.Dry Creek Ranch is not a registered business. The livestock on the ranch includes goats, dogs, cattle, chickens, and horses.

7.Complainant testified that his property can hold up to 100 goats and that he has had 400 goats and 60 kids at different locations.

7.The Complainant testified that although he advertises equipment for sale, he does not sell equipment.Feed, minerals, orchard grass, equipment that he may have advertised and sold were part of a group of people buying items in bulk.

8.Complainant testified that he has sold cattle and bulls.He believes he had 8-15 cows on January 1, 2008.

9.Complainant believes he had two horses on January 1, 2008; he had five horses at the time of the hearing.

10.Complainant has twenty chickens.

11.Complainant breeds and sells Great Pyrenees dogs.He currently has three dogs and has had up to eight puppies.

12.Complainant testified that he does not know what property he had on January 1, 2008, and does not know the value of the property.



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.[1]

Personal Property

Pursuant to Section 137.075, RSMo, “Every person owning or holding real property or tangible personal property on the first day of January, including all such property purchased on that day, shall be liable for taxes thereon during the same calendar year.” “Tangible personal property” includes every tangible thing being the subject of ownership or part ownership whether animate or inanimate, other than money, and not forming part or parcel of real property, but does not include household goods, furniture, wearing apparel and articles of personal use, owned and used by a person in his home. Section 137.010.4, RSMo.

So that the Assessor may determine the value of personal property, property declarations are made by taxpayers.The taxpayer completes a true and correct statement of the property. The statement, after being filled out, is signed and sworn to by the taxpayer. Section 137.115.4, RSMo.The list must include (1) A list of all the real estate; (2) A list of all the livestock, poultry, and bee colonies, showing the total number of each; (3) An aggregate statement of all lawn and garden tractors, harvesting equipment, drilling machines, irrigation systems, farm machinery and implements; (4) All automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, minibikes, motorized and recreational vehicles, airplanes and all other motor vehicles; (5) All home, boat and other trailers; mobile homes; boats; boat motors; and all other tangible personal property not exempt by law from taxation. Section 137.120, RSMo.If the Assessor does not obtain a property declaration from a taxpayer, the Assessor shall assess the property on the best information the Assessor can obtain.Section 137.130, RSMo.

Presumptions In Appeals


There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of Equalization.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.[2]

Complainant’s Burden of Proof

In order to prevail, Complainant 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, 2008.[3]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.”[4]

Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[5]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.[6]

In this case, the Complainant presented no evidence as to the personal property he possessed or owned on January 1, 2008.The Complainant presented no evidence as to the market value of any property on January 1, 2008.Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof. A taxpayer does not meet his burden if evidence on any essential element of his case leaves the Commission “in the nebulous twilight of speculation, conjecture and surmise.”[7]


The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Board of Equalization for Jefferson County for the subject tax day is SUSTAINED.

The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $75,000.

A party may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the date set forth in the Certificate of Service.The application shall contain specific 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 appeal is based will result in summary denial. [8]

The Collector of Jefferson County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a 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 December 23, 2008.


Maureen Monaghan

Hearing Officer


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


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


[3] Hermel, supra.


[4] 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).


[5] See, Cupples-Hesse, supra.


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


[7] See, Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. Of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. 1980).


[8] Section 138.432, RSMo.