State Tax Commission of Missouri
|VIRGIL & TANJA TAGTMEYER,||)|
|v.||)||Appeal(s) Number 15-77500|
|KARISSA LOGAN, ASSESSOR,||)|
|PETTIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,||)|
DECISION AND ORDER
The assessment made by the Board of Equalization of Pettis County is AFFIRMED. Complainants did not present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish the value of the subject property.
Assessed value in money for the subject property for tax year 2015 is set at $31,800 residential.
Complainants Virgil and Tanja Tagtmeyer both appeared pro se.
Respondent appeared with Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer John Treu.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation. The Pettis County Board of Equalization set the assessed value of the subject property at $31,800. The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2015.
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.
- Evidentiary Hearing. The Evidentiary Hearing was held on December 8, 2015 at Pettis County Courthouse, Sedalia, Missouri.
- Identification of Subject Property. The subject property is identified by map parcel number or locator number 05180001. It is further identified as 810 W. 28th, Pettis County, Missouri. (Exhibits B, C, D and 1).
- Description of Subject Property. The subject property consists of a tract of land which is 12,600 square feet. The property is improved by a single family, one-story brick home, which consists of 1,964 square feet. The home has 2 full baths, a full basement, 3 bedrooms and a two car garage. (Exhibit 1)
- Purchase of Property. The subject property was purchased by Complainants on October 6, 2014 for $139,500, the list price of the property. The subject property was on the market for a few days to a week. Only two offers were made on the property to the knowledge of Complainants. The subject property was listed on the open market by a realtor. Complainants learned of the property being up for sale from the seller (Gary Yancy) while at the State Fair in Sedalia, MO. Complainant Virgil Tagtmeyer considers the seller to be a friend. The seller was unable to take care of the home, was getting older and had already moved into a retirement establishment. (Testimony of Complainants)
- Assessment. The Assessor assessed the property at $31,800 residential. (Complaint for Review & Ex. B).
- Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization affirmed the assessed value of the property at $31,800 residential (Ex. D).
- Complainant’s Evidence. Complainant offered Exhibits A through D. Exhibit A consisted of an STC Property Tax Appeals pamphlet. Exhibit B consisted of a Notice of Change of Value. Exhibit C consisted of a Sales Agreement. Exhibit D consisted of the BOE Decision. All exhibits were received into evidence without objection
- Respondent’s Evidence. Respondent offered into evidence Exhibit 1 which consisted of the property record and a comparable sales analysis. Exhibit 1 was received into evidence without objection.
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 affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the board of equalization, and 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 are assessed at set percentages of true value in money. Section 137.115.5, RSMo – residential property at 19% of true value in money; commercial property at 32% of true value in money and agricultural property at 12% of true value in money.
Presumption In Appeal
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the County Board of 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). This presumption is a rebuttable rather than a conclusive presumption. It places the burden of going forward with some substantial evidence on the taxpayer – Complainant.
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, 2015. 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).
Owner’s Opinion of Value
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. Rigali v. Kensington Place Homeowners’ Ass’n, 103 S.W.3d 839, 846 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Boten v. Brecklein, 452 S.W.2d 86, 95 (Sup. 1970). “Where the basis for a test as to the reliability of the testimony is not supported by a statement of facts on which it is based, or the basis of fact does not appear to be sufficient, the testimony should be rejected.” Carmel Energy at 783. 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.” See, Rossman v. G.G.C. Corp. of Missouri, 596 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Mo. App. 1980).
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.
Weight to be Given Evidence
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).
Complainant Fails to Prove Value
Complainants failed to present substantial and persuasive evidence to establish a fair market value as of January 1, 2015 for the subject property. Although Complainants clearly showed a purchase price of $139,500 for the subject property, the Hearing Officer is not persuaded that such constituted an arms-length deal. For the reasons set forth above in the Findings of Fact, paragraph 5, the Hearing Officer is not persuaded that the buyer and seller were both typically motivated and is not persuaded that a reasonable time was allowed for exposure in the open market, Consequently, the value established by the Board of Equalization is AFFIRMED.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as determined by the Assessor for Pettis County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax years 2015 is set at $31,800 residential.
Application for Review
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 for this Decision. 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 Pettis 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 December 22, 2015.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI
John J. Treu
Senior Hearing Officer
Delivery or Notice was made via mail, email, fax, or personally on December 22, 2015 to the following Individuals of this Order