Why You Need an Attorney for Missouri Commercial Property Tax Appeals

I am often asked by businesses whether an attorney is needed for commercial property tax appeals in front of the Missouri State Tax Commission.  This question is most often asked by those that made the decision, for whatever reason, to represent themselves at their County’s Board of Equalization hearing.  Those businesses mistakenly believe that the State Tax Commission hearing will be just as informal as their hearings in front of the Board of Equalization.

I am quick to dispel this misconception.  Indeed, there are multiple reasons why an attorney is needed for commercial real estate tax appeals, aside from the formalities of a State Tax Commission hearing:

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Greene County, Missouri Commercial Property Tax Appeal Highlights Importance of Appraisers

Following a commercial tax appeal to the State Tax Commission, Cinema 16, LLC (“Cinema”), a sixteen screen movie theater in Springfield, Missouri (Greene County), convinced a hearing officer to dramatically lower the tax assessment set by Greene County and, subsequently, the Board of Equalization.  At the hearing, both Cinema and Greene County presented experts, and the hearing officer’s opinion highlights the importance of vetting an appraisal expert prior to trial.

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St. Charles County Medical Buildings’ Real Estate Taxes Substantially Reduced

In consolidated real estate tax appeals, SSM Health Care (“SSM”) successfully appealed the real estate property assessments dictated by the St. Charles County, Missouri Assessor (and sustained by the St. Charles County Board of Equalization) for tax years 2011 and 2012 on two of its properties. The appeals concerned two adjoining pieces of real estate:

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Missouri State Tax Commission Sets Aside Jefferson County Real Estate Tax Assessment

On March 16, 2011, the Missouri State Tax Commission (“STC”) set aside a Jefferson County, Missouri Assessor’s 2009 and 2010 commercial real estate tax assessment.  The subject property, assessed at $3,111,200.00–the equivalent of a true value of $9,741,300.00–was described by the STC as:

a retail center located off Gravois Rd., High Ridge, Missouri.  There are three retail buildings with parking on 8.56 acres.  There is a 59,263 square foot grocery store, 12,536 square foot multi-tenant building, and a 5,058 square foot stand alone building – a total of 76,857 square feet of rentable area.  All buildings are masonry block buildings with steel beams and joists on concrete floors and are in good condition.  There is an additional 1.42 acres of undeveloped land.  The improvements were built in 2003-4 and sold in 2005 for $13,200,000.  At the time of the sale, the site contained 11.23 acres.  The site is now 9.98 acres due to a dedication of a road right-of-way to Jefferson County.

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