Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
IN THE MATTER OF THE FORECLOSURE OF LIENS FOR DELINQUENT LAND TAXES BY ACTION IN REM: COLLECTOR OF REVENUE, BY AND THROUGH THE DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS FOR JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI, Respondent,
CHANCELLOR MEDIA WHITECO OUTDOOR CORP., Appellant, AMIN ENTERPRISE LLC, Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri The
Honorable Kenneth R. Garrett III, Judge
Before: Anthony Rex Gabbert, Presiding Judge, Thomas H.
Newton, Judge, Gary D. Witt, Judge
Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge
Outdoor Corp. (Waitt) appeals the circuit court's
judgment finding $11, 000 was adequate consideration paid at
a public tax foreclosure sale for a billboard previously
owned by Waitt and for which Waitt owed delinquent property
taxes. Waitt raises two points on appeal. First, Waitt
contends that the trial court's findings regarding the
market value of the property were against the weight of the
evidence, thereby causing the court to conclude erroneously
that $11, 000 was adequate consideration for the foreclosed
property pursuant to Section 141.580.2, RSMo Cum. Supp. 2012.
Second, Waitt contends that the trial court misapplied the
law in determining that adequate consideration was paid for
the property; Waitt argues that the court erroneously applied
the standard that, if the purchase price at a tax foreclosure
sale is greater than ten percent of the real estate's
market value, adequate consideration was paid. We affirm.
owned a small parcel of land (Parcel) containing a two-sided
advertising billboard in Oak Grove, Jackson County, Missouri.
Waitt failed to pay taxes on the Parcel, resulting in Jackson
County pursuing the delinquency through a tax foreclosure
sale. The amount owed to satisfy the full amount of general
taxes, interest, penalties, attorney fees and costs on the
Parcel at the time of the sale was $7, 528.55. Waitt does not
dispute the tax delinquency or proper notice of the
August 15, 2016, the Court Administrator for the Circuit
Court of Jackson County offered the Parcel for sale at the
Jackson County Courthouse in Independence, Missouri. After
competitive bidding, Amin Enterprise, LLC, purchased the
Parcel for the sum of $11, 000.00.
November 30, 2016, a confirmation hearing was held on the
sale of the Parcel. Jackson County assessment records were
entered into evidence showing the assessed value of the
Parcel to be $48, 947 in 2015. On December 21, 2016, the
court held an evidentiary hearing related to the confirmation
of the sale of the Parcel. At that hearing, Jackson
County's counsel reminded the court of the previously
admitted business records assessing the value of the Parcel
at $48, 947.
objections were raised. The county admitted photographs of
the Parcel into evidence and asked that the sale of the
Parcel be confirmed.
contended that inadequate consideration had been paid for the
Parcel, introduced evidence to support its claim, and asked
the court to decline confirmation. Waitt called Kevin
O'Brien, a real estate appraiser, to testify. O'Brien
testified that, after considering a number of factors, he
determined the fair market value of the Parcel to be $90, 000
using the income approach to valuation. He testified that,
because billboards typically sell for their income value,
this approach was most appropriate. He testified that the
range of value for the Parcel using this approach is $70, 000
to $110, 000. He reached a value of $70, 000 to $80, 000
using a gross income multiplier analysis, and $80, 000 to
$110, 000 using a net income multiplier analysis. O'Brien
testified on cross examination that he based these figures on
expected lease revenue of $950 per month on the Parcel.
O'Brien acknowledged, however, that Waitt received only
$475 per month lease income on the Parcel. Although
O'Brien disagreed that the $475 per month figure was
appropriate for the valuation, he agreed that a market is
defined by a willing buyer and a willing seller at an
arm's length negotiating price. He also agreed that, if
his valuation had been based on a $475 per month lease rate,
the market value of the Parcel would approximate $45, 000.
testified that the comparable sales approach to valuation
provided good secondary support for the value he placed on
the Parcel, but that he placed less reliance on this approach
due to limited data. He agreed that none of the comparables
were close in nature to the actual subject property.
O'Brien determined the market value of the Parcel to be
$90, 000 using the sales comparison approach. O'Brien was
asked on cross-examination what percentage a forced sale
decreases value. O'Brien testified that the estimated
value of property subjected to a forced sale decreases by
twenty to twenty-five percent.
January 23, 2017, the circuit court entered a Judgment
deeming the purchase price of $11, 000 adequate consideration
for the Parcel and confirming the sale of the Parcel to Amin
Enterprise, LLC. The court concluded that evidence showed
possible market values ranging from $48, 947 as appraised by
the County Tax Assessor, to $90, 000 as appraised by
Waitt's witness. The court also noted a $110, 000 market
value suggested by Waitt's appraiser. The court concluded
that the purchase price, therefore, varied between ten to
twenty-two percent of appraised market value, "well
within the precedential range of adequate consideration in
the state of Missouri." Waitt appeals.
standard of review is set forth in Murphy v. Carron,
536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976). Schollmeyer v.
Schollmeyer, 393 S.W.3d 120, 122 (Mo. App. 2013). We
will affirm the circuit court's judgment unless it is
unsupported by substantial evidence, it is against the weight
of the evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the
law. Id. at 122-123.
Waitt's first point on appeal, Waitt contends that the
trial court's findings regarding the market value of the
Parcel were against the weight of the evidence, thereby
causing the court to conclude erroneously that $11, 000 was
adequate consideration for the foreclosed property pursuant
to Section 141.580.2. Waitt argues that the weight of the
evidence was that the market value of the Parcel was between
$80, 000 and $110, 000 and potentially $125, 000, not $48,
947 to $110, 000 as found by the court. We find no error.
When reviewing the record in an
against-the-weight-of-the-evidence challenge, this Court
defers to the circuit court's findings of fact when the
factual issues are contested and when the facts as found by
the circuit court depend on credibility determinations. A
circuit court's judgment is against the weight of the
evidence only if the circuit court could not have reasonably
found, from the record at trial, the existence of a fact that
is necessary to sustain the judgment. When the evidence poses