Kohl’s Department Stores is appealing a decision by the Phelps County Board of Equalization regarding its personal property assessment at the Rolla store to the State Tax Commission of Missouri.
Phelps County officials were made aware of the appeal during Thursday’s county commission meeting.
Kohl’s has filed a complaint for review of assessment with the state tax commission, giving a reason that "the value assessed by the county is greater than the fair market value of the property.”
Senior Hearing Officer W.B. Tichenor has been assigned to the appeal. An appeal hearing has not been scheduled yet.
Kohl’s is only appealing the assessment of personal property at the store located at 2200 North Highway 63, north of Interstate 44. It cannot appeal its real estate assessment because of the store being ina TIF (tax increment financing district), County Assessor Bill Wiggins said.
Kohl’s proposed that its assessment of personal property at the store should be valued at $325,924.
Wiggins had initially set a valuation of the tangible personal property at $402,420, but based on case law filed by John Lentell, attorney for Kohl's, at the county’s board of equalization meeting held in July, Wiggins recommended the equalization board raise the valuation to $426,710.
An appraisal report submitted by Lentell suggests the personal property decreased in value by around 6 percent, but following the statutory model for applying depreciation of personal property would decrease the value of five-year-old items by 15 percent and seven-year-old items by 11 percent.
Using the 6 percent reduction, the value actually resulted in an assessed valuation of $426.710, Wiggins said.
Wiggins said Thursday at the county commission meeting that the Kohl’s appeal uses “funny math.”
Wiggins pointed to what he feels was a similar appeal made by Kohl’s in Cole County in 2012, in which a hearing office ruled in favor of the county assessor.
Wiggins said he feels that if Kohl’s had not appealed to the state tax commission, it would “avoid unnecessary expenses by both parties.”
He noted that since Kohl’s is going through with this appeal, county taxpayers will now have to pay for the time of the county’s prosecuting attorney to prepare for and make the county’s case at the hearing.