State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Com'n, No. 81757

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtSTEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr.; PRICE; HOLSTEIN; BENTON, J., concurs in opinion of HOLSTEIN; HOLSTEIN
Citation998 S.W.2d 786
Docket NumberNo. 81757
Decision Date31 August 1999
PartiesSTATE ex rel. MISSOURI GROWTH ASSOCIATION, et al., Relators/Respondents, v. STATE TAX COMMISSION, et al., Respondents/Appellants.

Page 786

998 S.W.2d 786
STATE ex rel. MISSOURI GROWTH ASSOCIATION, et al.,
Relators/Respondents,
v.
STATE TAX COMMISSION, et al., Respondents/Appellants.
No. 81757.
Supreme Court of Missouri,
En Banc.
Aug. 31, 1999.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing
Sept. 21, 1999.

Page 787

Don M. Downing, Gretchen Garrison, Peter W. Salsich, III, St. Louis, for Appellants.

James C. Owen, Katherine S. Walsh, James P. Gamble, St. Louis, for Respondents.

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., Judge.

This is a mandamus action in which relators, Missouri Growth Association, et al., 1 seek to compel respondent, State Tax Commission (STC), 2 to file its "final Order of Rulemaking" amending 12 CRS 30-4.010, the regulation that governs the valuation of all agricultural and horticultural land for the assessment of property taxes. Following judgment in favor of relators, the STC appeals. 3 This Court has jurisdiction because the case involves a challenge to the validity of a part of section 137.021.1, RSMo Supp.1998, that provides for legislative oversight to the STC's rulemaking authority. Mo. Const. art. V, sec. 3. The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

Under section 137.021.1, the STC, in "each odd-numbered year," is required to "promulgate by regulation and publish a value based on productive capability for each of the several grades of agricultural and horticultural land." The "productive capability" of those several grades is to be determined according to various criteria set forth in the statute, and the values established are to be used by all county assessors in determining assessed values. The statute also states that any value-setting regulation "shall be deemed to be beyond the scope and authority provided in this subsection if the general assembly, within the first sixty calendar days of the regular session following the promulgation of such regulation, by concurrent resolution, shall disapprove the values contained in such regulation." The statute then provides that if the general assembly disapproves a proposed regulation, the STC "shall continue to use the values set forth in the most recent preceding regulation...." If, on the other hand, the general assembly does not disapprove the regulation, it "shall take effect on January first of the next odd-numbered year."

On October 15, 1997, in an effort to comply with the requirements of section 137.021.1, the STC filed a proposed rule with the secretary of state that would amend 12 CSR 30-4.010 for the 1999-2000 assessment cycle by setting new values based on "productive capability." Under

Page 788

the proposed rule, assessments on agricultural and horticultural land would be increased by an average of 13% from the 1993 values then in effect. After publication of the proposed rule and the STC's receipt of comments from the public as required under rulemaking procedures specified in section 536.021, RSMo Supp.1998, the general assembly, pursuant to section 137.021.1, adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 3 (HCR 3), which rejected the regulation, thus purporting to keep the values at the 1993 level.

Relators then filed a multi-count petition for writ of prohibition and declaratory judgment challenging a variety of STC actions and inactions. In Count I, relators claimed that the STC should be compelled to file the proposed rule as a final rulemaking order despite the general assembly's rejection of the rule, and that the legislative oversight process by which the general assembly rejected the rule was unconstitutional. After numerous delays, trial on Count I was held on April 22, 1999, and judgment was rendered in favor of relators on June 1, 1999. The trial court also determined that the judgment on Count I could properly be severed from the other counts and that there was no just reason to delay entry of a final judgment for purposes of appeal under Rule 74.01. Subsequently, the trial court denied the STC's motion to stay the judgment pending appeal. According to STC's motion to supplement the record, which was filed after oral argument before this Court and which motion this Court now sustains, the STC, faced with the possibility of a contempt citation, has filed a final rulemaking order with the secretary of state as ordered by the trial court. Nonetheless, the secretary of state, siding with the STC but not a party to this lawsuit, now refuses to publish the rule though publication is required under section 536.021 before the rule can be effective.

On appeal, the STC presents 16 points relied on ranging from several alleged jurisdictional defects to the alleged invalidity of the legislative oversight process in section 137.021.1. Because this Court holds that one of the points relied on the propriety of the remedy of mandamus is dispositive and requires reversal, the other points, including the constitutional question, need not be addressed. See Rodriguez v. Suzuki Motor Co., 996 S.W.2d 47, 53-54 (Mo. banc 1999).

The law of mandamus is well settled. Mandamus is a discretionary writ, and there is no right to have the writ issued. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997) (citing State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 576 (Mo....

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13 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Hewitt v. Kerr, No. SC 93846
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 28, 2015
    ...a clear, unequivocal, and specific right to have the respondent take action. State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). I would not issue a writ of mandamus in this case because Todd Hewitt has an adequate remedy by appeal following arbitra......
  • Clay, v. Dormire
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 5, 2000
    ...must have "a clear, unequivocal, specific right to have an act performed." State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Com'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). In this case, relator has a clear, unequivocal, specific, and previously-adjudicated right to have his prior conviction exp......
  • Hunter v. County of Morgan
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 22, 2000
    ...when seeking to require the performance by an official of a ministerial act. State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). "A ministerial act is defined as an act that law directs the official to perform upon a given set of facts, independent ......
  • Curtis v. Mo. Democratic Party, No. SC 97244
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 25, 2018
    ...writ of mandamus is discretionary, "and there is no right to have the writ issued." State ex rel. Mo. Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n , 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). A writ of mandamus should issue only when a petitioner "allege[s] and prove[s] that he has a clear, unequivocal, spec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • State ex rel. Hewitt v. Kerr, No. SC 93846
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 28, 2015
    ...a clear, unequivocal, and specific right to have the respondent take action. State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). I would not issue a writ of mandamus in this case because Todd Hewitt has an adequate remedy by appeal following arbitra......
  • Clay, v. Dormire
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 5, 2000
    ...must have "a clear, unequivocal, specific right to have an act performed." State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Com'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). In this case, relator has a clear, unequivocal, specific, and previously-adjudicated right to have his prior conviction exp......
  • Hunter v. County of Morgan
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 22, 2000
    ...when seeking to require the performance by an official of a ministerial act. State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n, 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). "A ministerial act is defined as an act that law directs the official to perform upon a given set of facts, independent ......
  • Curtis v. Mo. Democratic Party, No. SC 97244
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 25, 2018
    ...writ of mandamus is discretionary, "and there is no right to have the writ issued." State ex rel. Mo. Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Comm'n , 998 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. banc 1999). A writ of mandamus should issue only when a petitioner "allege[s] and prove[s] that he has a clear, unequivocal, spec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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