The appeal in this action is from a decision and order of the Bernalillo County Valuation Protests Board (board), upholding the valuation by the county assessor of an improved tract of land located on East Central Avenue within the City of Albuquerque. We reverse and remand.
Plaintiff, La Jara Land Development, Inc., (La Jara), purchased in 1976, a former Holiday Inn, for $1.4 million dollars. During 1976, 1977 and 1978, the Bernalillo County Assessor valued the property for tax purposes at $1.4 million. In 1979, La Jara sold approximately half of the property which fronted on Central Avenue and which contained a restaurant, lounge, office and 124 units. La Jara retained the other portion of the property consisting of 176 rental units located on 5.175 acres. La Jara converted the property retained by it into rental units known as the Shalako Apartments, which it rents on a monthly basis.
In 1979, the assessor valued for ad valorem tax purposes the front half of the property at $1.3 million dollars and the portion retained by plaintiff at $1,222,310.00. La Jara filed a petition with the county valuation protest board, protesting the valuation of the property still owned by plaintiffs.
Pursuant to § 7-38-27, N.M.S.A. 1978, the board held an administrative hearing to decide La Jara’s protest as to the valuation placed upon plaintiff’s property. Following the hearing the board found that the assessor had used the correct method of valuing the property and denied La Jara’s protest.
On appeal La Jara argues:
1) the board’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence, was arbitrary and capricious, and was otherwise not in accordance with law, § 7-38-28(D), N.M.S.A. 1978; and
2) the board’s failure to consider the purchase price as evidence of the market value was error.
At the hearing on La Jara’s protest, the taxpayer offered no evidence as to the present value of the subject property, except a copy of the agreement of sale of the property to plaintiffs from Holiday Inns, Inc., but asserted that the original sale price of the property to La Jara was $1,400,-*320000.00, including a liquor license that was valued at $200,000.00. La Jara argued that the sale price should be the basis for the valuation of the property for tax purposes. During the hearing on La Jara’s protest however, the following testimony was elicited from Mr. Castillo, the appraiser for the county:
Mr. Page: What was the method of valuation used by the assessor’s office?
Mr. Castillo: We valued this property on cost and we have some comparables.
Mr. Page: What was the method of valuation used?
Mr. Castillo: Actually the cost method was used and we have some comparables to back that up.
La Jara argues on appeal that the above admission from the county assessor explaining the method utilized by him to determine the value of the subject property for tax purposes was contrary to the provisions of § 7-36-15(B), N.M.S.A. 1978. This statute provides in applicable part:
(B) Unless a method or methods of valuation are authorized in Sections 7-36-30 through 7-36-33 N.M.S.A. 1978, the value of property for property taxation purposes shall be its market value as determined by sales of comparable property or, if that method cannot be used due to the lack of comparable sales data for the property being valued, then its value shall be determined using an income method or cost methods of valuation. In using any of the methods of valuation authorized by this subsection the valuation authority shall apply generally accepted appraisal techniques. [Emphasis supplied].
By appellee’s admission, the assessor, in determining the tax value of such property, disregarded the mandate of § 7-36-15, supra, which requires valuation by “market value as determined by sales of comparable property” unless comparables cannot be obtained. As conceded by the testimony set out above, the assessor apparently used a combination or hybrid method of determining the appraised value of such property. Under the express provisions of the statute, the cost or income method of valuation may be substituted for the “comparable sales” method approach only when there is a “lack of comparable sales data for the property being valued.”
In response to La Jara’s argument that the method utilized to value such property was contrary to the priorities established by statute, appellee counters with the contention that there is a statutory presumption, § 7-38-6, N.M.S.A. 1978, that the values of property for taxation purposes determined by the county assessor are correct, and that as held in Peterson Properties v. Valencia County Valuation Protests Board, 89 N.M. 239, 549 P.2d 1074 (Ct.App.1976), the taxpayer has the burden of going forward with evidence to rebut the presumption of correctness.
Under the facts of this case, however, the presumption of correctness has been successfully rebutted because the assessor has furnished direct evidence that the valuation was made contrary to the method required by statute. See Petition of Kinscherff, 89 N.M. 669, 556 P.2d 355 (Ct.App.), cert. denied, 90 N.M. 8, 558 P.2d 620 (1976). Once the party bound by statute concedes the statute was not followed, the action taken is not valid. See State v. Joyce, 94 N.M. 618, 614 P.2d 30 (Ct.App.1980). Administrative bodies can properly act only within the scope of the authority prescribed by statute. Public Service Co. v. New Mexico Environmental Inprovement Board, 89 N.M. 223, 549 P.2d 638 (Ct.App.1976).
The statutory presumption of correctness of the value of property by the county assessor for tax purposes can be overcome by a taxpayer showing that the assessor did not follow the statutory provisions of the act, or by presenting evidence tending to dispute the factual correctness of the valuation. New Mexico Baptist v. Bernalillo County Assessor, 93 N.M. 363, 600 P.2d 309 (Ct.App.1979); First National Bank v. Bernalillo County Valuation Protest Board, 90 N.M. 110, 560 P.2d 174 (Ct.App.1977); McConnell v. State ex rel. Bu *321 reau of Revenue, 83 N.M. 386, 492 P.2d 1003 (Ct.App.1971). Rulings by an administrative agency not in accord with the basic requirements of the statutes relating to the agency will render its decision void. See Continental Oil Co. v. Oil Conservation Comm., 70 N.M. 310, 373 P.2d 809 (1962); see also, Ellis v. United States, 610 F.2d 760 (Ct.Cl.1979).
Section 7-36-15, supra, mandates that the value of property for taxation purposes shall be its market approach as determined by sales of comparable property. “Market approach” is defined in Encyclopedia of Real Estate Appraising, ch. 5, at 86 (E. Friedman ed. 1959), as follows:
The market approach to value is the method of appraisal in which the value of property is inferred from sales of comparable property. It is also known as the comparative or comparable sales approach, the comparison method, or market data approach to value. Value is measured by observing what comparable properties are selling for in the market.
The same text at ch. 3, p. 37, defines the cost method of appraising property:
Reproduction costs is the amount of money based on current prices in the market, that would be required to duplicate a building or improvement; with a new property or replica, made of the same or similar basic materials.... [I]n the Cost Approach, the value of property is arrived at as follows: Estimated reproduction or replacement cost of the building new, less estimated accrued depreciation, if any, plus estimated land value.
La Jara did not present any competent evidence at the protest hearing as to the proper current market value of the subject property and relied upon the original purchase price of the property. That is not an appropriate measure for valuation of property for tax purposes. Evidence of what the fair market value of a tract may have been in the past cannot properly be utilized as the sole basis for valuation of the property for tax purposes. In re Kinscherff, supra.
On the issue of using the original purchase cost of property to determine market value, as observed in Encyclopedia of Real Estate Appraising, supra, ch. 3, at 37-38, the cost approach of appraisal of realty does not always reflect accurately the prevailing economics of market conditions:
The cost of a piece of real estate is not sufficient, in itself, to determine the value to an owner. For this reason, the cost approach is generally applied by appraisers only as a check on estimates by other approaches to value; cost tends to set the upper limit of values. Comparative conditions surrounding the property must always be taken into consideration.
Although La Jara itself failed to present proper evidence of comparable sales as a basis for determining the valuation of its property for tax purposes, nevertheless it did extract at the protest hearing an admission by the assessor that he did not use the comparison method as the primary mode of arriving at a valuation of the property. The legislature, in enacting § 7-36-15, supra, gave priority to the comparable sales method as the proper approach for establishing valuation of realty for tax purposes. First National Bank v. Bernalillo County Valuation Protest Board, supra. See, also, Peterson Properties v. Valencia County Valuation Protest Board, supra. Under the statute, the comparable sales method must be utilized unless there is a “lack of comparable sales data for the property being valued.” If the “cost method” or “income method” is employed as the primary mode of ascertaining the value of property for tax purposes, the appraiser must determine that there is a lack of comparable sales data precluding utilization of the first method of valuation and support this determination by substantial evidence. See Matter of Protest of Miller, 88 N.M. 492, 542 P.2d 1182 (Ct.App.), cert. denied, 89 N.M. 5, 546 P.2d 70 (1975); Hardin v. State Tax Commission, 78 N.M. 477, 432 P.2d 833 (1967).
For the foregoing reasons, we determine that the board based its decision upholding the assessor’s valuation of the subject property upon a method other than the *322comparable sales approach and failed to expressly find that there existed a lack of sufficient comparable sales for utilizing such method, and which is a statutory prerequisite for reliance upon other methods of assessment. The order appealed from is reversed and the cause is remanded with instructions to reassess taxpayer’s property in accordance with the provisions of the Property Tax Code. , Costs of appeal are charged to appellee.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
WALTERS, C. J., concurs.
LOPEZ, J., dissents.