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Real Estate State Tax Commission FAQ
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Real Property includes land, improvements to the land and all rights inherent in ownership.
What are Assessment and Reassessment?
Assessment is the process of placing value on a property for the purpose of property taxation. Reassessment is an update of all real property assessments in the county, conducted by the county assessor to equalize values among taxpayers and to adjust values to current market conditions.
How Often is Property Reassessed?
Reassessed values of real estate are placed on the tax rolls by the assessor every odd-numbered year (1995, 1997, etc.). Personal property is assessed every year.
What Happens in the Even Year?
For most real estate owners, nothing. However, if new construction and improvements have taken place, the property is reassessed in the even-numbered year -- but only to pick up the value that has been added. That value is based upon market conditions as of January first of the preceding year.
Is All Property Taxed?
Exempt real estate includes property owned by governments, and property used as non profit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, and for purely charitable purposes.
Why is Reassessment Necessary?
Under Missouris Constitution, all assessments for property tax purposes must be based upon market value and be uniform within the same class or subclass of property.
Over time, the value of property may change, depending upon its nature, location, and other factors. Some values change more rapidly than others. Reassessment is the only way to be sure that the taxpayer is being taxed fairly, and is taxed the same as other comparable property.
Who is Responsible for Reassessing property?
The county assessor is primarily responsible for assessing property within the county. However, the assessors work is subject to review by the county Board of Equalization and the State Tax Commission. The State Tax Commission is the state agency charged with general supervision of assessors and with enforcing property tax laws.
How is My Assessment Level Established?
Once the estimate of market value has been determined, the assessor calculates a percentage of that value to arrive at assessed value. The percentage is based on the classification, determined by the type of property or how it is used. The percentages are: Residental 19%, Agricultural 12%, Commerical & All Other 32%.
How are the Real Estate Classifications Determined?
Missouri statutes define the three subclasses of real estate:
- Subclass 1 -- Residential property, all real property improved by a structure which is used or intended to be used for residential living by human occupants, vacant land in connection with an airport, land used as a golf course, and manufactured home parks, but residential property shall not include facilities used primarily for transient housing.
- Subclass 2 -- Agricultural and Horticultural property is that which is actively used for those purposes. The value of this land is established by its productivity, based on soil productivity guidelines set by the State Tax Commission. It is not based on market value. However, when the highest and best use of land is considered to be agricultural, and it is not actively farmed, it is assessed according to market value and not by productivity guidelines.
- Subclass 3 -- Utility, industrial and railroad property, and any other real estate that does not fit either of the other two classes. Includes mines, stores, factories and property of non profit corporations.
Will All Property Values Change Due to Reassessment?
All values are likely to change, but not all will change to the same extent. Market values increase more in some neighborhoods than in others. A major purpose of reassessment is to make sure that the new values reflect all changes that have occurred.
If No Improvements Have Been Made to My Property, Why Should the Assessed Value Increase?
Over time market value changes even if no improvements are made to the property. Many people sell their homes for much more than they paid for them years earlier. The statutes require that property be periodically reassessed to maintain realistic market values and treat all taxpayers fairly.
Will I be Notified if there is an Increase in My Assessment?
The assessor is required by the statutes to notify the owner of record of any increase in the valuation of real property.
What If I Disagree with My Assessment?
If you do not agree with your assessment, there are three steps you can take in the appeal process. Remember that an assessment is based on current market value and our objective here is to establish the correct market value of the property. Stating that property taxes are too high is not relevant testimony. You should determine what you believe to be the value of your property and gather and present evidence that supports that value. Such evidence could include photographs, the recent sale of your property, or the oral testimony of someone who has done a recent appraisal of your property.
Informal Appeals -- Contact the county assessors office as soon as you are notified of your assessment. During an informal meeting with the assessor or one of the staff, you can learn how your assessment was made, what factors were considered, and what type of records pertain to your property. Many disagreements are taken care of at this level.
Board of Equalization -- If not satisfied after the informal meeting, you should contact your county clerk for information regarding forms and deadlines for appealing to the county board of equalization. The board will hear evidence from the assessor and you regarding the value of the property which is the subject of the appeal.
State Tax Commission -- You have a right to appeal to the State Tax Commission by August 15 in first class counties or St. Louis City, and September 30 in other counties or 30 days after the final action of the board of equalization-whichever date is later.
Press Appeals for more information on filing appeals, or call the State Tax Commission at 573-751-1715, or write to PO Box 146, Jefferson City MO 65102.