Assessment is the process of placing a value on real estate for purposes of taxation. Under Missouri law, real estate is required to be reassessed by your county Assessor each odd year (2011, 2013, etc.). The value placed on real estate during each odd-numbered year generally remains the same for the following even-numbered year. However, improvements or new construction can be reflected on the tax rolls for an even-numbered year. Under Missouri's Constitution, all property assessments must be based upon true market value and be uniform across the same classes of property. The assessed value equals 32% of the market value of commercial property, 19% of the market value of residential property and, generally, 12% of the market value of agricultural property.
The assessed value is not set in stone. Property owners may schedule an informal meeting with the Assessor and, if unsuccessful, appeal to the Board of Equalization and Missouri State Tax Commission to contest assessment.
Informal Meetings with the Assessor
As soon as the property owner is notified of the reassessment, their attorney can contact the Assessor's office to schedule an informal meeting with the Assessor. Even if the meeting is not successful in reducing the assessed value, the meeting is usually helpful in determining how the assessment was made, what factors were considered and what type of records were utilized by the Assessor. Such knowledge is very helpful when appealing the assessed value to the Board of Equalization and State Tax Commission.
Appealing to the Board of Equalization
A property owner may appeal the assessed value of their real estate to the county Board of Equalization. Such appeal can be made in odd years, even years or both. Appeals can be made for, among other things, overvaluation, discrimination, misgraded agricultural land, exemption, or misclassification.
Appealing to the Missouri State Tax Commission
If the Board of Equalization appeal is unsuccessful, the property owner may appeal to the Missouri State Tax Commission by September 30 or 30 days after the Board's decision, whichever is later. The State Tax Commission process is formal and largely governed by Missouri's Rules of Civil Procedure. An attorney is highly recommended.
Importantly, taxes are due on or before December 31, and become delinquent after that date. Given that the appellate process in front of the State Tax Commission takes some time, taxes are usually due and must be paid before the matter is completed. Consequently, the property owner must usually pay the real estate tax under protest. Any overpayment will be reimbursed upon a successful result in front of the State Tax Commission.
The content of this guide does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. You should not act upon the information presented on this website without seeking the advice of legal counsel.
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