Property Tax Task Force

1 decade 9 months 3 weeks ago Friday, August 31 2007 Aug 31, 2007 Friday, August 31, 2007 3:05:27 AM CDT August 31, 2007 in News
Source: Missouri State Assessor's Association

Property values shot up and so did property taxes. Now some Missourians are asking the government for a little relief.

The Speaker of the Missouri House, Rod Jetton, is putting together a task force that will begin looking into property rates in Missouri starting next week. The task force will look at how property assessments are done and if those assessments are fair.

They will also look into possibly standardizing procedures across the state and see how other states operate. The Cole County Property Assessor's office reminds everyone that it should not be branded as the bad guy, which is sometimes  the case. More goes into property taxes than the property value.

"Well I think it's interesting that taxes and tax rates in general have gone up over time and quite a bit of that is due to the fact that people have voted in tax increases. They don't always realize when they vote in tax increases what that means when a re-assessment occurs," said Shawn Ordway, the Cole County Assessor.

A lot of those taxes include those on schools, fire districts, libraries, and general city taxes. The task force will begin forming a schedule next week and plans to hold public hearings across the state including Mid-Missouri.  Speaker Rod Jetton is asking that the group submit a report by mid-December so he can review it aand possibly put any suggestions into a legislature package for next year's legislative session.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions from the Missouri State Assessor's Association.  Visit their website, along with the Cole County website to find more!

What types of property are there?
Two types of tangible property:
1.  Real Property - Includes land, improvements to the land and all rights inherent in ownership
2.  Personal Property - Any property that is not real property; that is, not permanently affixed to or part of real estate. Personal property includes cars, boats, aircraft and farm equipment.

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:

Real Estate
- Residential (19%)
- Agriculture (12%)
- Commercial & all other (32%)

Personal
- Historic Autos (5%)
- Farm Equipment & Livestock (12%)
- Grain (1/2 of 1%)
- Cars, Boats, Other (33 and 1/3%)

As an example, a residence with a market value of $50,000 would be assessed at 19% which would place its assessed value at $9,500. An automobile with a market value of $10,000 would be assessed at 33 1/3%, or $3,333.

Is all property taxed?
No. Some personal property is exempt, including household goods, inventories, clothing apparel and items of personal use and adornment. Exempt real estate and personal property can also include property owned by governments, and property used as non profit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, and for purely charitable purposes.

In addition, there are about 50 economic development zones in the state, located in places where there is blight, unemployment, etc. In those areas, to attract employers, or encourage employers to expand, some property improvements are given tax abatements for a period of years.

Additional Reporting by: Ashley Smith

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