How Assessment fits in the Property Tax System

How assessment fits in the property tax system

Responsibility:

The Assessor is responsible for the valuation of all taxable property in the County as of January 1st of any given year. This includes real estate and personal property. The political subdivisions, a.k.a. taxing jurisdictions (school districts, rural fire districts, the county library, etc.) are responsible for setting the tax rates necessary to generate the revenue needed to fund their operations. Property tax rates are set by September 1st of every year.

How is my total tax burden determined?

Your total tax burden is determined from the Assessor's valuations multiplied by the political subdvisions' levy rates. The system, created by the legislature, is set up to keep the valuation and taxing functions separate. To provide for fair and accurate assessments, periodic updates (reassessment) are required, ensuring fairness and equity in property values. After the values are completed, the political subdivisions set the tax rates, determining the amount of taxes you will pay. The Assessor has no control over the amount of tax a political subdivision will charge its citizens. Conversely, the political subdivisions have no control over how an Assessor values property. Many citizens do not realize that the Missouri State Tax Commission provides oversight over all 115 County Assessors to insure that statutory requirements are followed and that fairness is applied to all. Likewise the State Auditor has oversight over the tax rate setting process and certifies that each political subdivision's rate meets statutory requirements. Your total tax burden is usually not known until September or October of any given year, with tax bills following shortly after in November.

Conclusion:

Missouri's property tax continues to be the largest and most reliable source of funding for the state's local governments, with approximately two-thirds of the taxes collected going to local schools. An efficient, professional assessment program ensures that this stable, steady revenue source is not only maintained, but also that it is implemented in a fair and equitable fashion.