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.
Under Missouri’s Constitution, all assessments for property tax purposed must be based upon market value and 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.
Missouri statutes define the three subclasses of real estate:
Residential property is 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.
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 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.
Utility, industrial, commercial 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
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 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.
1. Informal Appeals
Contact the county assessor’s 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.
2. Board of Equalization
If not satisfied after the informal meeting, you should fill out the Texas County Board of Equalization Assessment appeal form. The board will hear evidence from the assessor and you regarding the value of the property which is the subject of the appeal.
3. State Tax Commission
You have a right to appeal the decision of the board of equalization to the State Tax Commission.