Jackson County Assessor Curtis Koons addresses a group of 50 citizens attending a recent meeting about the reassessment process.
JUNE 20, 2011 -- How does market value differ from assessed value?
That is just one of the frequently asked questions the Jackson County Assessment Department is addressing in a series of meetings to help inform citizens about the reassessment process. Two meetings have already been held, but more are being planned. (Return to jacksongov.org as meeting dates and locations will be posted when finalized.)
"Our goal is to just help give citizens a better understanding of how the assessed value of their homes and other real estate property is determined," said County Assessor Curtis Koons. "We also want them to know where their property tax dollars go and make sure they are aware of such things as Jackson County's Senior Quad Payment program and the Missouri Property Tax Credit."
Each odd numbered year -- such as 2011 -- the Assessment Department reassesses the value of all real estate in Jackson County. "Market value" for this current reassessment year is based on real estate market conditions on January 1, 2011. "Market value" can be determined by asking a basic question: How high a price would a property bring if that property were being sold by someone not obligated to sell it and being bought by someone not obligated to purchase it?
"Assessed value" is a simple percentage of the "market value" based on how a property is classified: residential (19%), agricultural (12%) or commercial (32%). For example, a residential property with a market value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $19,000, while a $100,000 commercial property would have an assessed value of $32,000.
In May, the Assessment Department sent reassessment notices to all Jackson County real estate property owners, informing them of any changes in the value of their property. CLICK HERE for more information about reassessment notices.
Included with the notices were estimated tax bills to give citizens an indication of what their actual real estate property tax obligation might be at the end of the year. The actual tax bills are not mailed until the fall, after the various taxing jurisdictions -- such as your local school district -- have set their tax levies. A point of emphasis during the Assessment Department's public meetings has been to explain that only a small percentage of the property tax dollars the County collects goes toward funding County government. CLICK HERE for more information about where your tax dollars go.
Koons explained the Assessment Department started including the estimated tax bills with reassessment notices in 2009 to aid citizens in budgeting for their year-end property taxes.
"Their bill might be higher or lower than what we've estimated based on where tax levies are eventually set, but at least we're giving our citizens a dollar figure that allows them to plan ahead," said Koons. "In most counties, all a citizen receives is a reassessment notice and that's it. They're left on their own to try and guesstimate what their tax bill might be."
The Assessment Department is seeking to get the word out to seniors that they have an option to pay their real estate property taxes in installments, rather than one lump sum, via Jackson County's Quad Payment program. Seniors and 100% disabled individuals may also qualify for a Missouri income tax credit for a portion of the real estate taxes or rent they pay.