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ASSESSMENT
Real Property/Reassessment Frequently Asked Questions

 
Informal Reviews
If you are not satisfied with the estimated 2015 market value placed on your property or you feel your reassessment notice is incorrect, you may request an Informal Review with the Assessment Department by calling (816) 881-4601 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County) or by requesting an Informal Review online at jacksongov.org/review on or before June 12, 2015. 
1) What are assessment and reassessment?

2) How often is property reassessed? 

3) Why does Jackson County reassess real estate property every two years?

4) Why is reassessment necessary? 

5 What is market value? 

6) How is my assessment level established? 

7) Will all property values change due to reassessment? 

8) Will I be notified if there is an increase in my assessment? 

9) How do I know what my house is worth? 

10) How do you arrive at the land value? 

11) How can I view Jackson County’s record of my house or another house in Jackson County?

12) What if I disagree with my assessment?   

13) How do I get an Informal Review of my real estate property?

14) How should I prepare for my review?

15) Can I appeal in a non-reassessment year?

16) What is the timeline for the 2015 appeal process?

17) Will political subdivisions lower their levies? 

18) How does reassessment affect my taxes? 

19) The value of my property went down, but my taxes stayed the same or went up. Why?

20) Why are my taxes higher than last year?

21) When will I receive my property tax bill? 

22) When are my taxes due?

23) What if I do not receive a bill? 

24) I just purchased the property. Why do I owe back taxes? 

25) Why do I owe the entire bill even though I only lived in the house for a few months? 

26) Why wasn't my real estate bill sent to my mortgage company? 

27) What about my escrow account? 

28) What relief is there for senior citizens? 

29) Where can I find information about real estate tax abatement programs? 

30) How do I apply for an exemption for my property? 

31) Why do owners of commercial real property have a "Commercial Surcharge" on their tax bills?

 

1) What are assessment and reassessment? 

Assessment is the process of placing value on property for the purpose of property taxation. Reassessment is an update of all real property assessments in the County, conducted by the County Assessment Department to equalize values among taxpayers and to adjust values to current market conditions.

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2) How often is property reassessed? 

Real property is reassessed every odd-numbered year (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, etc.). Personal property is assessed every year.

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3) Why does Jackson County reassesses real estate property every two years? 

Missouri Law requires all real property to be reassessed every two years in odd-numbered years like 2015 and 2017. The Assessor must establish the fair market value of property as of January 1st of the reassessment year.

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4) Why is reassessment necessary? 

Under Missouri’s Constitution, all assessments for property tax purposes must be based upon market value and be uniform within the same class and 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 each taxpayer is being taxed fairly, and that their property is taxed the same as other comparable property.

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5) What is market value? 

Market value, true value in money and appraised value have the same meaning under Missouri law. A simple definition of market value is the price the property would bring when offered for sale by a person who is willing but not obligated to sell it, and is bought by a person who is willing but not obligated to purchase it.

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6) 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 

 
 
 
 
 

Personal 

Residential 19%  Cars, Boats & Other  33-1/3% 
Agricultural  12%  Farm Equipment & Livestock  12% 
Commercial & All Other  32%  Historic Autos  5% 
    Grain  0.5% 

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% and an assessed value of $3,333.

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7) Will all property values change due to reassessment? 

All values will not necessarily change and not all changes will be at the same rate. Market values increase more in some areas than in others. A major purpose of reassessment is to make sure that the new values reflect all changes that have occurred.

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8) Will I be notified if there is an increase in my assessment? 

The Assessor is required by state statutes to notify the owner of record of any increase in the valuation of real property.

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9) How do I know what my house is worth? 

Most people have a sense of the market values in their area from talking to friends and neighbors. You may also want to use the tax search capabilities on our website to review like properties and sales information, or get assistance from our taxpayer assistance unit.

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10) How do you arrive at the land value? 

Land value is based on a comparison of sales in the neighborhood or in similar areas.

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11) How can I view Jackson County’s record of my house or another house in Jackson County?

You can view the Assessor’s record for any property in the county by going to our online parcel viewer and search by parcel ID, by name or by address to find the specific property record. Information available on the record includes: ownership, legal data, dwelling information and a property sketch (when available). To view sales information please use the real estate sales search tool.

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12) What if I disagree with my assessment?

If you do not agree with your assessment, there are steps you can take in the review and appeal process. Remember that an assessment is based on current market value. Our objective is to establish the correct market value of the property. You should determine what you believe to be the value of your property and gather evidence that supports that value to present to the Assessment Department. Such evidence could include photographs, the recent sale of your property and/or a recent appraisal of your property.

a) Informal Review: If you are not satisfied with the estimated 2015 market value placed on your property or you feel your reassessment notice is incorrect, you may file an Informal Review Request with the Assessment Department by calling (816) 881-4601 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County) or by completing the Informal Review Request form online at jacksongov.org/review on or before June 12, 2015.

b) Board of Equalization: You have the right to appeal the estimated 2015 market value placed on your property to the Jackson County Board of Equalization (BOE). Appeals to the BOE must be filed on or before Monday, July 13, 2015. This date is set by Missouri state law; Jackson County has no authority to extend it. Along with your appeal form, you should provide documentation to support your opinion of value. You do not need to be present for your hearing; the board will consider all evidence submitted with your appeal. If you indicate that you prefer to attend a hearing, the Board will notify you of the date and time scheduled for your hearing. The BOE is located in the Jackson County Courthouse, 415 East 12th St. Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You can contact the Board at (816) 881-3309.

c) State Tax Commission (STC): If you disagree with the decision of the Board of Equalization, you may file an appeal to the State Tax Commission. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the Board of Equalization’s decision or by September 30, 2015, whichever is later. For more information about filing an appeal see Missouri State Tax Commission (http://stc.mo.gov/).

> More Information About Assessment Reviews/Board of Equalization Appeals 

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13) How do I get an Informal Review of my real estate property?

Property owners may file an Informal Review Request with the Assessment Department by calling (816) 881-4601 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County) or by completing the Informal Review Request form online at jacksongov.org/review on or before June 12, 2015.

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14) How should I prepare for my Informal Review?

You should determine what you believe to be the value of your property and gather evidence that supports that value to present to the Assessment Department. Such evidence could include photographs, the recent sale of your property and/or a recent appraisal of your property. Documents might include a recent appraisal, sale contract, closing statement, photos, estimate for repairs, a statement of construction cost (if recently built) and/or comparable sales (if recently bought/sold).

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15) Can I appeal in a non-reassessment year?

Yes, you can file an appeal to the Board of Equalization. However, since reassessment happens every two years, the economic conditions as of January 1 of the reassessment year (previous odd-numbered year) apply to all appeals. That means; even if the real estate market went down after January 1 of the reassessment year, it may not have an impact on the value of your property.

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16) What is the timeline for the 2015 review/appeal process?

You may file an Informal Review Request with the Assessment Department by calling (816) 881-4601 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County) or by completing the Informal Review Request form online at jacksongov.org/review on or before June 12, 2015.

The deadline to appeal with the BOE is established by Missouri State Statutes as the second Monday in July (July 13, 2015). Appeal forms are available at the BOE office in Kansas City.

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17) Will political subdivisions lower their levies? 

When the total assessed valuation in a political subdivision increases substantially, as often happens with a reassessment, the political subdivision is allowed an increase in revenues to account for inflation, plus the revenues it receives from taxing new construction and improvements. Its governing body, after that, is required by the constitution to adjust tax rates downward. This is called a tax rate rollback. Jackson County has such a mandatory rollback. Local governments such as school districts, cities and counties each set their own levies. Most are subject to the rollback. The main exception is the Kansas City School District, which was made exempt from the rollback by a state constitutional amendment. The exact impact upon your individual tax bill cannot be calculated until this fall when state and local governments set their levies.

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18) How does reassessment affect my taxes? 

It depends. An increase in assessed value does not necessarily equate to a corresponding increase in property taxes. Assessed value and the combined levies of the taxing entities which levy a tax on that particular property are used to calculate your tax. If levies increase, taxes may increase even if assessed values remain unchanged or decrease. It follows that, if levies decrease, an increase in assessed values may not cause an increase in taxes. One factor which can cause a decrease in levies is a rollback which was discussed in the previous question and answer. Another is a voluntary reduction voted by the governing body.
An estimate of your taxes will be included in your reassessment notice.

The final tax levies are normally set during August. The final taxes due for your property cannot be determined until the rates have been set by all of the local governments that tax your property.

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19) The value of my property went down, but my taxes stayed the same or went up. Why?

The amount of taxes you pay is made up of two components: the assessed value of your property and the tax rates set by your individual taxing jurisdictions, such as schools and fire districts. The Assessment Department is required by law to establish the fair market value of property as of January 1 of the reassessment year (every odd-numbered year; 2015, 2017, 2019, etc.). Taxing jurisdictions set their own rates according to their budgetary needs and voter approval. If property values in their district go down, then taxing jurisdictions may choose to roll up their rates to make up for the loss in value. Jackson County only sets its own rate (which is about 7% of your total tax amount). Jackson County has no control over the tax rates of other taxing jurisdictions.

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20) Why are my taxes higher than last year?

Taxes are based on the assessed value of your property and the tax rates of the local taxing jurisdictions where the property is located. Tax rates are set each year by local taxing jurisdictions within the limits allowed under the constitution and state law. There may have been a change to the tax rate for your city or school district. If you made an improvement on your property the assessed value may have been increased.

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21) When will I receive my property tax bill? 

Annual property tax bills are mailed each year by December 1.

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22) When are my taxes due? 

Under state law taxes are due upon receipt of the tax bill but no later than December 31 of each year. Interest, penalties and fees will accrue if payment is late.
For payments made by mail to be on time, the U.S. postal service postmark date must be December 31 or earlier. To ensure your mailed payment is timely, contact the Post Office to determine the office hours for mail postmark. Payments placed in Post Office Mail drop boxes do not always receive the same day postmark. The Jackson County Collection Office highly recommends mailing several days before the December 31 deadline.

Payments made in person are accepted during regular business hours.

Notice: The Jackson County Courthouse and the Jackson County Historic Truman Courthouse are open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County.

Payments made online will be considered on time if made before the online payment system closes at 11:00 p.m., December 31. Online payments made after the online payment website reopens in the New Year will be late. Interest, penalties and fees will accrue. Until it closes at 11:00 p.m., December 31, the online payment website will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week except when occasionally down for maintenance. It is recommended that online payments be made before 5:00 p.m. on December 31 to avoid maintenance concerns. For payments made online, please print your Official Paid Tax Receipt at the time of your payment to insure that you have completed your transaction. Submitting a web payment with incorrect or invalid account or routing numbers will result in your payment failing to clear your financial institution, possibly rejected by your bank after the delinquency date.

Payments which fail to clear your financial institution will not be considered as paid on time once resubmitted with a valid form of payment. Such failed payments may accrue returned item bank fees charged by the County as well as interest, penalties and fees if the valid resubmitted form of payment is received after the delinquency date.
There is a $0.40 fee for using the e-check online payment option, which is the exact cost the County pays for this service. There is a 2.395% fee charged by a third-party bank for a credit/debit card online payment.

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23) What if I do not receive a bill?

The Collector's Office mails tax bills during November. If a tax bill is not received by December 10, contact the Collector's Office at (816) 881-3232. Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the obligation to pay taxes and if delinquent, applicable interest, penalties and fees. Taxes not paid in full on or before December 31 will accrue interest, penalties and fees.

Telephones are staffed during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays observed by Jackson County).

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24) I just purchased this property. Why do I owe back taxes?

Taxes are a lien against the real estate and remains with the property, not the specific owner of that property. If the ownership changes, the new owner is liable for any unpaid real estate property taxes due.

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25) Why do I owe the entire bill even though I only lived in the house for a few months?

The new owner/buyer has the responsibility for paying the total tax bill by December 31.

Generally, taxes are prorated between the buyer and seller. If this is being done, a proportionate amount of the estimated tax amount is credited to the buyer at the time of sale based on the number of months/days the seller owned the property during the tax year. If the buyer receives extra money at closing or loan settlement, it is recommended the buyer verify if those funds are for the payment of future taxes.

Generally, no money is paid to the Collector for taxes at the time of sale. However, a closing company as part of the sales transaction may pay any taxes currently due if known. You will have real estate property taxes to pay each year you own the property.

Taxes are levied annually and due upon receipt.  After December 31, interest, penalties and fees will apply.

A tax bill may be generated in the previous owner's (seller's) name and mailed to their mailing address unless the purchaser advises the Jackson County Assessment Department of the change in property ownership and mailing address. If you do NOT receive a real estate tax bill from the Jackson County Collector by December 10, contact the Collector's Office.

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26) Why wasn’t my real estate bill sent to my mortgage company?

Review your contract to see if you are obligated to pay the taxes or if the mortgage company collects an escrow and pays the bill for you. If the mortgage company pays the bill for you from an escrow account, forward the bill to them. Each mortgage company submits an annual request to Jackson County for copies of the real estate bills that they plan to pay for that tax year. Due to the constant buying and selling of mortgages in today’s economy, sometimes the tax bill is sent to the wrong company.

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27) What about my escrow account? 

Mortgage companies typically pay tax bills in December and adjust your monthly payment for any changes needed. Call your mortgage company for specific answers.

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28) What relief is there for senior citizens? 

Information about the Property Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker) is available by calling (573) 751-3505 or at the Missouri Department of Revenue Web site: www.dor.mo.gov/tax/personal/ptc/

The Senior Citizen Quad Payment Program gives Jackson County seniors the option to spread payment of their County real estate tax bills over four equal installments -- without interest or penalties applying. The installments are due December 31 of the tax year and then February 28, May 31 and August 31 of the following year.

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29) Where can I find information about real estate tax abatement programs? 

Contact the Business Assistance Center in Kansas City, City Hall or the City where your property is located. More information is available the City of Kansas City Business Customer Service Center and the KC Economic Development Corporation.

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30) How do I apply for an exemption for my property? 

Contact the exemption unit at (816) 881-3483 to request that an application be sent to the taxpayer.

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31) Why do owners of commercial real property have a "Commercial Surcharge" on their tax bills?

At the election held on August 3, 1982, the voters of Missouri approved the amended provisions of section 6 of article X of the Missouri Constitution. The effective date for the amended provisions of section 6 of article X was January 1, 1985.

The amended provisions of section 6 of article X of the Missouri Constitution established an exemption for merchants' and manufacturers' tangible personal property for tax purposes, thus eliminating the tax commonly referred to as the "Merchants' and Manufacturers' Tax."

Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 139, Section 139.600 implemented the amended changes to the Constitution. To replace the lost revenues resultant from the elimination of the "Merchants and Manufacturers' Tax," the Statute imposed a replacement tax, commonly referred to as the "Commercial Surcharge," on real property in subclass (3) of class one property (real property).

The Statute established the formula to determine the tax rate of the "Commercial Surcharge" for each County. The tax rate may not be increased and may only be decreased if approved by a majority of the voters of that County.

The revenue collected from the "Commercial Surcharge" is distributed to the taxing authorities in the same manner that the real estate tax is distributed to the taxing authorities.
The tax rate for the "Commercial Surcharge" in Jackson County is $1.437 per $100 of assessed valuation. 

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