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Updated 11-06-2013
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REAL ESTATE
Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Related To Property Value Assessment

1. What are assessment and reassessment?

2. How often is property reassessed?

3. Why are my taxes higher than last year?

4. Where can I find out about real estate tax abatement programs?

5. How do I apply for an exemption for my property?

 

1. What are assessment and reassessment?

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.

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2. How often is property reassessed?

Real property is reassessed every odd-numbered year (2011, 2013, 2015 etc.) Personal property is assessed every year.

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3. 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 entities where the property is located.  Tax rates are set each year by local taxing entities 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 could have been increased.

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4. Where can I find out about real estate tax abatement programs?

The Business Assistance Center in Kansas City, City Hall or the City where your property is located.

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5.  How do I apply for an exemption for my property?

Contact the exemption unit at (816) 881-3483 for Real Estate. They will send an application to the taxpayer. 

Notice: 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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Questions Related To Tax Collection

1. When will I receive my tax bill?

2. When are my taxes due? 

3. What if I do not receive a bill? 

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

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

6. Why wasn't my real estate bill sent to my mortgage company? 

7. What about my escrow account? 

8. What relief is there for senior citizens?

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

 

1. When will I receive my tax bill?

By the first of December.

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2. When are my taxes due?

Under state law taxes are due upon receipt of the tax bill but no later than December 31.  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 collector’s office highly recommends mailing several days before the December 31 deadline.
 
Payments made in person are accepted during regular business hours (8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday) at the Collector’s Office (excluding holidays observed).

Notice: The Jackson County Courthouse and the Jackson County Courthouse Annex 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 website closes at 11:00 p.m., December 31.  Online payments made after the online payment website reopens in the new year will be late, and 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 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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3. 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 10th, 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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4. 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.  When the ownership changes, the new owner is liable for any unpaid real estate property taxes due.

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5. 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 Assessor's office 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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6. 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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7. 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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8.  What relief is there for senior citizens?

The Missouri Department of Revenue offers Missouri Seniors and 100% disabled individuals a Property Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker) program. Information is available by calling (816) 889-2944 or on the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

Jackson County offers Senior Citizens
a Quad Payment Program:

(NOTE:  This program does not apply to the payment of non-real estate taxes).

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. The installments are due on December 31 of the tax year and then February 28, May 31 and August 31 of the following year.

To qualify:

• You must be 62 or older by December 31 of the tax year.

• You must live at the address which you desire to have covered by the installment option.

• You (not a trust) must own this real estate in fee simple or as a co-tenant, by tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by entirety.

• All prior years’ taxes must be paid and not be delinquent.

• The property is assessed solely as a residential property.

• You must apply for the program and meet all requirements to remain in the program. The application form can be DOWNLOADED HERE

If you were already enrolled in the previous senior half pay program, you will be automatically enrolled in the new quad plan without the need for a new application.

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9.  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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