October 03, 2023

How do I appeal my property tax assessment in Missouri?

Most homeowners in Missouri were in for a sticker shock this summer. Their property values had increased 20% to 30%! And in some cases, by more than 50% from their previous assessment! A high property value leads to a higher property tax incidence. Hence, it is important that homeowners protest their property value assessment and arrive at a realistic appraised value. Here is a guide to help you appeal your assessment and save on your property taxes.

How do I appeal my property taxes in Missouri?

Technically, you appeal the "noticed market value" of your property, not the "property tax" per-se. Once you receive your assessment notice, sometime in April, review the market value they have set. If you believe that your property has been assessed unfairly, you have the right to appeal it. In Missouri, you have 3 appeal options:

  1. Value Review Process (a.k.a Informal Hearing): When you receive your notice of assessment, you can contact the

county assessment office and ask for an informal review of your property's value. An assessor will review your case and you both can arrive at a value. Remember that the "appeal" is essentially a negotiation process. Your goal is to present evidence to back up the value you think your property is worth and convince the assessor that your property is worth less than what the county thinks it should be. If you think it will be helpful for a county assessor to personally visit and inspect your property, you can ask for it. By statute, assessors can go outside the property. But can enter only if the homeowner permits it. If you and the assessor can arrive at a value, then the process is complete. This value will be certified when the county publishes the final list. 2. Formal Hearing: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the informal hearing, you can make a formal appeal. The county sets a date and time for the formal hearing and you will get notified. Keep a watch on your email. The formal hearing is a two step process - first the homeowner can speak to a hearing officer and try to resolve the appeal. If both parties agree at a value, then the appeal is complete and the county will notify the agreed upon value. If unsuccessful, then the homeowner can present before the Board of Equalization (BoE). The hearing officer is a county employee. BoE members are not county employees. They are neutral people who will arrive at a value based on the evidences presented by both the homeowner and the appraiser. 3. If you are still not happy with the BoE outcome, you can appeal to the Missouri State Tax Commission (STC).

Homeowners don't have to necessarily go through the informal. They can straight away go to the BoE, if they choose to. Remember to keep records of all correspondence and documentation related to your appeal for reference throughout the process.

When is the property tax appeal deadline in Missouri?

Appeals open on May 1st. The last date for your property value assessment appeal is the second Monday of July, each year. In 2023, the date was July 10th. In 2024, the deadline for property tax appeals is July 8th, 2024. Likewise, it will be July 14th, 2025.

Ref: Missouri Tax Code, section 137.275

Every person who thinks himself aggrieved by the assessment of his property may appeal to the county board of equalization, in person, by attorney or agent, or in writing. Such appeals shall be lodged with the county board of equalization on or before the second Monday in July.

What evidence should I present with my appeal?

Accepted evidence includes: - photos of interior that shows damages (note: photos should be dated) - an appraisal report from a licensed appraiser. - comparable properties report.

If my property value increased by 30%, will my tax also increase that much?

Not at all! Remember that the assessment office doesn't set the taxes. They only estimate the value on your property. Property tax rates are set by each taxing jurisdiction viz. school district, fire district, community colleges, library etc. To safeguard Missouri homeowners against abnormal tax hikes (sticker shocks!), Hancock Ammendment restricts growth in property tax levies to the previous year's levy with a growth adjustment that is the lesser of the actual growth rate + inflation, or 5 percent, plus any new public approved expenses.

What if I haven't received my assessment notice?

If your property's value has increased, then your county/city assessor has to mail your assessment notice by June 15th. Generally, reassessment notices are mailed out in April.

... whenever any assessor shall increase the valuation of any real property, he or she shall forthwith notify the record owner on or before June fifteenth of such increase and, in a year of general reassessment, the county shall notify the record owner of the projected tax liability likely to result from such an increase, either in person, or by mail directed to the last known address; ...

Ref: Missouri Tax Code, section 137.180

Once you receive your assessment notice, note that you have barely a few weeks to file your appeal, before the July 2nd Monday deadline!

In case you haven't received a notice by June 15th, you should contact your assessor's office and confirm where your value has changed. You can also check on the county/city assessor's website.

What if I miss my hearing?

In case you missed your formal hearing, you get automatically scheduled for a second appointment, which will take place after all first-round appointments are complete. Appeal appointment information will be sent via email around 7-10 days before the meeting. Keep a watch on your email inbox as well as your spam folders. If you miss the second appointment also, then your appeal is dismissed as "No-Show" and your noticed market value will be finally certified.

A Kansas homeowner surprised at their property value

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