Adair County

The Assessor's duties and what they mean to you

What are the Assessor's duties?

The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is to assess all real property within their jurisdiction except that which is otherwise provided by law.  This would include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property.  Real property is revalued every two years.  The effective date of the assessment is January First of the current year.  The assessor determines a full or partial value of new construction, or improvements depending upon the state of completion as of January First.

General Misconceptions about the Assessors work

The Assessor does not:

The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes.  Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities, and townships, adopt budgets after public hearings.  This determines the tax levy, which is the rate of taxation required to raise the money budgeted.  The taxes you pay are proportionate to the value of your property compared to the total value of the taxing district in which your property is located.
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What is Market Value?

Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January First of the year of assessment.  This is sometimes referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept.
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How Does the Assessor Estimate Market Value?

To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses three approaches.  The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently.  Local conditions peculiar to your property are taken into consideration.  The assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of assessment in a community, in order to adjust for local conditions.  This method generally referred to is the MARKET APPROACH and usually considered the most important in determining the value of residential property.  The second approach is the COST APPROACH and is an estimate of how many dollars at current labor and material prices it would take to replace your property with one similar to it.  In the event improvement is not new appropriate amounts for depreciation and obsolescence would be deducted from replacement value.  Value of the land then would be added to arrive to the total estimate of value.  The INCOME APPROACH is the third method used if your property produces income such as an apartment or office building.  In that case, your property could be valued according to its ability to produce income under prudent management; in other words, what another investor would give for a property in order to gain its income.  The income approach is the most complex of the three approaches because of the research, information and analysis necessary for an accurate estimate of value.  This method requires thorough knowledge of local and national financial conditions, as well as any developmental trends in the area of the subject property being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously affect the final estimate of value.
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Why Values Change

State law requires that all real property be reassessed every two years.  The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered years.  Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment.
If you disagree with the assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions before proceeding, as outlined below:

  1. What is the actual market value of my property?
  2. How does the value compare to similar properties in the neighborhood?
    1. If you have any questions about the assessment of your property, feel free to come in and discuss it with the assessor.
    2. You may file a protest with the Board of Equalization which is composed of the three county commissioners and the assessor.  An appeal shall be in writing and the forms to be used for this purpose shall be furnished by the county clerk.  Such appeal shall be lodged with the County Clerk as Secretary of the Board of Equalization before the third Monday in June.
    3. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Equalization.  You may appeal to the State Tax Commission by September 30th or 30 days after the Board of Equalization's decision, whichever is later.

For more information on appeals to the Sate Tax Commission, see their web site
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For more details see: Missouri Department of Revenue
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Personal Property Assessment

Every person owning or holding real property or tangible personal property on the first day of January, including all such property purchased on that day, shall be liable for taxes thereon during the same calendar year.  Chapter 137.075 RSMO
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How Does the Assessor Know What Personal Property I Have?

The assessor sends out blank assessment forms in January of each year.  It is your responsibility to send a completed form to the assessor by March 1, listing all the taxable personal property you owned January 1.  If your form is late, the penalty ranges from $10 to $100, depending on the amount of valuation involved.  The assessor may contact you to follow up if the form is not complete.

If you are a new resident of Adair County or will be as of January 1, be sure and notify the personal property division for a personal property list at (660) 665-4423.
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Assessment Cycle

Personal Property is assessed each year. The taxpayer is required to update all information concerning the make, model and year of autos, and purchase price and year of purchase for machinery, office equipment, etc. with the County Assessor at the start of each new year.  Chapter 137.080 RSMO.

Property is assessed as of January 1. Taxpayers must submit a list of personal property to the Assessor before March 1 of Each Year.

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Liability For Taxes

Taxes are due on December 31 on property owned on assessment date, i.e. A person moves into Missouri on March 1, 2009.  He/she is not assessed until January 1, 2010 and does not pay taxes on property owned that date until December of 2010.  A person moves out of Missouri in June of 2009.  He/she was assessed January 1, 2009 on property owned on that date and pays taxes for 2009 in Missouri even though he/she has moved away.
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  1. Why am I being taxed on a vehicle I no longer own?
    You are taxed based on vehicles owned on January 1st of the tax year.  Even if you no longer own the vehicles, even if you now own different vehicles, even if you now own no vehicles, you still pay tax based on what you owned on the first day of the year.
  2. Why is my tax bill so high?
    The amount of tax you owe is based on the vehicles you owned January 1st of that year.  The value of the vehicles is established by the County Assessor using a standard rate book. The assessed value of your vehicles can be found in the lower right side of your statement.
  3. I am no longer a Missouri resident, do I still owe?
    Yes. By state law, your tax obligation is established on January 1st.  Even if you move to a different state the next day, you are still taxable for the year.  Unfortunately, the law makes no provision for pro-rating the tax bill.
  4. How do I avoid paying late fees?
    Your payment must be postmarked no later than December 31st.  Payments postmarked after that date will be returned for late penalties.
  5. What do I need in order to get my license plates?
    You will need to take the following information to the license bureau: A paid tax receipt or waiver from the previous year; an inspection slip (unless the car is new); proof of insurance, and a renewal notice if available.

For more details see: Missouri Department of Revenue
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