- Real property refers to land, improvements to the land and all rights inherent to ownership.
- Assessment is the process of placing a value on a property for the purposes of taxation.
- Reassessment is the revaluing of all properties within a county on a mass appraisal basis for purposes of equalization.
Most functions of the Assessor's Office are governed by language in the Missouri State Statutes, Section 137. Understanding the purpose of the Assessor's Office is a complex issue. The Assessor is focused on an office that prides itself on accuracy and fairness, bringing clarity to the assessment process.
In the 1990 general election, St. Charles County voters passed the Occupancy Bill (Resolution 137.082). This bill mandates that newly constructed residential property will be added to the tax rolls the first day of the month following occupancy.
This procedure differs for commercial and agricultural property in that their status as of January 1 of the current tax year is the basis for the property tax.
Simply stated, market value is the most probable price in terms of money a property will bring in an open and competitive market. Not all sales are consummated at market value, but the intent of the Assessor is to estimate the fair market value of each property in St. Charles County as of Tax Day as required by law. The value assigned by the Assessor’s Office should represent fair market value as of January 1 of the tax year.
The only properties not valued at market are agricultural properties which are valued in soil productivity grades.
Assessment of Your Property
Missouri law requires a re-evaluation of property values every two years (each odd year). The purpose of this reassessment is the equalization among taxpayers, as well as adjusting any values to better reflect current market conditions as of the tax date. New construction is added on an annual basis.
General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws will influence the value of real estate. As property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected on the assessments.
The Assessor does not create the value, but rather interprets the real estate market.
You should first attempt to do your own calculation of what your property is worth. This can be accomplished using recent comparable sales in your area, comparing assessments of similar properties, and reviewing the replacement cost of property in your homeowners insurance (the land is usually not included in the replacement cost). Sales and assessment information is available in the Assessor’s Office or via the Property Database.
Value of Your Property and Amount of Taxes You Pay
The market value of your property is multiplied by the statutory level of assessment. Residential property is assessed at 19% of market value, agricultural at 12%, and commercial and all other at 32%. This assessed value is then multiplied by the tax rate (per $100) for your particular area.
Though the value of your property affects your share of taxes, the actual amount you will pay is not established until October 31. It will be determined by the budget needs of the taxing jurisdictions i.e. school, city, fire district(s) etc. The taxing jurisdictions decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much money they will need to provide those services. Once this decision is made, a tax rate is adopted that will generate the needed dollars. This rate is then applied to the individual assessed values and tax bills are generated.
The value of your property is subject to change every two years (excluding new construction); however, your tax rate (established by the taxing jurisdictions) is subject to change annually.
The Assessor is not responsible for establishing the tax rate for any taxing jurisdiction.