Saturday, April 4, 2009

Counties across Missouri are in the midst of their every-other-year reassessment process. County assessors will be notifying owners by May of the values at which their property will be assessed for tax purposes.

Under reassessment, property is supposed to be taxed based on current market values. With the economic downturn of the past year and declining real estate values to varying degrees across the country, many property owners wonder if they will see a reduction in their assessed values and, as a result, lower property taxes.

That's not like to occur, say some of the county assessors in Southeast Missouri. But while assessments aren't likely to drop, they aren't likely to go up unless there have been significant property improvements to warrant an increase.

For taxpayers who don't agree with their assessments, there is a process for appeals. It starts with the board of equalization in each county, whose decisions can be appealed to the Missouri State Tax Commission. Beyond that, taxpayers can ask a circuit court judge to decide on disputed assessments.

Take a look at your assessment notice when it arrives in the mail in a month or so. If you're not satisfied, call the assessor's office in your county and get complete information on the appeal process.

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