Your Government

Your Government

Assessor Frequently Ask Questions


Why does Saint Louis County reassess real estate property every two years?
Missouri law requires all real property to be reassessed every two years in the odd years, like 2013 and 2015. The Assessor must establish the fair market value of property as of January 1 of the reassessment year. For more information see Missouri Revised Statutes

How did Saint Louis County determine the estimate of value for my house?
The Assessor uses the "sales comparison approach" to establish the fair market value for most residential real estate. Fair market value is defined as “the most probable price your home would sell for after a reasonable exposure in a competitive market to a ready, willing and able buyer with both buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably and for self interest and not under duress”.
In other words, what your house would sell for in the open marketplace. Houses that have recently sold and are comparable to your house were selected based on their location and physical characteristics. These are the houses listed as the “comps” on your Change of Assessment Notice. The actual selling prices of these properties were adjusted to account for differences in characteristics, such as square footage, number of garages, condition, etc.

Why did I receive a postcard in the mail?
That postcard serves a couple of purposes: it informs you that the 2013 preliminary appraised value of your property is available on the Internet or via a phone call to the Assessor's Office, and lets you know early in the process that questions/concerns can be addressed by the Assessor's staff rather than having to file a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization. The values may be viewed at Real Estate Information and appraisers available by phone at 314-615-4500. Residential property owners can also schedule an Informal Conference at 314-615-4595 to discuss their value with a member of the Assessor's Office.

Will I be receiving a Change of Assessment Notice similar to what I have received in the past?
Unless your appraised value has increased from the last reassessment (2011) you will not receive a Change of Assessment Notice in the mail. You can review the value of your property at the Assessor website or by calling the Assessor's office at 314-615-4230 or 314-615-4500. Copies of the Change of Assessment and Projected Tax Liability Notices (PTLN) will be available on the website by May 31st. If you would like to receive a printed notice, please contact the Assessor's office, and your notice will be mailed to you after May 31st.

Why does my Change of Assessment Notice not show any "comps"?
If your house is a unique property or a property for which good comparable sales do not exist, the Assessor may not use the sales comparison approach. For such residential properties, the cost approach will most likely be used to determine the fair market value. In using this approach, cost figures, depreciation and land value are utilized instead of comparable sales.

Why aren't there any "comps" shown for my house in the Internet?
If your house is a unique property or a property for which good comparable sales do not exist, the Assessor may employ other recognized methods and techniques to estimate fair market value. For example, if the cost approach is used to determine the fair market value, cost figures, depreciation, and land value are utilized instead of comparable sales. You may use the Other Sales In Your Area on the website to see sales from your neighborhood.

Why are foreclosed properties and some others excluded from the "comps"?
Many foreclosed properties are not maintained and are quite often damaged or vandalized. As a result they are not representative of properties in that neighborhood. It would not be fair to compare a properly maintained home to the average foreclosed house.

What happens in areas with a high foreclosure rate?
The Assessor analyzes both, the property and surrounding neighborhood, including the effect of high rates of foreclosure. The Assessor’s staff considers the impact of high foreclosure rates when arriving at a fair market value for properties in these areas.

How about properties settling an estate?
Properties sold in settling an estate may or may not meet the definition of fair market value. For example, properties that are recorded as sold for $1 just to meet the legal requirement to transfer the property are not considered a fair market value sale because the property is severely undervalued. Or conversely, property that has been grossly inflated to minimize future capital gains tax liability for the inheriting party is also not considered a fair market value sale because it artificially increases that property’s value. These kinds of properties are set aside and reviewed individually to determine whether their recorded sale price is in line with the sale price of similar property in that neighborhood.

How may I review Saint Louis County's record of my house or of another house in Saint Louis County?
You can view the Assessor’s record for any property in the county by going to Real Estate Information and search by locator number, name or address to find the specific property record. Information available on the record includes: ownership, legal data, sales history, dwelling information and a property sketch (when available).

Does "Improvements" on my Property Record mean that I made improvements to my house?
Not necessarily. For most homeowners, "improvements" include the house, any attached or separate garage, porch, wood deck, patio, barn, some sheds, etc. The value listed for "improvements" is the estimated combined value of all these structures, including the house, as opposed to the value of the land itself. Any land that has a home or other structures built on it will always have a value listed for improvements. However, this does not suggest that any additions or changes have recently been made to your property.

How can I appeal the assessed value of my real estate property?

Informal Conferences: The Informal Conferences are held in reassessment years as a courtesy of the St. Louis County Assessor, and are not mandated by law. You do not have to have an Informal Conference before filing an appeal to the Board of Equalization. Informal conferences provide an opportunity for single family residential property owners to review and correct information the Assessor has on their property record. You will be able to discuss the Assessor's opinion of value of your property, just like at the formal BOE hearing. You can provide information that supports your opinion of your property's value. Any supporting evidence or documentation must clearly represent current conditions. Residential property owners can schedule an Informal Conference at 314-615-4595 to discuss their value with a member of the Assessor's Office.

Board of Equalization (BOE): The deadline for filing an appeal to the BOE is the second Monday in July (July 8,2013)  This date is set by Missouri state law; Saint Louis County has no authority to extend it. Along with your appeal form, you should provide documentation to support your opinion of value. You do not have to be present for your hearing; the Board will consider all evidence submitted with your appeal. If you indicate that you prefer to attend a hearing, the Board will notify you of the date and time scheduled for you. The BOE is located in the Lawrence K. Roos County Government Building, 41 South Central Ave., 2nd floor, Clayton, MO 63105. You can contact the Board at (314) 615-7195 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appeal forms are available online, at the BOE office in Clayton as well as all three St. Louis County satellite offices starting on May 1, 2013. For further information see Property Value Appeals.

Appeals may also be filed online at http://revenue.stlouisco.com/AssessmentAppeal/OnlineAsmtAppeal.aspx The deadline for electronically filed appeals is the same as for all others. Appeals submitted electronically after midnight of July 8, 2013 CANNON be accepted.
Property owners who are unable to attend their hearing before the BOE, will be given the option to waive their right to attendance, and to upload their supporting documentation. All others will need to bring their supporting documents to their hearing.

State Tax Commission (STC): If you disagree with the decision of the Board of Equalization, you may file an appeal to the State Tax Commission. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the Board of Equalization's decision or by September 30, whichever is later. The STC hearings are held in Saint Louis County. For more information about filing an appeal see Missouri State Tax Commission.

Please remember that the economic conditions of January 1 of the reassessment year apply to all appeals.

Can I appeal in a non-reassessment year, too?
Yes, you can file an appeal to the Board of Equalization. However, since reassessment happens every two years, the economic conditions of January 1 of the reassessment year apply to all appeals. That means, even if the real estate market went down after January 1 of the reassessment year, it may not have an impact on the value of your property.

What is the timeline for the 2013 appeal process?
The deadline to appeal is established by Missouri State Statutes as the second Monday in July (July 8,2013). Appeal forms are available online, at the BOE office in Clayton as well as all three St. Louis County satellite offices in May 2013. Board of Equalization hearings will be conducted during July and August. For further information see Property Value Appeals.

How do I schedule an Informal Conference?
Residential property owners may call 314-615-4595 after March 19 to request an appointment for an informal conference. Appointments are limited. Therefore, owners are encouraged to schedule an appointment quickly if they see an issue with the Assessor's preliminary value.

When and where are the Informal Conferences held?

Informal Conferences are held at three different locations for taxpayer convenience:

  • South: April 1-12 at 9059 Watson Road, Crestwood, 63126
  • North: April 17-30 at 11130 Old St. Charles Road, St. Ann, 63074
  • Central: May 1-3 at 41 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, 63105

How should I prepare for my appeal?
You should bring any evidence that supports your opinion of value. Documents might include a recent appraisal, sale contract, closing statement, photos, estimates for repairs, a statement of construction costs (if recently built), or comparable sales (if recently sold). Information regarding the selling prices of comparable property in your area is available online at the Saint Louis County Government Website at Real Estate Information.

Is there anyone who can assist me preparing my appeal - free of charge?
Yes, St. Louis County provides residential property owners with the option to use the services of a Property Owner Advocate free of charge. Property Owner Advocates are real estate professionals who contract with St. Louis County during the appeal season to offer advice and guidance to residential property owners appealing the value of their property. Advocate services can be requested by leaving a message on the hotline at 314-615-4611, sending an email to Advocate@stlouisco.com, or through an appraisal staff member.

Will my taxes increase/decrease because of raised/lowered assessments?
If your property value does not change and your tax rates do not change, then your taxes will remain the same. However, if either your property value or your tax rates change, the tax amount will change.

The value of my property went down, but my taxes stayed the same or went up. Why?
The amount of taxes you pay is made up of two components: the assessed value of your property and the tax rates set by your individual taxing authorities, such as school and fire districts. The Assessor is required by law to establish the fair market value of property as of January 1 of the reassessment year, which is every other year in the odd year (such as 2011 and 2013). Taxing authorities set their own rates according to their budgetary needs and voter approval. If property values in their district go down, then taxing authorities may choose to roll up their rates to make up for the loss in value. St. Louis County only sets its own rate (which is about six percent of your total tax amount), and has no control over anyone else's rates.

What is the "Projected Tax Liability Notice"?
It is an estimate of what your property taxes may be.

What is the Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim (aka "Circuit Breaker")?
The Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim (MO-PTC) is a state program that provides a partial refund of your paid real property taxes, or if you are a tenant in a rental property, a partial refund of rent paid. Qualification for the program is based on your age and your income.
The application for the MO-PTC is usually filed with the annual income tax return, but may be filed for up to three years from the due date (April 15). Residents of Saint Louis County with 100 percent disability may also qualify. For further information, contact the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573)751-3505 or (314)877-0177. The County Older Residents Program (CORP) can assist with questions or filing for the claim: (314)615-4516. Information is also available at Missouri Property Tax Credit.

What is personal property tax?
Personal property tax is a tax based on the value of tangible personal property. Personal Property is anything that is not real estate.

What is taxable personal property?
Revised Missouri Statutes 137.115 and 137.120
Taxable personal property consists of motor vehicles, trailers, mobile homes (situated on leased/rented land), watercraft, boat motors, aircraft, livestock, farm machinery and equipment, agricultural crops and any other personal property not exempted by law. RSMo 137.115 and 137.120
Also taxable is “business personal property”. This is tangible personal property used in a trade or business, or used for production of income and has a "useful" life of longer than one year.  However, supplies used by a business are taxable as well.  Revised Missouri Statute 137.122

Who owes personal property tax?
Revised Missouri Statute 137.075
Every person owning or holding 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.  However there are exceptions as noted in this summary

How do individuals or businesses new to St. Louis County get on the tax roll?
Individuals, who are new residents of St. Louis County or are just purchasing their first vehicle, need to be added to the St. Louis County tax roll in order to receive their tax bills. An individual needing to be added to the County record can visit any of our offices, and should bring in their vehicle registration or application for title. A new resident can also complete the "New Resident Personal Property Declaration" form that is available on our website.
http://www.stlouisco.com/Portals/8/docs/document%20library/revenue/asmt/NewResidentPPdec.pdf
New businesses should complete the "Business Personal Property Registration" form, which is available on our website.
http://www.stlouisco.com/Portals/8/docs/document%20library/revenue/asmt/BusinesPersonalPropRegApp.pdf
Please refer to the actual form for additional documentation that, along with the completed registration, should be mailed or brought to the Assessor's Office at 41 South Central Avenue, 2nd floor.

How does the Assessor calculate the assessmentof my vehicle?
Revised Missouri Statute 137.115.9
In accordance with state statute, the Assessor shall use the trade-in value published in the October issue of the National Automobile Dealers' Association Official Used Car Guide, or its successor publication, as the recommended guide of information for determining the true value of motor vehicles described in such publication. In the absence of a listing for a particular motor vehicle in such publication, the Assessor shall use such information or publications which in the Assessor's judgment will fairly estimate the true value in money of the motor vehicle.
In most cases, the average trade-in value of the base model is used as a basis of assessed value. Vehicles are assessed using a ratio of 33 1/3% of the trade-in value of the vehicle.

(October Issue - NADA Average Trade-In Value) / 3 = Assessed Value

My vehicle has high mileage/body damage. What can I do?
You can submit documentation to support a possible value adjustment due to mileage or condition.  You should attach the documentation to your declaration that must be returned no later than March 1.  This documentation should identify the vehicle by its VIN and should be in the form of a State inspection, oil change or repair receipt, insurance settlement.  Mileage documentation should be dated as close to January 1 of the tax year as possible.  For condition adjustments, a written estimate of repairs is required, unless insurance documentation is provided.  Photographs are not sufficient documentation.

The State of Missouri tells me I need a waiver (statement of non-assessment) before I can license my vehicle. How do I do this?
If you did not owe personal property taxes in Missouri during the last year (or two years for a two-year registration), you will need to contact our office to obtain a waiver, stating that you did not owe personal property taxes for that time period.  In order to apply for a tax waiver, you must present proof of ownership such as a title, title application or a title registration from for the Missouri Department of Revenue (pink slip). 
Tax waivers for businesses may be obtained only at the Saint Louis County Assessor’s Office in Clayton. Tax waivers for individuals and leased vehicles may be obtained at the Saint Louis County Collector of Revenue's Office or at any of the Saint Louis County Government satellite offices.  For satellite office locations click http://revenue.stlouisco.com/.

I lease my vehicle. What are my responsibilities?
If you have questions regarding your leased vehicle, you should contact your leasing company directly.  Please verify that the leasing company has declared your vehicle to the appropriate jurisdiction.  In order to do so, the leasing company must have the correct garaging address of the vehicle.  The leasing company will be billed for personal property tax directly.  If you have questions about whether your vehicle was taxed, or the value, please contact the Leasing Section at 314-615-5102.

I recently moved into St. Louis County. What should I do?
If you moved to Saint Louis County you must present proof of ownership such as a title, title application or a title registration form from the Missouri Department of Revenue (pink slip).  You will be added to the tax roll for either the current or future year, depending on when you moved.  Individuals and those leasing vehicles may visit the Saint Louis County Collector of Revenue's Office or at any of the Saint Louis County Government satellite offices.  For locations:  http://revenue.stlouisco.com.
Businesses must go to the Saint Louis County Assessor’s Office in Clayton at 41 South Central Avenue – 2nd floor.  Please refer below to “I am opening a business in St. Louis County. What do I do?”
If you moved to another Missouri county, you must contact the Assessor’s Office of that county to be added to their tax roll.

I moved/sold my car. Do I still owe taxes for the entire year?
Revised Missouri Statute 137.075
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.  Missouri does not pro-rate personal property tax.
Individuals who move to another Missouri county must contact the Assessor’s Office of that county.  Also, notify St. Louis County at 314-615-5500 to be removed from our Personal Property records.

How can I find out my personal property assessment?
Assessment information is available on the St. Louis County website.  Assessed values can be viewed after the tax roll is certified on June 30.  http://revenue.stlouisco.com/Collection/ppInfo/,  Individuals can also call 314-615-5500, starting July 1st of each year, to obtian assessed values for their vehicle for the current year.

What is the vehicle fee/assessment penalty listed on my bill?
Vehicle fees are fees that St. Louis County collects for certain municipalities. These fees are usually in lieu of a “city sticker”.

The assessment penalty listed on your bill a penalty is charged when no declaration is received, or it is received May 1 or later.  RSMo 137.345   We suggest retaining proof of completion and mailing of the declaration.  St. Louis County is not responsible for misdirected mail, or consequences thereof.

I am opening a business in St. Louis County. What do I need to do?
All businesses operating in St. Louis County are required to register with the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office.  Click the following link to download the registration form for completion, to be returned to the Assessor’s Office.
http://www.stlouisco.com/Portals/8/docs/document%20library/revenue/asmt/BusinesPersonalPropRegApp.pdf

In addition to the Registration Form, the following documentation must also be submitted at the same time:

  • Proof of registration with the State of Missouri Secretary of State’s office in one of the following forms:  Registration of Fictitious Name, Certificate of Incorporation or the Certificate of Organization.
  • All businesses in a commercial location must submit a copy of their occupancy permit, either from their municipality or St. Louis County Public Works, for businesses located in an un-incorporated area.

After submitting the required forms, the business will be placed on the St. Louis County tax roll for assessment purposes.

Any person or entity that is doing business under a name other than its true legal name must register that fictitious name with the Secretary of State.  All Missouri corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships are required to register with the Secretary of State.  In most cases foreign entities are required to register, however, you may want to consult with an attorney or an accountant to determine if your business meets one of the exemptions.

You should contact the Missouri Department of Revenue to obtain a state ID for Business Tax.
http://www.dor.mo.gov/faq/business/register.php

If your business is in your home and in an incorporated area, you must contact your local municipal government for the rules and regulations for a home based business.  If your business is in your home, and in Unincorporated St. Louis County, you will need to contact the St. Louis County Depratment of Public Works for the rules and regulations of a home based business.

If your business is at a commercial location, please contact St. Louis County Department of Public Works or your local government if in an incorporated municipality.
http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyDepartments/PublicWorks

If you plan to sell a tangible item or manufacturing a product, you must obtain a Merchant/Manufacturer License.  Your local municipal government may also require a separate license.

Businesses planning to purchase goods wholesale, for resale purposes, require a Retail Sales License which is obtained from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

St. Louis County does not have a “Business License” at this time.

Where is the Assessor's Office located? How do I contact the Assessor's Office?
http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyAssessor

NAICS code - What is it and why do I need to provide it?
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying businesses for statistical purposes related to the economy. The use of this code provides uniformity for statistical purposes. It groups establishments into industries according to similarity in processes used to produce goods or services. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997.

The Assessor’s Office is collecting this data to aid in more accurate assessment and classification of the many different types of businesses we have within St. Louis County. This code, along with other data such as real estate type (residential or commercial), total assessed value and number of employees, gives a clearer picture of the businesses located in our County.

http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/
 Important:  As of September 4, 2012 businesses MUST provide proof of the company’s PAID PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES when applying for an annual license or permit.  St. Louis County Ordinance 25,124

I am looking for a contractor's license. What do I need to do?
St. Louis County does not issue a “Contractor’s License”. St. Louis County Department of Public Works has three types of licensed contractors: electrical, plumbing and mechanical (HVAC). Additional information can be found on the Public Works website.
http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyDepartments/PublicWorks