Personal property tax is a tax based on the value of tangible personal property. Personal Property is anything that is not real estate.
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
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.
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. New businesses should complete the "Business Personal Property Registration" form, which is available on our website. 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Assessment information is available on the St. Louis County website. Assessed values can be viewed after the tax roll is certified on June 30. Individuals can also call 314-615-5500, starting July 1st of each year, to obtain assessed values for their vehicle for the current year.
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.
All businesses operating in St. Louis County are required to register with the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office. Register your business by completing the registration form and returning it to Assessor’s Office.
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. 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 Department 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. 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.
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.
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
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.