Frequently Asked Questions

Click the categories below to filter questions about personal property tax, tax sales and other subjects related to living and moving in Clay County, Missouri. If you still haven’t found the answer to your question, please email us.

I Still Have A Question
I am renewing 2-year license plates; which years’ personal property tax receipts do I need?2020-01-20T12:05:42-05:00

You will need your two previous year’s receipts. If you were assessed in another Missouri county, you may need to contact that county for a previous year receipt. If you cannot locate your tax receipt for the appropriate year, please call the Collector’s office at (816) 407-3200 for additional information.

I bought my vehicle in December but did not take possession of it until after January 1st; do I still have to pay taxes on it?2020-01-20T12:05:43-05:00

Yes. The date of purchase listed on the application for title is the date you actually owned it regardless of when you picked it up.

I need to license a car not included on my paid tax receipt. What do I do?2020-01-20T12:05:43-05:00

If you bought your car after January 1 of this year, use last year’s receipt. Property taxes are not owed on the new vehicle unless you owned it on January 1st. If you did own the vehicle on January 1 of last year and it is not listed on your receipt, or is incorrect on you receipt or statement, please contact the Assessor’s office.

Can I get a value for my business account?2020-01-20T12:05:44-05:00

Business Personal Property values can be retrieved online at as of June 1 each year.

How do I appeal my values?2022-05-17T16:24:00-05:00

Contact the Assessor’s Office at 816-407-3500.

How do I register my business with the county?2022-05-13T18:26:37-05:00

Contact the Assessor’s Office at 816-407-3500.

How can I get a receipt for last year’s taxes?2022-05-17T16:26:29-05:00

At the top of our home page is a red button labeled “Pay Bill/Receipts.”  Click that box to go to our billing and receipts portal.  The best way to search the portal is to use ONLY your last name and first name.  When you find your account and get to the account detail page, scroll to the bottom of the page, and you will see blue links to past receipts.

What is required to license my vehicle in Clay County?2022-05-13T18:30:33-05:00

Contact your local DMV.

Where is the County Planning and Zoning?2020-01-20T12:05:48-05:00

County Planning and Zoning
234 W. Shrader, Suite C
Liberty, MO 64068

Who are the taxing authorities in Clay County?2020-01-20T12:05:49-05:00

School Districts, Fire Districts, Ambulance Districts, Road Districts, Water Districts, Hospital Districts, Library Districts, Junior College along with City and County Districts. Your property location determines which districts receive your tax dollars. You will receive a separate city tax bill.

What are tax levies?2020-01-20T12:05:49-05:00

A tax levy is a number determined by a taxing authority such as a school district used in calculating, from the assessed value, the amount owed to that taxing authority for that tax year. As government services and costs increase, levies and taxes have to be raised to pay for these services.

Why do my taxes increase?2020-01-20T12:05:49-05:00

Tax levies and taxes increase due to increased costs of school and government services. The Assessor is tasked to value property at current market value as of January 1st.  As the cost of schools and government increases, so do your taxes.  An increase in your tax bill can be the result of an increase in your tax levy, an increase in your property assessment, a combination of tax levy & reassessment, or new construction on your property.

How does the assessed value affect my real estate taxes?2020-01-20T12:05:50-05:00

The assessed value of your property is used to determine your portion of real estate taxes paid to support local school and government services. It is important to you and to our office that your assessed valuation is accurate.

The amount of real estate taxes paid in Clay County is determined by local taxing authorities such as school, fire, library, hospital, and road districts, along with city and county taxing authorities. This is why it is important to be aware of any proposed changes in spending by your local schools or governments.

Why does Clay County reassess real property?2020-01-20T12:05:51-05:00

The Assessor’s Office is tasked to ensure that the tax burden is distributed equitably among all property owners. To accomplish this, Missouri Revised Statutes – Chapter 137, is followed when assessing all real property.

Re-assessment is the process that helps to validate that real property is valued at current market value. All real property in Clay County is valued with uniform and consistent procedures following Missouri Revised Statutes – Chapter 137. Over time the value of property changes due to market conditions, location, condition of property, and other physical and economic factors. Some property values change more rapidly than others. Reassessment identifies changes in market value, along with property condition to determine current market value.

Who makes the decision to reassess?2020-01-20T12:05:51-05:00

Missouri Revised Statute 137.115 requires that the Assessor reassess all real property every 2 years on January 1st, in the odd numbered year. This value is carried forward to the even numbered year except for new construction and property improvements.

Leaving Clay County / Prorated Refund2022-05-13T19:02:23-05:00

You are liable for the complete tax amount based on the property you owned on January 1, even if you moved later that year. You pay your taxes in your county of residence on January 1 (of the current year, not of the coming up year).  There is no provision in Missouri law for partial refunds on your tax bill.

When should I fill out a change of address form?2020-01-20T12:05:52-05:00

Anytime you move into Clay County, within Clay County, or out of Clay County, you need to let Clay County know. Please only fill out this form for personal property (non-real estate) tax purposes.

You also need to notify the Assessor’s office of your old county of residence (if moving into Clay County) or your new county of residence (if moving out of Clay County).

Why should I fill out this form?2022-05-13T19:00:21-05:00

By Missouri law, taxpayers owe taxes based on the property they owned on January 1 of each year. That means, that even if you moved out of county or even out of state , you still owe taxes if you were a resident on January 1. Please understand that you have an obligation to let us know if (and when) your place of residence has changed, so that your assessment forms and tax bills can be sent to you. You are, by state law, responsible for payment of your taxes, including applicable penalties and interest, even if you do not receive a tax bill.

Who pays the tax bill if I get a divorce?2020-01-20T12:05:53-05:00

The tax responsibility goes to the owner of record on January 1.  If property is owned jointly and the court order dissolving the marriage does not address tax liability, both parties are jointly responsible for taxes.  Neither party can obtain a statement of no taxes due until the tax liability is satisfied.  If you are separated and not legally divorced we can not split the bill once it is made.  We can separate the account for the next year.  If you are legally divorced you will need to provide copies of the final divorce decree showing who is responsible for each vehicle and you must have a current address for each party.

I was not a Clay County resident on January 1st but I live here now. Why can’t I just be assessed here?2022-05-13T18:37:23-05:00

Missouri law states that you must claim your personal property in the county you resided in on January 1st.  We would be happy to put you on our mailing list for the next year.  Please contact our office at (816) 407-3500.

What is Personal Property?2022-05-13T18:38:17-05:00

According to MO State Statute 137.075 “Persons owning or holding tangible personal property on the 1st day of January shall be liable for taxes.”  Personal property includes all motor vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trailers, boats, motors, mobile homes, aircraft, farm machinery, livestock and grain.

The Assessor sends out assessment lists at the end of each year.  It is your responsibility to return that list to the Assessor’s office by March 1, listing the taxable personal property you own as of January 1 of that year.  Under state law, there is no provision for prorating taxes for a partial year, and you may be penalized if the form is not returned to the Assessor’s office by March 1.

What is required to be put on the tax rolls of Clay County?2020-01-20T12:05:56-05:00

If you are a new resident, or have moved, you need to contact the Clay County Assessor’s Office so that they can put you on the tax rolls.

Personal Property Business Personal Property Real Estate
816-407-3520 816-407-3470 816-407-3500

Why is my bill higher than my friend’s bill?2020-01-20T12:05:56-05:00

The tax is based on the value of the vehicles you own, not on the number of vehicles you own. It is common for a person with one, more expensive vehicle to owe more tax than another person with several, less expensive vehicles. Also, the levies in your taxing district must be considered.

May I pay personal and real estate tax with one check?2020-01-20T12:05:56-05:00

Yes. Please be sure to add them correctly and send the exact amount due. Be sure to include all payment stubs and write all bill numbers on your check.

Why is my tax bill so high?2022-05-13T18:38:28-05:00

The amount of tax you owe each year is based on the value of the vehicles you owned on 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 upper center portion of your statement. Your bill is also determined by the city in which you reside. Your tax bill may appear higher this year because city and county taxes are now on the same bill.

Why am I being taxed for a vehicle I no longer own?2020-01-20T12:05:57-05:00

Your tax is based on the vehicles you owned on the first day 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.

I do not have children in school. Why do I have to pay so much of my taxes for public schools?2020-01-20T12:05:58-05:00

Responsible citizens shoulder the burden for activities that benefit all of us.  We all pay to maintain highways on which we may never drive, support hospitals where we may never be admitted, and support a military that may never watch over our particular neighborhood.  When schools deteriorate, so do our property values.

My grandmother died, and I received her personal property tax bill? Would you take her off the rolls immediately?2020-01-20T12:05:58-05:00

We will remove her name from the rolls; however, the family or the estate is responsible to pay the deceased taxpayer’s bill.  We get all of our billing information from the Assessor’s office, so they should be notified as well at (816) 407-3500.

How do I get my penalties and interest on delinquent taxes waived?2020-01-20T12:05:59-05:00

Missouri law only allows penalties and interest to be waived on delinquent taxes for active duty military paying within 6 months of returning from active duty, and in cases where the County has made an error.  Please bring your military orders with you when seeking to have your penalties and interest waived.  If you believe the County has made an error that entitles you to a waiver of penalties and interest, please contact our office to discuss the matter.  If you do not agree with our decision, you must request a refund from the County Commission.

What is the penalty and interest on delinquent taxes?2020-01-20T12:05:59-05:00

There is a one-time penalty of 9% charged at the time you pay the bill.  Interest accrues monthly on unpaid balances at a rate of 1.5% per month.

When are tax bills mailed out?2020-01-20T12:05:59-05:00

Tax bills are normally mailed out by mid-November every year. If you do not receive a tax bill from Clay County by November 30th, please call (816) 407-3200. Missouri statutes mandate payment by December 31st whether a taxpayer receives a bill or not.  Bills do occasionally get lost in the mail, but you still have an obligation to pay. Bills are currently available online 24 hours a day at

I recently moved to Clay County, what do I need to do ?2020-01-20T12:05:59-05:00