FAQ’s

FAQ’s 2017-05-03T15:58:06+00:00

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
How can I get a receipt for last year’s taxes? 2017-11-16T10:27:03+00:00

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.

Pay Bill / Receipt
What do I need to submit to your office to claim a Collector’s Deed? 2017-04-19T17:42:21+00:00

Click HERE to download the correct affidavit.

What type of letter do I need to send to the people/parties identified in the title search? 2017-04-19T17:43:13+00:00

Click HERE for a sample notice letter.

What do you do once you receive your title search? 2017-04-19T17:46:00+00:00

Click HERE to review important instructions and deadlines.

What is required to license my vehicle in Clay County? 2017-04-19T14:47:35+00:00

You will need the title or registration to the vehicle, proof of insurance, a Missouri State Inspection Certificate, and a copy of the tax receipt showing paid taxes from the county where you were a resident on January 1 of the previous year. If you have two-year tags on your vehicle, the license office will require the previous two years tax receipts.

What is needed to obtain Missouri plates? 2017-04-19T14:46:41+00:00

You will need the title or registration to the vehicle, proof of insurance, a Missouri State Inspection Certificate, and a tax waiver from the Clay County Assessor’s office.

How long do I have to obtain Missouri license plates and a Missouri’s driver’s license? 2017-04-19T14:46:11+00:00

You have 30 days to obtain Missouri license plates and a Missouri’s driver license.

Where is the County Planning and Zoning? 2017-03-31T14:54:21+00:00

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

When and how can I appeal my market value? 2017-03-31T14:53:29+00:00

Detailed instructions are available here.

Informal hearings will be held from April through early May with an appraiser from the Assessor’s Office. Please call for an appointment during the month of April.

Board of Equalization hearings will start in July. All requests for BOE appeals must be made through the Clerk’s office. Original signed forms must be returned by the 3rd Monday in June. This step is mandatory for further appeals.

State Tax Commission hearings can be scheduled after filing with the Board of Equalization. State Tax Commission filing deadline is 30 days following the final action of the BOE or September 30th, whichever is later.

How can I determine the market value for my property? 2017-03-31T14:52:32+00:00

The Change of Value Notice displays previous market value and current market value by calendar year. Current and historical change of value notices are available online here.

Who are the taxing authorities in Clay County? 2017-03-31T14:52:00+00:00

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? 2017-03-31T14:51:31+00:00

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? 2017-03-31T14:51:05+00:00

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? 2017-03-31T14:50:38+00:00

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.

What is market value versus assessed value? 2017-03-31T14:50:04+00:00

Market value is the appraised value of your property as January 1st. Assessed value is calculated by multiplying the property market value, based on classification, by the correct assessment ratio. Classifications:  Agricultural – 12%, Residential – 19%, Commercial – 32%.

How do foreclosure properties affect my market value? 2017-03-31T14:56:41+00:00

Foreclosure sales of real property are typically not considered a true arm’s length transaction, mainly for two reasons: 1) Seller motivation (do I have to sell to stop a foreclosure action or a bank owned property) when selling a foreclosure property is much different than a typical sale. 2) The physical condition of a foreclosure property is usually poor. Normally a foreclosure property will require extensive repairs to become salable. Foreclosure properties affect market value by forcing competing properties to adjust asking prices. Current sale data shows that real property not under duress to sell may have a longer marketing period, but sells for a much higher value than a distressed foreclosure sale.

What is market value? 2017-03-31T14:48:40+00:00

Market value, true market value in money and appraised value have the same meaning under Missouri law. A simple definition of market value is the price the property would bring when offered for sale by a person who is willing but not obligated to sell and it is bought by a person who is willing to purchase it but who is not forced to do so.

How can I be sure that I’m only paying my fair share of taxes? 2017-03-31T14:48:13+00:00

The Assessor’s Office continually collects and researches sales and lease data, income and expense data, along with other market factors when appraising the current market value of real property. An important point to remember is that the Assessor Office does not create market value; it analyzes the transactions of buyers and sellers to help determine property values during the reassessment process. It is buyers and sellers that determine the levels of property value with arm’s length sales transactions in the market place. Collected sales data is used to determine your properties current market value.

Once appraised values have been calculated based on information gathered by appraisers, the values are analyzed to determine how accurate and equitable they are. The Assessor’s Office staff compares assessments to sales prices to determine ratios, which are then used to measure the level and uniformity of assessments. Sales ratio studies by neighborhood, type of property, and other criteria are performed regularly to assure uniformity of values.

Why does Clay County reassess real property? 2017-03-31T14:47:37+00:00

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? 2017-03-31T14:47:00+00:00

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 Refund 2017-03-31T13:07:44+00:00

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. If you are leaving Clay County (or Missouri), please present your tax receipts when enrolling in your new place of residence.

What else do I need to know? 2017-04-19T15:20:33+00:00

If you move into Clay County from another county, you also need to fill out an Assessment List. Please see our New Resident page for more information.

When should I fill out this form? 2017-03-31T13:05:59+00:00

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.

Why should I fill out this form? 2017-03-31T13:05:24+00:00

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. Penalties and interest may, by Missouri law, only be waived for personnel on active military duty.

How do I fill out my assessment list? 2017-03-31T11:54:37+00:00

When you get your assessment list in the mail, you will find that your address and property from the previous year are pre-printed on the form.  If there are changes to your address, please make those changes in the spaces provided.  Even if you have moved out of Clay County, and your mail was forwarded please mail the list back to the Assessor’s office informing us of this so that you may be removed from the tax rolls and avoid future mailings.

The property that is preprinted on the list is the property that was on file for you the preceding year.  Any property that has been disposed of you will need to draw a line through and provide the date disposed of.  Below the list of pre-printed items are sections for you to list property that was acquired during the previous year.  Be sure to fill the form out completely. Do not re-list property that has been pre-printed for you.  Should corrections need to be made to the pre-printed property lines item, make those corrections directly to them.

The assessment form must be accurately completed and returned to the Clay County Assessor’s office before March 1 in order to avoid a late filing penalty.

Generally, leased vehicles are claimed by the leasing company and you are not directly responsible for the taxes.  However, there are exceptions so you may want to check with your leasing company before listing a leased vehicle.

If you have further questions, please contact the Assessor’s Office at (816) 407-3520 (personal property) or (816) 407-3470 (business personal property).

How is the assessed value figured for my personal property? 2017-03-31T11:54:12+00:00

MO State Statute 137.080
By law, personal property is divided into sub classes.

Grain
½ of 1% of true market value
Livestock
12% of true market value
Motor Vehicles
33 ⅓% of true market value
Manufactured Homes
19% of true market value
Historic Aircraft & Vehicles
5% of true market value
All other personal property
33 ⅓% of true market value

Classification and assessment ratios are set by the State Law and cannot be changed by the Assessor.

Who pays the tax bill if I get a divorce? 2017-03-31T11:53:43+00:00

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.

My vehicle is not running, do I still have to claim it on my Assessment form? 2017-03-31T11:53:19+00:00

Yes.  Any vehicle titled in your name must be claimed regardless of condition.

The property is titled in my name but my relative drives it, do I still have to claim it? 2017-03-31T11:52:54+00:00

Yes.  The license bureau requires that anything titled in your name have a matching receipt (in your name) showing that taxes were paid on that vehicle.

I was not a Clay County resident on January 1st but I live here now. Why can’t I just be assessed here? 2017-04-19T12:04:57+00:00

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) 407-3520 or fill out this Change of Address form.

Why do I need to have the Title or Application for Title to get a waiver? 2017-03-31T11:49:49+00:00

We need to verify that the vehicle you are tagging is going to be licensed in your name before we issue the waiver and we also need the make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) to assess your vehicle properly.

Am I eligible for a tax waiver on my personal property? 2017-04-19T14:56:50+00:00

To qualify for a tax waiver in Clay County, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are new to our state.
  • You are a former resident returning to Missouri from another State and no unpaid personal property taxes are due in Clay or any other Missouri County.
  • You lived in Clay County on January 1st of the previous year but you did not have any personal property titled in your name.

If you meet requirement No. 1 or 2, you will need to bring your out-of-state title, application for title, or registration.  If you do not have a vehicle that was registered in that state you must provide proof of residence in that state for Jan 1 of the previous year.

If you meet requirement No. 3, you must bring the title or application for title in order to receive a tax waiver.

There is no fee for a tax waiver.

What is Personal Property? 2017-03-31T11:56:53+00:00

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? 2017-04-19T14:32:20+00:00

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? 2017-03-29T17:56:34+00:00

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? 2017-04-03T19:38:33+00:00

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? 2017-03-29T17:55:17+00:00

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. For example: a $10,000 car will be assessed at $3,333, then your tax bill will be between $270 and $330 depending on the tax rates that apply to your address.

Why am I being taxed for a vehicle I no longer own? 2017-03-29T17:53:36+00:00

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.

How are city taxes handled by the county? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00
  • Paid tax receipts will not be issued until all amounts appearing on your county bill have been paid—including city taxes and special assessments.
  • If you owe past due taxes to your city, those past due taxes may appear on your county bill as a special assessment from your city.  This lump sum assessment represents all past due taxes you owed your city, for all tax years, including all interest and penalties owed to your city.
  • If you have any questions about special assessments or delinquent amounts owed to your city, you must contact your city.  We are collecting an amount that was given to us by your city, and we cannot change that amount without notification from your city.  However, all regular taxes on the bill may be paid, and questions about those amounts answered, at either of our office locations.
  • If you pay your bill after December 31, a one-time penalty of 7% will be charged on all taxes and assessments appearing on your bill—for both your city and Clay County.  Interest will accrue on all city and county taxes at the rate of 1.5% per month.

Why is my city doing this?

  1. Cities will save on administrative costs since they will receive their money without having to mail, track, and collect each bill.
  2. If there is a correction to be made on your bill, you will contact the county Assessor’s office and the change they make will affect both county and city amounts due.  There will be no more need to then go to your city and make the change twice.
  3. With only one bill, it will be easier to manage coordinating payments coming from escrow accounts or lease companies. Most companies are already set up to pay county bills, so your city taxes will be paid at the same time.
  4. Cities will have a higher collection rate, giving them more money to pay for city services.

Additional notes on city taxes:

  1. Since city taxes will now be on your county bill, the full amount due on the bill will be higher. If you have been used to paying the two bills at different times, we understand.  Clay County now takes partial payments.  All payments will be pro-rated to each taxing entity until the bill is paid.  After December 31, interest and penalty will continue to accrue on the reduced balance, so pay as much as you can on time.
  2. To address the issue of unpaid taxes for past years, any delinquent taxes you owe to your city have been added to your county tax bill as well.  These amounts must be paid before you can receive a paid tax receipt for use at the DMV.  We understand that this isn’t the best news you may have heard, but cities do depend on this money for day to day operations.
I do not have children in school. Why do I have to pay so much of my taxes for public schools? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

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? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

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.

My spouse and I just went through a divorce, and he/she won’t pay his/her half of the personal property bill. What do I do? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

Please contact your spouse’s attorney and obtain the other half of the payment through his/her attorney.  The bill will remain unpaid, and you will not be able to renew tags until it is fully paid.  The Collector’s office cannot not waive taxes pursuant to a divorce decree or other court order.  The Assessor’s office may be able to help you apply a divorce decree to your tax bill, but you will need to speak to them directly at 816-407-3500.

How do I get my penalties and interest on delinquent taxes waived? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

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? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

There is a one-time penalty of 7% 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? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

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 https://collector.claycountymo.gov.

I recently moved to Clay County, what do I need to do ? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

You must make sure that you are on the Assessor’s tax lists. Please contact the Assessor’s Office at (816) 407-3500.

Where do I send payments, and who do I make the check payable to ? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

All payments, at all times of year, should be mailed to:

Lydia McEvoy, Collector
1 Courthouse Square
Liberty, Missouri 64068.

Checks should be made payable to “Lydia McEvoy, Collector.”

What is your Federal Tax ID? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

Our Federal Tax ID number is 44-6000477.

Why is a driver’s license required for payment at the counter? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

The majority of bad checks written to the Collector’s office come from our counter payments—not online, credit card, or by mail.  The Prosecuting Attorney’s office has mandated that driver’s license numbers must be recorded so that we can verify precisely who submitted the bad check.  If you need to deliver a payment for anyone other than the person that signed the check, you must deposit the payment in our drop box.  You cannot deliver a check to our cashiers for someone else unless your name is also on the checking account, or you can show the cashier power of attorney documentation.  Drop boxes are available inside during office hours at both locations, and outside 24 hours a day / 365 days a year.

Do you accept partial payments? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

We now accept partial payments at both office locations, through the mail, and online. Payments are always applied to the oldest debt first.  Interest and a penalty will continue to accrue on the unpaid balance.  Making a partial payment will not prevent your property from being sold at the tax sale, nor will it stay any litigation related to collection of delinquent taxes. Please note that all amounts appearing on your personal property bill must be paid in full before the County will give you a paid receipt for use at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Why are the fees for paying online so high? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00
Please note that the fees charged by our online payment processor ARE NOT PAID to Clay County.  They are charged by the bank that processes our payments, and are not something we can control, or waive. For the first time this year, we are using part of our own office budget to pay the e-check fee so that you have a free option to pay online.
While they appear high, transaction fees are typically factored into the purchase price by merchants, and paid regardless of whether customers use a credit card or not. Clay County has no legal authority to do the same, and so transaction fees may not reduce the amount owed to the taxing entities of Clay County. It is your choice whether to pay online, or whether to pay by mail, in person, using your own online bill pay, or by drop box.
What are the fees for paying with a credit or debit card, or using an e-check? 2017-08-02T12:29:24+00:00

YOU CANNOT GET AN IMMEDIATE RECEIPT TO USE AT THE DMV UNLESS YOU PAY IN PERSON AT OUR OFFICE LOCATIONS.

These are credit card processing fees and apply to both online and in-office payments.

Debit Cards FREE
Credit Cards (we accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) 2.45%, no minimum
E-Check (use the routing and account number from the bottom of your check) FREE

What are acceptable methods of payment? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

Currently we accept cash, check, money orders, and cashiers checks.  We accept debit card, credit card, and e-check payments online. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If you pay in person with a paper check, the person presenting the check must present a current driver’s license, and must be authorized to sign the check.  Please do not mail cash.

Your online system previously required a PIN number for payment. Where do I find it? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

You no longer need a PIN number to pay online.

I am no longer a Missouri (or a County) resident. Do I still owe? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

Yes. By state law, your tax obligation is established on January 1st. Even if you move to a different state (or county) the next day, you are still taxed for the entire year. You may move into Missouri January 2nd and not pay personal property taxes all year. You may move out of Missouri on January 2nd and pay personal property taxes for the entire year.  Personal property taxes are not pro-rated.

Why did I not receive my tax bill? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

You will not receive a bill unless you filled out an assessment form for the year being taxed. If you recently moved to Clay County, please contact the Assessor’s Office to ensure that you are properly registered. Another frequent reason why taxpayers do not receive their tax bill is that they move and fail to inform the County of their new address (inside or outside Clay County).

How can I see online what I owe? Can I pay my taxes online? 2017-03-29T17:54:48+00:00

Go to https://collector.claycountymo.gov/ and type in your LAST NAME and FIRST NAME only. On this site, you can see your current balance, payment history, pay online using credit card or e-check (3rd party convenience fees apply). You may also print your current and past tax receipts online. This is the website where you will return to print your paid receipt after 12:00 noon on the next business day AFTER you paid online.

How do I avoid paying late fees? 2017-03-29T17:33:45+00:00

Please be sure that your payment is postmarked no later than December 31st. Payments postmarked after December 31st will accrue a 7% penalty and interest at a rate of 1.5% per month.  County offices will be closed all weekends, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, on Christmas Day, and on New Year’s Day. Sometimes, there are additional closures during the holiday season or due to dangerous weather conditions. Please call 816-407-3200 before you come to verify that the office is open.  You may also deposit your payment in our external drop boxes 24 hours a day, and these boxes will be emptied in a timely manner at the end of the year.  Payments deposited after midnight December 31 will be considered LATE under Missouri law.  If you use a bill payment system, or any other method of payment delivery, please note that these payments are often sent to our office without a postmark. Online bill payments that come to our office without a valid postmark will be posted as of the date printed on the check. ONLINE BILL PAY SERVICES DO NOT PROCESS CHECKS THE SAME DAY YOU REQUEST. Do not request a payment date of December 31 if you plan to pay on time. MANY POST OFFICES NO LONGER POSTMARK MAIL ON THE SAME DAY IT IS DROPPED AT THEIR LOCATION, AND MANY NO LONGER HAND CANCEL MAIL. Please do not wait until December 31 to submit payment in any form.