Frequently Asked Questions (Individuals)


What is Personal Property?

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.

Am I eligible for a tax waiver on my personal property?

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.

Why do I need to have the Title or Application for Title to get a waiver?

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.

I need to license a car not included on my paid tax receipt.  What do I do?

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.

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?

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 am renewing 2- year license plates; which years’ personal property tax receipts do I need?

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.

Why am I being taxed for a vehicle I no longer own?

The amount of tax you owe is based on the vehicles owned on January 1 of that year. Regardless of whether you no longer own those vehicles or whether you have purchased new vehicles, your tax is based on the vehicles owned January 1.

Do I owe taxes although I am no longer a Missouri resident?

Yes. According to state law, your tax obligation is established on January 1.  Even if you move out-of-state the next day, you are still obligated to pay Missouri taxes.  State law makes no provisions for prorating your tax bill.

I was not a Clay County resident on January 1st but I live here now.  Why can’t I just be assessed here?

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 go to link provided in this website to fill out the Personal Property Contact Form.

The property is titled in my name but my relative drives it, do I still have to claim it?

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.

My vehicle is not running, do I still have to claim it on my Assessment form?

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

Who pays the tax bill if I get a divorce?

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.

Why is my tax bill so high?

The amount of tax you owe each year is based on the value of the vehicles you owned on January 1 of that year.  The value of each vehicle is found by using a standard rate book. The assessed value of each vehicle can be found on your tax statement.  State Statutes dictate that we use the October issue of the NADA book.

Why is there an Assessment penalty on my bill?

You are required to return your Assessment form to our office no later than March 1st of each year.  If it is received later than March 1st you will be assessed a late filing penalty that is based on the total assessed value of your vehicles.  The increments are as follows:

$0 - $1,000 $15 penalty
$1,001 - $2,000 $25 penalty
$2,001 - $3,000 $35 penalty
$3,001 - $4,000 $45 penalty
$4,001 - $5,000 $55 penalty
$5,001 - $6,000 $65 penalty
$6,001 - $7,000 $75 penalty
$7,001 - $8,000 $85 penalty
$8,001 - $9,000 $95 penalty
$9,001 and above $105 penalty


Why is my tax bill higher than my friend’s tax bill?

The amount of tax you owe is based on the value of your vehicles, not on the number of vehicles.  It is common for a person with one expensive vehicle to owe more taxes than someone with several less expensive vehicles.  Also, tax bills vary by taxing district because of levy differences.

How is the assessed value figured for my personal property?

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.

How do I fill out my assessment list?

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 or (816) 407-3470.

How do I appeal my values?

  1. Informal: Will be conducted between April 1 and May 1 by the Assessor's staff of appraisers. Call (816) 407-3520 between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday-Friday for an appointment.
  2. Board of Equalization:  Following informal hearings, taxpayers may appeal to three BOE members. Forms for making application to appeal to the BOE are available at the county Clerk’s office at (816) 407-3582.
  3. State Tax Commission:  Appeals must be received by the state tax commission by August 15th or within 30 days of the BOE decision. Taxpayers must first present an appeal to the BOE before continuing to state tax commission.

contact us

Cathy Rinehart
Clay County Assessor

Clay County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Liberty, Missouri 64068

phone: (816) 407-3500
fax: (816) 407-3501

Office Hours


Clay County Courthouse Annex
1901 NE 48th St
Kansas City, Missouri 64118

phone: (816) 407-3470
fax: (816) 407-3461
business: (816) 407-3460

Office Hours


234 W. Shrader St, Suite D
Liberty, Missouri 64068

phone: (816) 407-3370
fax: (816) 407-3371

Office Hours