Frequently Answered Questions (Real Estate)


Who makes the decision to reassess?

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

Why does Clay County reassess real property?

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.

How can I be sure that I'm only paying my fair share of taxes?

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. 

What is market value?

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 do foreclosure properties affect my market value?

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 versus assessed value?

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 does the assessed value affect my real estate taxes?

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 do my taxes increase?

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.

What are tax levies?

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.

Who are the taxing authorities in Clay County?

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.

How can I determine the market value for my property?

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.

When and how can I appeal my market value?

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.

Where is the County Planning and Zoning?

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

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