Qualifications for real and personal property tax exemption.
The State of Missouri allows for certain properties to be exempt from real estate and personal property
taxation. The following describes the procedure followed within the Assessor’s office to determine a
property’s eligibility for real estate tax exemption.
Certain property becomes exempt from taxation upon acquisition by the following entities:
- Lands and other property belonging to the State of Missouri. 137.100 (1), RSMo.
- Lands and other property belonging to any city, county or other political subdivision in this state, 137.100 (2), RSMo.
Other properties must be analyzed to confirm that they meet the provisions for tax exemption as set forth in Chapter 137, Section 100. These property types are:
- Nonprofit cemeteries, 137.100 (3), RSMo.
- Real property used exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, or for purposes purely charitable and not held for private or corporate profit or organizational investment, 137.100 (5), RSMo.
Although the ownership recorded on a deed transfer may come to the Assessor’s attention indicating a
property’s possible qualification for exemption, the property owner is the responsible party in
informing the Assessor’s office of a property that may meet exempt requirements. Whether by property
owner request or transfer of deed, an Application for Tax Exempt Status is mailed to the new property
owner. A copy of the form may also be accessed by clicking on the Forms tab on the left side of the
The application asks nine questions of the applicant and requests additional information in the form of:
- The executed copy of the organization’s bylaws.
- The executed copy of the organization’s Article of Incorporation.
- Federal exemption letter provided to the property owner by the Department of the Treasury which grants exemption from Federal income tax as an organization described in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- State exemption letter approving sales/use tax exempt status pursuant to Section 144.030.2 (19), RSMo.
Once received by the Assessor’s office, the application is reviewed and occasionally an on-site visit to
the subject property is scheduled. Following analysis and confirmation, a determination is made as to
the exempt status of the property. The applicant will receive from the Assessor a notification letter of
property tax exemption approval or denial for their records. If the Assessor is uncertain whether to
grant an exemption, the agency charged with overseeing Missouri’s property assessment system, the State
Tax Commission, advises that the property be assessed and placed on the tax rolls. This allows for the
determination of exempt status to be decided in a more formal setting.
In order for a property to obtain an exemption on the basis of charitable use the owner must show that the property is actually and regularly used exclusively for charitable purposes, the property is owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis, and the dominant use of the property is for the benefit of an indefinite number of people or society in general. If you have questions regarding the possible tax exempt classification of a property, please call (417) 868-4101 and a member of our staff with knowledge of the statutes and guidelines to be considered by assessors in granting exemptions will be happy to discuss your situation in detail.
Please remember the Beacon website is available to answer most of your questions regarding property address, location, ownership, taxing district, school district, section, township and range, along with maps. Our Beacon website is updated nightly so ownership should be current, depending on when the property was purchased. Maps in beacon come with a List of layers that can be selected for information such as Lot numbers in Subdivisions, School and Fire districts and City limits. There are also many tools available, such as measuring tools, buffers and lots of other features that are free to use as well.