On March 27, a surprising “final notice” came to Tom Grimaldi, reminding him to file his annual personal property declaration — for possessions like cars, boats and livestock — by May 1 to avoid a penalty.
But the Kansas City man wasn’t derelict. He had filed online Feb. 25. And when he called the Jackson County Assessment Department, he hung up after 27 minutes on hold.
A similar notice came for his son, whose form had also been filed in February. Finally, he copied his confirmation printouts and mailed them in.
“Why is the county assessment department spending money unnecessarily to mail letters to citizens reminding us to file our property tax declaration statements when we did so already?”The answer
Jackson County assures the Watchdog that the online system isn’t losing information that’s been filed. Instead, this appears to be a case of crossed messages.
Each year, taxpayers must declare what tangible personal property they own as of Jan. 1. Initial notices go out, but county spokesman Dan Ferguson says Missouri law requires that a second notice be sent in March to those who haven’t yet filed.
A vendor does that job for Jackson County.
“Because of this, there is a certain amount of lead time necessary to get the second notices printed and mailed,” Ferguson said. “This occasionally results in final notices being received by taxpayers who have previously filed their declarations.”
Anyone who has a printed confirmation can disregard the notice.
But Ferguson said that anyone who is not sure can go towww.jacksongov.org
, click the e-file declaration link and enter the account number and PIN on the declaration notice. Then click “continue.”
If a declaration is on file, a message to that effect will pop up and the taxpayer can print a confirmation.
Anyone with questions can call816-881-1330
to speak with someone.
“If they are put on hold, there is now a recorded message with the information about the second declaration forms and the instructions listed above,” Ferguson said.
The Watchdog doubts he would count as someone’s “livestock” but would hate to learn what the county thinks he’s worth. Too depressing.