St. Louis County, Missouri Plane Owners Face Property Tax Assessment Scrutiny

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that newly elected St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman believes there is “substantial noncompliance” with property tax obligations by owners of planes kept in St. Louis County at Creve Coeur Airport in Maryland Heights, Missouri and Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri.  Property taxes were collected on only 400 of the approximately 700 planes kept in the County last year.  Zimmerman states that the County is studying aerial photographs for better estimates.

Generally, Missouri state law requires individual taxpayers to declare their personal property in the county in which the the individual lives.  Corporate property owners, however, must declare and pay taxes on their planes and other non-exempt personal property in the county in which the property is kept.

The owner of a single plane that has failed to declare the same could face hundred of thousands of dollars in taxes.  Indeed, Senator Claire McCaskill recently admitted to owing approximately $300,000 in back taxes on her plane in St. Louis County.  According to Zimmerman, while commercial plane owners generally may apply to the Missouri State Tax Commission to reduce the tax burden to just the percentage of miles flown in the State of Missouri, plane owners who have hidden their personal property from the County “won’t get that deal.”

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