St. Louis County residents pay two types of property tax: personal and home. Personal property tax covers purchases like new cars, boats and recreational vehicles, while property tax is assessed on real estate. The good news is, you may be able to claim the tax you paid on your federal income taxes, as long as you itemize your deductions.
If you choose to itemize your taxes, you may be able to take the SALT deduction for your St. Louis County property taxes. However, whether it's worth it or not depends on whether you're better off taking the standard deduction.
St. Louis County Revenue Tax
If you own real estate in St. Louis County, the amount of property tax you’ll pay depends on the area of town where it’s located. On average, the property tax on real estate in St. Louis County is 1.41 percent, which is the highest rate of any county in the state. It is also well above the national average. However, the city of St. Louis isn’t part of St. Louis County, so if you have a home in the city itself, the tax rate is only 1.06 percent on average, which offers a significant savings.
St. Louis County is the most populous county in the state of Missouri, covering many of the suburban areas outside the city. Homeowners choose to buy property in cities like Glendale and Brentwood and then commute into the city for work. In St. Louis County, the exact amount of tax you’ll pay on your real estate depends on the subdivision in which you live.
St. Louis County Personal Property
As with property tax, the St. Louis County personal property tax you’ll pay depends on your jurisdiction. It can vary widely from one area of the county to the next, with the lowest in the Ladue School District. However, this is still lower than the personal property tax you’d pay on the same item in the city of St. Louis.
The best way to determine what you’ll need to pay is to make a personal property declaration through the St. Louis County Department of Revenue website. You’ll first need to set up an account, if you haven’t already. On this form, you’ll be asked to list the items you owned or controlled as of Jan. 1 of the year you’re registering.
Paying St. Louis County Taxes
You can pay your St. Louis County taxes online through the Department of Revenue website. You’ll receive a tax bill, which will have identifying account information that you can use to look up and pay the amount due. This will give you the total, which you can then pay by checking or savings account, credit card or debit card. You will be charged a convenience fee if you use plastic, though.
On a periodic basis, an assessor will review your property value and account for any adjustments as a result of property values changing. You have the right to dispute this assessed value if you believe it’s inaccurate. You’ll just need to go to the St. Louis County Revenue website and choose Property Value Appeals. You’ll simply file your paperwork and wait for a response.
Deductibility of Property Taxes
The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct their state and local taxes through something known as the SALT deduction. In order to do this, though, you’ll need to itemize your taxes. Since the standard deduction has now increased to $12,000, or $24,000 if you’re married filing jointly, your itemized deductions are less likely than ever to exceed what you could get from just taking the standard deduction.
It’s especially notable that taxpayers are now limited to only $5,000 if filing jointly and $10,000 if filing separately. This puts the limit below the standard deduction. However, when combined with your charitable contributions, your property and personal property taxes may exceed that amount, making it worth claiming. Often the only way to know for sure is to total everything on the appropriate tax form.
Real Estate Property Tax Proof
Digging up a St. Louis County real estate tax receipt may be a bit more complicated, though. If your property taxes are paid through your mortgage payment, the information on how much you paid each year should be provided on your end-of-year statement from your mortgage lender. If not, you may want to first get in touch with your mortgage company for details on how much you paid.
Although you won’t receive a St. Louis County real estate tax receipt in the mail, you can go to the county’s real estate information portal and request a tax history that you can then print out. You can get information on up to the past 10 years of property tax payments on real estate you own.
Personal Property Tax Payment Proof
For those who choose to itemize their property tax deductions, you’ll need to make sure you have a receipt to back up your payment. Although you won’t receive a St. Louis County real estate tax receipt for the taxes you paid, if you pay your personal property taxes online, you’ll get a receipt in the mail. Hold on to that receipt until tax time.
If you lose your personal property tax receipt, or you never received one in the first place, you can go online at any time and print one out. You can also obtain one by mail or by stopping by the Collector’s Office. Those latter two options will cost you a one-time $1 fee, though, so the website is your best bet. If you paid your St. Louis County personal property tax by credit card, you should also have a record on your bank statement that you made the payment.
Missouri State Income Tax
Missouri is also one of the many states that has a state income tax. As with federal income taxes, you’ll pay a state tax rate based on your income. For most taxpayers, though, this year’s tax rate will be 5.9 percent since that rate applies to those making an annual income of $9,253 and over
As with your property tax, you can claim the amount of state income tax you pay on your federal return. But this falls under the SALT deduction, which means that unless it combines with your other deductions to exceed $12,000, you will be better off taking the standard deduction. SALT is also limited to $10,000, so if you have property tax, personal property tax and state income tax, you may find that you’re cut off before you can get enough together to itemize.
Itemizing Your Deductions
If you do qualify to itemize your deductions, you’ll do so on Schedule A for Form 1040. State and local taxes go on Line 5. On line 5a, you can claim either your state income taxes or your sales tax. You must choose one or the other. You’ll input any real estate taxes you paid on line 5b and personal property taxes on 5c.
In addition to that information, Schedule A will also have you input your medical and dental expenses, as well as interest you paid and charitable contributions – these are your itemized deductions. You do have the option, once you’ve totaled it all up, to take your itemized deductions rather than your standard deductions, whether they were greater or not. At the very least, you’ll see how much you paid in St. Louis County personal property tax this year and be able to gather enough in medical expenses and charitable contributions next year to make it worth it.
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- St. Louis Collector of Revenue: Personal Property Tax
- St. Louis Collector of Revenue: Real Estate Tax
- SmartAsset: Missouri Property Tax Calculator
- ClearGov: St. Louis
- St. Louis County: Rate Book
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Tax on Personal Property: The People Who Can Afford It the Least Pay the Most
- St. Louis County Revenue: Online Individual Personal Property Declaration
- St. Louis County Revenue: Pay Taxes Online
- Forbes.com: IRS Proposed SALT Regulations Would Limit Effectiveness Of State Workarounds
- St. Louis County Revenue: Real Estate Information
- SmartAsset: Missouri Income Tax