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County assessor advises residents to file personal property list online

Cape Girardeau County Assessor Bob Adams is advising county residents to file their personal property list online at capegirardeau.missouriassessors.com. The online filing was introduced in 2017 but has not been used by the majority of county residents. Adams said he has been pushing for more people to file electronically, as it is quicker and more efficient for both residents and the assessor’s office.

The online process, which can take less than a minute if there are no changes, is automatically cross-referenced and verified against the Missouri DOR database. The system then sends a report to the assessor’s office and a receipt to the resident.

“You get the receipt that shows that you’ve e-filed. It shows the date that you e-filed, so there’s no question in the future for a late filing penalty,” Chief Deputy Assessor Linda Biri said.

Adams said less than one percent of people have had any issues with the online filing. People can call the assessor’s office at 573-243-2468 if they have any questions.

In 2017, around 15% of property filings were done online, but only 13% used the system in 2018. After a proactive marketing effort was made in 2019, the number of people filing electronically more than doubled to 27%.

“We want to try and build on it as much as possible,” Adams said. “My goal is to get it close to the 40 or 50 percent range. That will dramatically affect our budget.”

This year, anyone who has previously filed online will not get an assessment sheet in the mail. Instead, they will receive a postcard with their online PIN. According to Biri, this helps push residents to continue filing online, as well as saves the office postage. The office currently spends about $30,000 to mail the notices.

Adams added that as the county continues to grow, his office will need to add an additional assessor to monitor construction projects and help review parcels every two years. The office also took over 911 addressing duties for the county, which has strained the office’s resources. If more people online file, more of the office’s resources can be moved from processing personal property filings.

Residents who have not already filed online will receive a yellow insert with their personal property list explaining the online filing. The resident’s online PIN will be located on the top right corner of the assessment sheet.

All notices were mailed out on Jan. 9, and filings are due March 1. Residents are also advised to have new vehicle information and VIN numbers ready before starting the process of filing online.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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