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Missey: 'How Am I Supposed to Pay a Bill I Didn't Receive?'

Shaun Missey, a Ward 1 Arnold City Council candidate, had his name removed from the April ballot for not paying 2012 property tax. He is seeking advice from a lawyer on the matter.

Shaun Missey, a Ward 1 Arnold City Council candidate, says he's meeting with an attorney this week for advice on whether he should proceed with getting his name placed back on the April ballot.

Missey was disqualified from the race for not paying 2012 personal property taxes. Another candidate, for an outstanding city service bill.

City Attorney Bob Sweeney said council candidates may be disqualified if they are delinquent with any municipal fees or taxes. He said a portion of the Jefferson County personal property tax bill goes to Arnold.

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Missey received the attached letter notifying him of the disqualification from City Clerk Diane Waller. In the correspondence, Waller said Missey had "sought repeated tax waivers" on vehicles he owned.

She also said that a report (from the Missouri Department of Revenue) showed that he had purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan in October 2011. In the letter, she wrote, "This vehicle should have been declared on Jan. 1, 2012 and taxes paid by Dec. 31, 2012. This failure to declare is troubling to the County Collector and me." 

Patch contacted the county collector's office to inquire about the waivers and Missey's payment history. Collector Beth Mahn said there are no records that Missey has paid any personal property taxes in recent years. Missey says he moved to Arnold in 2007.

Missey's Personal Property Tax History

According to County Assessor Terry Roesch, Missey applied for a tax waiver in February 2009 after buying a Pontiac Trans Am. Roesch said Missey was given a 2008 waiver to register the car and a 2009 waiver because Missey had not claimed any property as of Jan. 1, 2009. Roesch added that the additional waiver is issued as a courtesy to the taxpayer if they apply for one early in the year and did not own any property as of Jan. 1. 

Missey's 2010 tax declaration was returned to the assessor's office with the Trans Am scratched out, meaning he no longer owned the vehicle, Roesch said. No other property was listed on the declaration, and the tax account was deleted because Missey apparently owned no property that year.

Missey was mailed a blank 2011 tax declaration so he could list any property owned as of Jan. 1, but the form was not returned, Roesch said. In November 2011, Missey applied for and received a 2010 tax waiver to license a Dodge Grand Caravan. Roesch added that Missey was not mailed a 2012 tax declaration because the 2011 declaration was not returned. 

Missey: "Why did I not get a bill?"

Missey told Patch that he has owned four vehicles since 2009. He said he registered the Trans Am he bought in 2009 and got two-year plates. As of Jan. 1, 2010, he said he no longer owned the car.

He said he traded the Trans Am for a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Later, he sold that truck and bought a GMC Jimmy. He then sold the Jimmy and bought the Caravan, which was when he requested a 2010 tax waiver. He could not provide exact dates of the transactions off the top of his head.

"I did what I was supposed to do," Missey said. "I registered the vehicles with the Department of Revenue. The property was in their system. It should have automatically spit out a tax declaration. How am I supposed to pay a bill I didn't receive?"

The Tax Declaration Process

Roesch said that declaring property is ultimately the taxpayer's responsibility per state law, and not doing so can result in penalties. He said his department does not get a notification from the Department of Revenue when someone registers a vehicle.

"We're not the assessment police," Roesch said. "You have to report what you own, and if you don't report anything, you don't get a bill. Our job is to assess property you declare, and then send you a bill."

Residents of Jefferson County who reported personal property the prior year are mailed a declaration during the first week of January, according to the assessor's website. If a resident did not receive a form and owned property on Jan. 1, he/she is required to submit a declaration to the assessor's office by March 1.

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