Failure to file a Declaration:
If any person shall fail to deliver the required list to the assessor by the first day of March, the owner of the property which ought to have been listed shall be assessed a penalty added to the tax bill, based on the assessed value of the property that was not reported. In limited circumstances, the assessor may waive the penalty. The circumstances include:
(1) The taxpayer is in military service and is outside the state;
(2) The taxpayer filed timely, but in the wrong county;
(3) There was a loss of records due to fire or flood;
(4) The taxpayer can show the list was mailed timely as evidenced by the date of postmark; or
(5) The assessor determines that no form for listing personal property was mailed to the taxpayer for that tax year; or
(6) The neglect occurred as a direct result of the actions or inactions of the county or its employees or contractors.
If any taxpayer shall fail or neglect to pay to the collector his taxes by December 31, the collector is mandated to apply a penalty. (139.100) The only exception is if the taxpayer is serving in the military and are stationed away from their home.
It is understandable that a property owner would be upset if the collector failed to send a bill and that failure combined with the owner’s failure to inquire resulted in penalties and interest. Yet, if the law held that no penalties would accrue if no bill was received, many property owners who failed to pay on time would make such a claim, and the efficiency of collection of property taxes would be greatly hindered.