2005 Missouri Revised Statutes - § 139.031. — Payment of current taxes under protest--action, when commenced, how tried--refunds, how made, may be used as credit for next year\'s taxes--interest, when allowed--collector to invest protested taxes, disbursal to taxing authorities, when.

139.031. 1. Any taxpayer may protest all or any part of any current taxes assessed against the taxpayer, except taxes collected by the director of revenue of Missouri. Any such taxpayer desiring to pay any current taxes under protest shall, at the time of paying such taxes, file with the collector a written statement setting forth the grounds on which the protest is based. The statement shall include the true value in money claimed by the taxpayer if disputed.

2. Upon receiving payment of current taxes under protest pursuant to subsection 1 of this section or upon receiving notice of an appeal pursuant to section 138.430, RSMo, the collector shall disburse to the proper official all portions of taxes not disputed by the taxpayer and shall impound in a separate fund all portions of such taxes which are in dispute. Except as provided in subsection 3 of this section, every taxpayer protesting the payment of current taxes shall, within ninety days after filing his protest, commence an action against the collector by filing a petition for the recovery of the amount protested in the circuit court of the county in which the collector maintains his office. If any taxpayer so protesting his taxes shall fail to commence an action in the circuit court for the recovery of the taxes protested within the time prescribed in this subsection, such protest shall become null and void and of no effect, and the collector shall then disburse to the proper official the taxes impounded, and any interest earned thereon, as provided above in this subsection.

3. No action against the collector shall be commenced by any taxpayer who has, for the current tax year in issue, filed with the state tax commission a timely and proper appeal of the protested taxes. Such taxpayer shall notify the collector of the appeal in the written statement required by subsection 1 of this section. The taxes so protested shall be impounded in a separate fund and the commission may order all or any part of such taxes refunded to the taxpayer, or may authorize the collector to release and disburse all or any part of such taxes in its decision and order issued pursuant to chapter 138, RSMo.

4. Trial of the action in the circuit court shall be in the manner prescribed for nonjury civil proceedings, and, after determination of the issues, the court shall make such orders as may be just and equitable to refund to the taxpayer all or any part of the current taxes paid under protest, together with any interest earned thereon, or to authorize the collector to release and disburse all or any part of the impounded taxes, and any interest earned thereon, to the appropriate officials of the taxing authorities. Either party to the proceedings may appeal the determination of the circuit court.

5. All the county collectors of taxes, and the collector of taxes in any city not within a county, shall, upon written application of a taxpayer, refund or credit against the taxpayer's tax liability in the following taxable year and subsequent consecutive taxable years until the taxpayer has received credit in full for any real or personal property tax mistakenly or erroneously levied against the taxpayer and collected in whole or in part by the collector. Such application shall be filed within three years after the tax is mistakenly or erroneously paid. The governing body, or other appropriate body or official of the county or city not within a county, shall make available to the collector funds necessary to make refunds under this subsection by issuing warrants upon the fund to which the mistaken or erroneous payment has been credited, or otherwise.

6. No taxpayer shall receive any interest on any money paid in by the taxpayer erroneously.

7. All protested taxes shall be invested by the collector in the same manner as assets specified in section 30.260, RSMo, for investment of state moneys. A taxpayer who is entitled to a refund of protested taxes shall also receive the interest earned on the investment thereof. If the collector is ordered to release and disburse all or part of the taxes paid under protest to the proper official, such taxes shall be disbursed along with the proportional amount of interest earned on the investment of the taxes due the particular taxing authority.

8. On or before March first next following the delinquent date of taxes paid under protest, the county collector shall notify any taxing authority of the taxes paid under protest which would be received by such taxing authority if the funds were not the subject of a protest. Any taxing authority may apply to the circuit court of the county or city not within a county in which a collector has impounded protested taxes under this section and, upon a satisfactory showing that such taxing authority would receive such impounded tax funds if they were not the subject of a protest and that such taxing authority has the financial ability and legal capacity to repay such impounded tax funds in the event a decision ordering a refund to the taxpayer is subsequently made, the circuit court shall order, pendente lite, the disbursal of all or any part of such impounded tax funds to such taxing authority. The circuit court issuing an order under this subsection shall retain jurisdiction of such matter for further proceedings, if any, to compel restitution of such tax funds to the taxpayer. In the event that any protested tax funds refunded to a taxpayer were disbursed to a taxing authority under this subsection instead of being held and invested by the collector under subsection 7 of this section, such taxing authority shall pay the taxpayer entitled to the refund of such protested taxes the same amount of interest, as determined by the circuit court having jurisdiction in the matter, such protested taxes would have earned if they had been held and invested by the collector.

9. No appeal filed shall stay any order of refund, but the decision filed by any court of last review modifying the circuit court's or state tax commission's determination pertaining to the amount of refund shall be binding on the parties, and the decision rendered shall be complied with by the party affected by any modification within ninety days of the date of such decision. No taxpayer shall receive any interest on any additional award of refund, and the collector shall not receive any interest on any ordered return of refund in whole or in part.

(L. 1969 p. 249 1 to 5, A.L. 1971 S.B. 166, A.L. 1983 S.B. 63, et al., A.L. 1986 S.B. 707, A.L. 1987 H.B. 909, A.L. 1989 H.B. 728, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1837, A.L. 2003 H.B. 60, A.L. 2004 S.B. 1012)

(1972) In action by railroad companies for refund of alleged excessive school districts' taxes court held that revised rates established by school districts after increase in assessed valuation would still have produced $260,000 in revenue more than would have been produced by original rate, and thus new rates would result in a tax "windfall" which 137.073, RSMo, proposes to prevent. Mo. Pacific Rd. Co. v. Keuhle (Mo.), 482 S.W.2d 505.

(1974) Held, this section is not exclusive remedy and does not preclude injunctive relief. John Calvin Manor Inc. v. Aylward (Mo.), 517 S.W.2d 59.

(1975) Held that where board of equalization indicated that item objected to would not be removed from assessment, taxpayer need not assert administrative remedies prior to payment under protest and filing of action. Mesker Brother Industries, Inc. v. Leachman (Mo.), 529 S.W.2d 153.

(1975) Held that requirement that action be filed in circuit court of collector's county within ninety days is mandatory and filing for administrative review under 536.110, RSMo, does not cure failure to comply with this requirement. Xerox Corp. v. Travers (Mo.), 529 S.W.2d 418.

(1983) Statute exclusively prescribes manner in which taxpayer must proceed in paying illegally imposed taxes before recovery of such taxes by judicial action. Failure to comply with requirement of filing written protest when taxes are paid bars taxpayer from recovery. B & D Investment Co., Inc. v. Schneider (Mo. banc), 646 S.W.2d 759.

(1985) Held that since this section provides an adequate and complete relief for the redress of a taxpayer's grievances, a taxpayer may not seek relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Stufflebaum v. Panethiere, 691 S.W.2d 271.

(1987) There is no right for disgruntled taxpayers who have paid taxes under protest to intervene in actions by school districts against county collector of revenue to disburse protested payments pursuant to this section since this section provides adequate remedy for such taxpayers. Maplewood-Richmond Hghts. Sch. v. Leachman, 735 S.W.2d 32 (Mo.App.).

(1989) When taxes levied were declared illegal by court, tax protest did not constitute binding election, and did not preclude claimants from seeking refund under other statutory provisions. (Mo.banc) Ackerman Buick, Inc. v. St. Louis Co., 771 S.W.2d 343.

(1992) Even though tax was levied by a federal court to fund school desegregation remedies and tax did not originate under state law, state refund procedures apply. Refunds to taxpayers may only be made of property taxes that were paid under the protest procedures of the statute. Jenkins v. State of Missouri, 962 F.2d 762 (8th Cir.).

(2003) Clerical mistake by taxpayer concerning valuation does not result in mistakenly or erroneously paid taxes. Missouri American Water Co. v. Collector of St. Charles County, 103 S.W.3d 266 (Mo.App. E.D.).

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