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Don't Pay Your Taxes? A New Law Could Close Your Business

A new law means Ballwin-Ellisville business owners will be required to show proof they've paid their personal property taxes, or else.

A new legislation in St. Louis County could mean some extra steps and a little pinch for some Ballwin-Ellisville business owners.

Beginning on Sept. 4, the new law will prevent business owners from getting the permits and licenses they need in order to run their businesses if they haven’t paid their property taxes.

 “If you own a Saint Louis County-based company that’s delinquent on any of its personal property taxes, you won’t get any annual license or permit from us until you pay what you owe,” said Eugene Leung, Director of Revenue for Saint Louis County in a press release.

He added that while the vast majority of companies who do business in the area pay their personal property taxes on time, there’s approximately $25 to $35 million in unpaid commercial property tax revenue.

“We intend to collect (it) with our new ordinance,” he said.

Once the law goes into effect, those who need any yearly license or permit from the county to operate will be required to show proof that the businesses’ personal property tax has been paid—and without it, licenses won’t be issued, which means businesses can’t remain open.

The law will apply to a variety of area businesses, including those who require electrical licenses, waste vehicle licenses, restaurant permits, liquor licenses and coin-operated amusement devices.

It’s much like the current law for Missouri drivers that requires them to show proof that their personal property tax is paid before they can be issued vehicle plates.

Leung said the county didn’t do it to be heavy-handed, but that everyone needed to play by the same rules.  The county needs to collect what it’s owed, he added.

Concerned? Check your information online.

If you live in St. Louis County, you can check on your personal property account information at St. Louis County’s revenue website.

About Getting a Receipt

If you are behind in your taxes, remember that if you need a receipt immediately, you should pay in-person at one of the county offices so you can get a “paid” stamp. Online payment options are also available, but could take up to a week to process before you’ll receive a receipt.

How do you feel about the new law? Do you think businesses should be forced to close their doors if they don't pay their taxes? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Ron Markland July 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM
so now it is illegal not to pay your personal property taxes or your business license will be hampered. however in Ballwin it is OK to run for political office with out paying your taxes. go figure?
David July 19, 2012 at 02:00 AM
LOL, I havent heard this one yet..... Please tell us more.
Mike K July 19, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Um, Ron, please explain when it was legal to not pay your taxes? I have to prove I paid my property taxes to get my license or registration renewed for my car. I see no reason businesses should not have the same consequences for not paying their property taxes like everyone else.

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