By Jeff Fox

Jackson County residents have only a few days left to pay their 2013 personal property taxes.

Tax bills were mailed out several weeks ago and must be paid by the end of the year to avoid interest and penalties.

In Independence, the Collections Department has been moved to the recently renovated Truman Courthouse in the middle of the Square. The address is 112 W. Lexington Ave. Previously, it was in the Courthouse Annex a couple of blocks away on Kansas Ave.

The department’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and that includes next Tuesday, New Year’s Eve.

Also, the county puts out dropboxes at both the Independence Courthouse (on the Lexington Avenue side) and the downtown Courthouse at 415 12th St. in Kansas City. Both will close at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

There’s often a line at the Collections Department – In Independence, it was about 20 minutes late Monday for those who simply needed to pay their bills, without revisions or other questions – so the county encourages people to pay their tax bills online. Go to and “2013 Taxes” will be displayed prominently. Click and follow from there.

Also at that site is information about the “Senior Quad” program, which allows seniors to spread out their taxes over four payments a year.

Tax payments also can be mailed in but must be postmarked no later than Dec. 31 to be considered on time and avoid penalties. The county will mail back a receipt.

Personal property taxes apply to motor vehicles plus boats, aircraft, farm machinery and even livestock. The county collects and distributes taxes for a wide variety of jurisdictions, and the county’s share of an individual tax bill is generally less than 10 percent. The majority of the money typically goes to school districts.