On January 9 of this year, I wrote “The Tax Assessor Calleth” in which I describe a telephone conversation with a member of our county’s assessor’s office. Here is part of what I said then:
“Where,” I was asked, “was the trailer listed last year? Surely it must be a horse trailer.” “Nope. Only a beat-up farm trailer with no road license that I use to haul fence posts through the pasture to make repairs. It’s right there on my schedule of equipment.” It was.
At 8:15 this morning, the telephone rang and the same member of the assessor’s office was on the line. As an aside to this drama, I have bronchitis and got virtually no sleep all night due to my violent coughing. I finally went to sleep at 6:30, had just awakened, and was still in bed when the phone rang. I was not in a friendly mood, to say the least.
Him: “We looked at the State of Missouri records and the state shows your farm business owns a 1988 horse trailer. Is the trailer you are showing on your books a horse trailer?”
Me: “No. It’s a used utility trailer as I have told you in the past.”
Him: “But the state says your farm business owns a 1988 horse trailer. Are you sure that the trailer you are showing is not a horse trailer?”
Me: “As I have told you in the past, it’s a used farm utility trailer. The state’s records are wrong. We have not owned that trailer for years. I do own a horse trailer personally, and, if you would look up my name in your records, you would see that it’s declared along with our two cars.”
Him: “So, it’s not a horse trailer?
Him: “Do you license it?”
Me: “No. I just drag it around behind my tractor doing fence repair work or hauling trash. It’s just a used farm utility trailer.”
Now, let’s look at all of this logically. I have listed a farm utility trailer on my books with a cost of a couple of hundred dollars. It’s been listed that way for the last three years, I think. The 1988 trailer that was referred to was a six-horse gooseneck. I bet it sold for over $20,000. So how does one mistake one for the other? And a simple review of the state’s records would also show that no trailer license has been issued to my farm for that or any other trailer. And, finally, if I had indeed licensed the farm utility trailer, wouldn’t I need a valid paid personal property tax receipt showing that I listed that trailer?
Next year I’m sending a picture of the farm trailer in with my return. Bet they call anyway.