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Missouri Taxation

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Missouri Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Missouri[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Many tax assessment books of Missouri counties have been preserved. The original records are generally at the office of the county clerk.

  • Some county tax records are available at the Family History Library. To access these records which are in printed form or still on Microfilms, they will have to be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT or check with "Worldcat" to see what source is closest to you. Listed below is the catalog page listing what there is. Just scroll down to taxes.

Missouri tax records

State Level[edit | edit source]

The Missouri Historical Society has some original tax records; others can be found in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Missouri State Archives has microfilmed some tax records for quite a few counties. A researcher can determine which county records exist by first searching the Archives Local Records Inventory Database at and then look at the Archives Roll-by-Roll Listing by County at to find out if the records are available on microfilm.

The Missouri State Archives has microfilmed some tax records for the counties of, Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Chariton, Clay, Cooper. Franklin, Howard. Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, ST. Charles, St. Francois, and Ste. Genevieve. [1]

The Missouri Historical Society
Address: 225 S Skinker Blvd,
St. Louis, MO 63105

Missouri State Archives Records & Archives
State Archives
Phone: (573) 751-3280
E-Mail: archref@

Missouri Secretary of State's Office
Missouri Secretary of State
600 West Main Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Main Office: (573) 751-4936
Index of records available on microfilm in the Research Room, including tax records for each county.

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Prior to 1850, purchasers of the federal lands in Missouri were exempt from land taxes for five years after purchase. If one finds an ancestor on a Missouri ta list with livestock, etc, but no land being taxed, the individual may have purchased land from the government within the preceding five years.[2]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income taxes were instituted on them. [3]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

References[edit | edit source]

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