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Missouri Historical Documents Browser: Taxation

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Publications Chronology


  • King Louis XIV of France issues a charter in 1712 calling for taxation in Louisiana Territory.


  • The Missouri Territorial government establishes its first taxes. Revenue laws pass in 1804, 1806, 1808, 1814, 1815, and possibly other years. (See James Garland's Index to the Statute Laws of Missouri for a cumulated listing of laws by subject from 1804-1865.)



  • A variety of laws establish school taxes, poll taxes, bachelor taxes, road taxes, property taxes, corporation taxes, etc. See James Garland's Index to the Statute Laws of Missouri for a cumulated listing of laws by topic from 1804-1865. Or, use the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri for 1825, 1835 and 1845 to see all laws in effect as of those years.


  • The first Missouri state income tax on private individuals was in effect from 1847-1849.


  • The 1865 Missouri State Constitution makes changes in tax law. See constitution text in the Missouri Revised Statutes.
  • An income tax is once again established. It was called the "War Income Tax." This tax was in effect until 1867.


  • The 1875 Missouri State Constitution establishes the state Board of Equalization. This Board was set up to hear grievances from citizens who believed they were being taxed unfairly.


  • Inheritance tax is established

1907 and 1913


  • Income tax law passes. This is sometimes called the "Original Law" although it was not the first state income tax law in Missouri. It was calculated using a flat percentage.
  • The State Tax Commission is established. It was made up of three people, the chair being the State Budget Officer. This group was responsible for the creation of Missouri state budgets.


  • The state income tax changes from a flat tax to a graduated tax.


  • The State Budget Office is established. Responsibility for creation of state budgets moves from the State Tax Commission to this office.


  • 1945 State Constitution addresses issues of taxation in Article X. See constitution text in the Missouri Revised Statutes.
  • Authority to levy property taxes is handed over to local governments.


  • Missouri Department of Revenue begins operation with five divisions:
    • Division of Collection
    • Division of Budget & Comptroller
    • Division of Procurement
    • Division of Fund Commissioners
    • Division of Public Buildings


Additional Information

"A General Overview of the History of Taxation in Missouri," State of Missouri Tax Information Bulletin


Before the creation of the Missouri Department of Revenue in 1946, nearly every type of tax had its own supervisory body at the state level. For example, the Secretary of State collected the fees for motor vehicle licenses, the Beverage Inspection Board collected fees for non-intoxicating drinks sold in the state. There was very little administrative cooperation between various tax-collecting boards and commissions.