• How Taxes Work

(This post is not finished and will be modified to represent Washington)

  • What’s Wrong with Missouri’s Property Tax Structure?
  • And What is Being Done About It?
  • Why did Reassessment Start?

Prior to 1985, it was more favorable for homeowners to stay where they lived, as a higher cost home meant taxes could go up considerably. Current reassessment system started in 1985 as a way to help home builders who wanted to “push” new housing.

Shocking Facts about Missouri’s Property Tax

  • From ‘95 – ’05, not including the ’07 assessment, assessed value has increased 73.3%
  • From ’99 – ’05 (6 years), property taxes have increased 42.5%, not including the ’07 assessment. Property tax now exceed state’s revenue from Income Tax
  • Average annual growth rate for property tax collections is 7.08%, compared to the Federal CPI annual increase of 4.78% for the comparable period
  • St. Louis County assessments went up 22% this past April. Statewide, only up 5.7%
  • Out of 371,000 parcels of residential property in St. Louis County, 270,000 (73%) went up more than 15%.
  • St. Louis County’s Assessor is APPOINTED, most other outlying counties have an ELECTED Assessor
  • St. Louis County is one of only 4 counties statewide, that uses Certificate of Value, or COV, a public record of a property’s sale price.
  • 8 different computer systems are being used throughout MO to do assessments, yet state law mandates UNIFORMITY between counties. Many counties do not rely on computers at all, because they are too expensive to operate.

How Your Taxes are Computed

Assessed Value X Tax Rate
= $$ Taxes Paid $$

If a home is appraised at $300,000 the assessed value is 19% of the appraised value:
$300,000 X .19 = $57,000 (appraised value * tax rate = assessed value)
$57,000 / 100 = $5,700 (assessed value/100)

$5,700 X Municipal Tax Rate = Taxes Paid

Legislation needs to address BOTH multipliers in this equation

Assessment system is arbitrary, predatory, and unfair

Many taxing bodies take full advantage of the higher assessments by not rolling their tax rates back (this is legal, but bypasses Hancock’s intent), thus creating revenue windfalls

Hancock Amendment

  • Passed into law in late 70’s – Intended to cap the levy increases of taxing districts to the CPI
  • Intent of Hancock was that tax rates should be LOWERED to offset any increase in reassessment
  • Loophole allows taxing jurisdictions to not have to roll back their rate if they are not at their voter approved tax rate ceiling. This can create windfall revenue increases

Key MO State Legislators Tackling Property Tax Reform

Rep Jane Cunningham
Rep Charles Portwood
Rep Lembke
House Speaker Rod Jetton
Senator Mike Gibbons
Others as yet unnamed???

Missouri Blue Ribbon Task Force

Called together Aug. ’07 by Speaker of the House Rod Jetton to study the problems statewide

Meetings were held this fall throughout the state to hear testimony.

Comprised of 17 individuals, plus 3 support persons, from varied backgrounds including STL County council members, homebuilders, appraisers, assessors, citizens, and politicians

Last meeting was held on Dec. 3 in Jeff City – final recommendations were drawn up to deliver to Speaker Jetton

Task Force Committee drafted 9 recommendations for property tax reform

Jetton and other MO Representatives will take recommendations and write legislation that is based on them

Senator Mike Gibbons just pre-filed a bill (SB 711) that curtails the ability of taxing jurisdictions to bypass Hancock when they set their tax rate during reassessment years.

What Can YOU Do to Help?

Sign Citizens for Tax Relief Now protest petition at http://www.stlcountytaxreliefnow.com

Contact your state representative and senator NOW! (keep the heat on!!) Find your representative / senator at http://www.house.mo.gov

Pay your Property Tax Bill “In Protest”

Pass the information on to your friends, get involved in the discussion and action!

Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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