By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County home values are expected to fall nine percent this year.
County executive Charlie Dooley released the numbers Tuesday. Values help determine a homeowner's property tax bill, and the decrease could lead to a 16 percent drop in revenue - a hit to the budget Dooley says the county has prepared for.
"We froze our salaries, we froze positions, we cut back on trips, those types of things to save money every place we can, we have done that. And we will continue to do that," he said.
But the projected drop in the value of homes isn't enough for one member of the County Council. Republican Greg Quinn says he has data showing values in some regions dropping more than 20 percent. He wants the assessment numbers to fall by the same percent.
"I think we need to take this chance and reduce property reassessments and property taxes," Quinn said. "Anything else would be grossly unfair."
Dooley spokesman Mac Scott said the county cannot arbitrarily lower housing values. They are based mostly on the sale prices of similar houses between January 2007 and December 2008, but foreclosures and the amount of time a house stays on the market are included.
The county has expanded the information about assessments available online. You can find it at the following Web site: http://revenue.stlouisco.com/ias/