Gibbons calls for tax rollbacks
By Kevin Lavery, KWMU
Clayton, MO – Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons is urging local tax jurisdictions to roll back their rates to reflect rising property reassessments.
He says some jurisdictions, like St. Louis County, are not adjusting their rates to counterbalance rising property assessments.
He notes that even though county residents are paying the same tax rate, they're actually paying more in property taxes because their homes are worth more after re-assessment.
Under the Missouri Hancock Amendment, local taxing jurisdictions may only allow a 3.5% increase in property tax reassessments, the equivalent of the current Consumer Price Index.
But Gibbons says St. Louis County's failure to rollback its rate caused valuation to rise by more than 12% over 2004.
"We live in a county that has very fast growing property values that's a good thing." Gibbons said. "But if you don't bring those tax rates down, then you're imposing tax increases caused by reassessments.
"And that's something that I think is wrong and something that needs to be fixed."
In response, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley says the county's ability to keep its tax rate steady for 16 years has saved taxpayer money though he did not explain how that's been accomplished.
"We've got services that we want to provide in St. Louis County," Dooley said.
"We have laid off people for the last two years, we've barely made our budget but we are where we're supposed to be. Some years it works against us, some years it works in our favor. But we've been consistent for 16 years."