Jake Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Jake Zimmerman

Houses along Holly Hills in St. Louis. May 24, 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

If you own a home or business in St. Louis or St. Louis County, you may have received a letter about your property's value going up.

Residential property values on average went up 12% in the city and 15% in the county, according to assessors’ preliminary calculations.

That’s mostly good news, said St. Louis Assessor Michael Dauphin. Increasing property values mean that real estate investments are worth more. But for some, they could also mean higher tax bills.

St. Louis County assessor Jake Zimmerman joined host Don Marsh to discuss rising property values in the county and the St. Louis region. March 22, 2019
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County homeowners were treated to some good news this week: County assessor Jake Zimmerman announced that the typical home value in the area increased by 15 percent since 2017.

 “We're seeing increases in values almost across the board,” Zimmerman told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. “For almost everyone living in this region, you can sell your home for more today than you could have sold it for two years ago.”

Paul Knittel | flickr

The assessed value of residential homes in St. Louis County has shot up an average of 7 percent since 2015 — the county’s strongest showing in almost a decade. St. Louis’ numbers beat the county: a nearly 12 percent increase in the same time frame.

Experts say it’s a sign the region has recovered from the economic downturn of the late 2000s.

From left: John Hawley, Kurt Schaefer, Teresa Hensley and Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Until a few days ago, the battle to become Missouri’s next attorney general appeared to be one-sided:

Only the two Republicans seeking the job — law professor Josh Hawley and state Senator Kurt Schaefer — were hotly fighting over it.

But now that’s changed. Although the Schaefer-Hawley contest remains the nastiest, the two Democrats — St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman and former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley — also are tussling.

Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman, now a Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum for our latest Politically Speaking podcast.

It’s Zimmerman’s second appearance on the show, but his first since the current candidate field was set. The Politically Speaking crew has now hosted all four of the major-party contenders for attorney general.

Teresa Hensley
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome attorney general hopeful Teresa Hensley to the program for the first time.

Candidates for offices throughout the state line up to file for the August primary ballot.
Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Hundreds of Missouri candidates flocked to Jefferson City Tuesday to take part in the longstanding ritual of standing in line — in some cases for hours — to participate in the first day of candidate-filing for the August and November ballots.

All the major candidates for U.S. Senate and governor filed, along with contenders for other statewide offices, Congress and the General Assembly. And to many, the first-day symbolism counts as much as the substance.

Provided by campaign

Josh Hawley, a Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general, says that if he’s elected next year, he will act to protect county clerks who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

In fact, “on Day One,” Hawley says he’ll issue an opinion allowing county clerks and others – such as recorders of deeds – to avoid issuing such licenses if it violates their religious beliefs.

Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley
Courtesy of Hensley's Twitter page

When Scott Sifton bowed out of the attorney general’s race last week, Democrats appeared to avoid a resource-draining primary battle between the Affton state senator and St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman. 

Well, at least for a few hours.

Before the preverbal ink (or, in this site’s case, pixels) dried on Sifton’s departure from the 2016 statewide scene, former Cass County Teresa Hensley announced she would enter the Democratic scramble for attorney. It showed that if the goal of getting Sifton out of the attorney general’s race was to avoid a primary, that plan didn’t really succeed.

Scott Sifton
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, state Sen. Scott Sifton joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his decision to scuttle his attorney general bid.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Tim Lloyd welcome St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman to the show.

Zimmerman grew up in St. Louis County — attending Clayton schools — before attending Claremont McKenna University and Harvard Law School. He worked for Attorney General Jay Nixon and former Gov. Bob Holden before getting elected to a state House seat in 2006.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s edition of Politically Speaking uses the magical power of radio to speak with Sen. Kurt Schaefer from his office in Jefferson City. 

The Columbia Republican chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes him one of the most influential figures in the budget-crafting process. He’s also chairing a special committee looking into Gov. Jay Nixon’s performance during the unrest in Ferguson.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has announced he’s running in 2016 for Missouri attorney general, setting up a primary with state Sen. Scott Sifton, a fellow Democrat.

In a telephone interview early Tuesday, Zimmerman said he was making his intentions public now because “2016 will be a critical year in Missouri politics.”

Sifton, from Affton, announced his candidacy a couple months ago. At present, the only announced Republican is state Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 1, 2015. Stenger is coming into office with an ambitious agenda to change St. Louis County government -- and the legislative alliances to help him out.
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger came to prominence by being a critic. 

From his perch as a county councilman, Stenger aimed unrelenting salvos at then-St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. That served as the backbone of a campaign that ultimately ousted Dooley in a Democratic primary — and narrowly outflanked state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, in the general election.

Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking trio welcomes back state Sen. Scott Sifton. The Affton Democrat won election to the Missouri Senate in 2012 in a hard-fought race against then-Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay. 

Most recently, Sifton, an attorney with Husch Blackwell, made waves in the Missouri Senate with his filibuster during the fall veto session of legislation mandating a 72-hour waiting period for abortions. He’s also been part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for curbs on meals, travel and entertainment paid by lobbyists.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

The tax status of a high-end retirement home in Kirkwood is no longer in limbo. St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman announced Friday that he has reached a settlement with Ashfield Active Living & Wellness Communities, which owns Aberdeen Heights.

The assessor’s office and the retirement home operator have agreed that 78.8 percent of Aberdeen Heights will be taxed—netting about $1 million a year for schools, fire departments and public works.

Zimmerman said $700,000 to $800,000 of that will go to schools.

St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County residents might not know it, but two other countywide offices besides county executive are on the Nov. 4 ballot.

There’s been virtually no campaigning for St. Louis County prosecutor or for assessor.

Certainly county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s not because he’s seeking a seventh term in the job he’s held since 1991.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In some strange, alternate universe, St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman would be running for a third term on the St. Louis County Council. 

Back in the mid-2000s, the Olivette Democrat seemed to be on a collision course with Barbara Fraser, a fellow Democrat, for the 5th District council seat. But the two agreed on a deal: Fraser would run for county council while Zimmerman would run for Fraser's spot in the Missouri House.

St. Louis County Assessor's Office

The St. Louis County Assessor’s Office will undertake a review of all tax-exempt properties in the county to confirm their owners still qualify for the tax break.

Exemptions have been granted to thousands of non-profit groups because their properties are used for charitable, religious or educational purposes, but some of them no longer qualify, said County Assessor Jake Zimmerman.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Although some experts report that the region’s real estate market seems to be settling down, St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman today reports that wasn’t necessarily the case for the county – where median residential property values have dropped by 7 percent, compared to the last reassessment in 2011.

via Wikimedia Commoms/RamblingGambler

St. Louis County and Pinnacle Entertainment have settled a dispute over how much the River City Casino in south St. Louis County has been worth for the past three years.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Tax Day can be a tough time for anyone, but it’s especially hard for seniors facing rising personal property taxes on a fixed income. That’s according to some local lawmakers who are asking the state to give seniors a break.

State Representatives Jill Shupp and Scott Sifton are pushing two bills in Missouri’s legislature to help seniors:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 18, 2012 - St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman knows the "sunshine law." As a county official, Zimmerman regularly receives open records requests from citizens about tax matters. And he also dealt with such correspondence when he worked as an aide in Gov. Bob Holden’s administration.

But the law didn't apply to Zimmerman when he was a state legislator representing central St. Louis County — although he tried unsuccessfully to change the law, which makes legislators' documents and emails off limits.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 30, 2011 - As 2011 comes to a close, the St. Louis County assessor's office is hoping for a new round of checks for personal property taxes from the 83 newly found or reported airplanes, helicopters and hot-air balloons recently added to the county's rolls.

But the office may have a long delay before its assessment battle with a couple of casinos pays off. Pinnacle's River City casino in Lemay has appealed its 2010 and 2011 assessments to the Missouri Tax Commission.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Voters in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are choosing four new representatives to the Missouri House to take over for lawmakers who moved to different jobs.

The special elections are being held Tuesday.

Three people are vying to replace Republican Rep. Sally Faith, who resigned after being elected mayor of St. Charles in April.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2011 - St. Louis County's Board of Equalization decided Tuesday to stick with its new assessment for Harrah's casino in Maryland Heights, but to revert to the 2010 assessment for Pinnacle's River City casino in Lemay.

The board's decision came as it rejected county Assessor Jake Zimmerman's higher assessments for both properties, while altering its own much lower assessment for River City.

(via Wikimedia Commons/RamblingGambler)

Updated at 5:20pm with comments from hearing, more details.

The board that hears appeals from St. Louis County taxpayers on the value of their home or business has reversed  its decision to reduce the value of River City Casino in Lemay.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2011 - New St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has hired a new deputy -- Sara Howard -- who is leaving  her job as communications director for U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.

As of Monday, Howard will become deputy assessor and director of external affairs, including media relations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 8, 2011 - Sounding like a TV ad salesman, new St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman is warning that time is running out for property owners who hope to challenge their latest residential assessments.

After extending the deadline twice, Zimmerman says, "We're going to hit our 'drop dead date' " within days for people seeking informal conferences to raise questions about their latest assessments.

Zimmerman sworn in as St. Louis County Assessor

Apr 20, 2011
(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

For the first time in more than 50 years, St. Louis County has an elected assessor - not one appointed by the county executive.

Jake Zimmerman was sworn into office today following his election on April 5. Zimmerman says his priority is to build an accountable office that listens to the county's taxpayers.

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