Rising County Property Taxes Create Tension

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The hot real estate market could spell a higher property tax bill for you.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman says most people will see an increase this time, unlike the last time reassessments were done, which was in the wake of the great recession.

“Two years ago we saw that homes in really nice parts of town were going up in value and the rest of St. Louis County, not so much. This year, the rising tide seems to be lifting all boats,” he says.

Zimmerman says it’s about a 7 percent increase across the board. But how do they come up with these numbers?

“It is data driven, but we have personally inspected 75,000 properties just in the space of the last couple of months,” he says.

Sarah Heine of Kirkwood is the former head of a group that pushed for property tax relief ten years ago. She says there ought be a property tax cap for anybody 65 or older.

“I feel at some point I should not be in a position to have to move out of the community I helped to support for all those years, and be able to live in my home and enjoy the community I helped create,” she says.

Heine says it might be time to consider taxing homes when they are sold, not when they are lived in.

“If you aren’t selling your property, it doesn’t have any impact on your bottom line, and it doesn’t have any impact until you do sell it. So I would ask him (Zimmerman) who’s boat is being floated? The bureaucrats, people who rely on that tax money? Their’s is certainly going up,” she says.

Her group, St. Louis County Citizens for Property Tax Relief, is looking for new leadership to carry on the crusade.

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