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St. Louis County Property Assessments Are Outrageous!

Assessments

We have lived in our house for nine years and our taxes are insane! We pay $2,400 a year and the square footage of our home is just over 1,000 square feet. We recently had our house appraised. Three months later, we received notice that our county property assessment had increased again. Normally that would be great. It would show that homes in the area were increasing in value. However, the property assessment done by the county was $4,000 more than our recent appraisal.

How can this be? The assessment of our property cannot be more than it is worth. In today’s market, we could sell our house for the appraised value, at best, but definitely not more. This translates into higher taxes for us to pay. According to this year’s property assessments, we will be paying almost $2,700 for taxes. That is a $300 increase since last year!

The value of our home has increased greatly since we purchased it in 1998 and we live in a great area with superb schools, but the property assessments since we have lived here have been very inconsistent. In the year 2000, our property was assessed for $8,000 less than the amount we had purchased it for two years prior. Now our property assessment is $4,000 more than the appraised value. I’m not sure who thinks this is fair or even ethically right.

Now, we did have the opportunity to appeal our assessment, but when I called the county assessor’s office to make an appointment, the appointments were all filled. All filled? How could they tell me that I could not appeal my taxes because all of the appointment times were taken? I called well before the deadline. My only other option was to mail all of the information to their office stating the reason I thought our property was assessed too high. It would be reviewed and they would let me know the decision that had been made. This was hardly something I could explain on paper. This is ridiculous!

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We are not the only ones in St. Louis County experiencing this problem with property assessments. In fact, we are better off than most others. I have heard of values $10,000 to $20,000 higher than they should be. The citizens in St. Louis County are not too pleased with this to say the least. A group has formed called St. Louis County Citizens for Property Tax Relief Now. They are working along with six state legislators to get the citizens tax relief. They believe that laws have been violated and they are pushing for immediate changes such as for St. Louis County and other taxing entities to roll back taxes.

One legislator introduced a plan called the “Predictable Property Tax” that proposes the annual property tax to be locked at 1% of a home’s purchase price and for the annual increase to be based on inflation to protect taxing districts. I am all for that! At least I could budget in for the consistent increase instead of the outrageous property assessments right now!

Sources: www.westnewsmagazine.com, Saint Louis County Department of Revenue, www.stlcountytaxreliefnow.com,