Assessed values are up in St. Louis County; here’s how to appeal

Residential property values have increased throughout St. Louis County, according to early data announced last week by county Assessor Jake Zimmerman.

Missouri law requires the assessor’s office to establish the fair market value of real property as of Jan. 1 of each reassessment year, which is every odd-numbered year.

Every home is different and not all will see increased values, Zimmerman noted in a news release.  But the real-estate market has shown “broad strength” over the past two years since the last reassessment cycle. Compared with 2017, the typical property has gone up in value by approximately 15 percent.

Zimmerman said, “This is great news for county property owners. For many, their home is their largest investment.  Increasing values helps home owners build their assets and their financial security.”

Unlike some past years, preliminary data shows residential values up in every school district in the county.  Home values are especially strong in more affordable neighborhoods, according to the release.

“I’m thrilled to see good news about home values going beyond just the expensive parts of town,” Zimmerman said. “Strong home values build strong communities.”

Zimmerman said his data suggests the increase in home values is a broad, regional phenomenon.  He expects to see similar value changes in St. Louis city and St. Charles County.  Indeed, a national real-estate broker recently ranked the St. Louis metro as one of the top affordable areas for millennials.

Property owners in St. Louis County can now view their preliminary 2019 real estate values online. These values are not final. Under Missouri law, the assessor’s office can review individual property values until July 1.

Zimmerman strongly urges property owners to carefully review information about their home on the county’s website.

“Our top priority is to get it right,” he said. “But with hundreds of thousands of properties to appraise, there will always be mistakes. No one knows your property better than you.  If you see something, say something – the sooner the better.”

As Zimmerman puts it: “If our records show more bathrooms than you really have, then we’ll get your home value wrong. That’s not fair, and that’s exactly what we want to fix.”

The preliminary tax value information impacts both property owners and school and fire districts, which are the recipients of most property taxes in the county.

“Setting the property values is the first step in the property tax process,” Zimmerman said. “Our job is to fairly and accurately value the property. Then, it’s up to the taxing districts to set the rates which determine what you pay.”

Assessment values will be based on review by appraisers, physical inspections of thousands of homes, and direct input from property owners.  By law, the assessor must finalize the tax rolls by July 1. After that, the assessor cannot adjust the tax rolls, and any changes to value can only be made by the St. Louis County Board of Equalization.

See below for how to appeal property values.

Resources

The assessor’s office encourages property owners to review their preliminary values online as soon as possible.

All residential property owners will also receive a change-of-assessment notice in the mail even if their value has not changed. Residential property owners should expect to receive the notice beginning mid-May.

Commercial property owners should expect to receive a change-of-assessment notice by mid-June.

All property owners can now view their 2019 preliminary values online: http://revenue.stlouisco.com/ias/

Any property owner who does not have computer or internet access, needs assistance, or has questions after reviewing their preliminary value online can contact the assessor’s office Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Residential property owners call: 314-615-4981

Commercial property owners call: 314-615-4984

For residential properties, owner/occupants can schedule an informal conference with the assessor’s office to discuss any concerns about the preliminary value for the single-family home that is their primary residence. Our office encourages property owners to use this option because they will be able to meet one-on-one with an appraiser and likely have their issues resolved without the need for a formal appeal.

To request an informal conference to discuss the value of their primary residence, owner/occupants of a single-family home can call 314-615-4595 beginning May 15. Appointments are limited so owners are encouraged to call early. The assessor’s office cannot guarantee that residents will receive their preferred meeting location or time but, time permitting, good faith efforts will be made to accommodate requests.

Detailed information on how to appeal property value during both informal conferences and formal appeal to the Board of Equalization is in the “Property Value Appeals” brochure online: http://stlouisco.com/Your-Government/Revenue/Revenue-Brochures

Timeline

April:

Taxing authorities such as school districts submit their projected tax rates to the St. Louis County collector of revenue, who then creates the projected tax liability notice for each property.

May:

All residential property owners will be mailed the change of assessment and projected tax liability notices.

Beginning May 15, informal conferences for residential property owners can be scheduled by calling 314-615-4595 for the following locations:

North: May 22, 2019 – June 4, 2019
715 Northwest Plaza Drive, St. Ann, MO 63074

South: June 6, 2019 – June 14, 2019
9059 Watson Road, Crestwood, MO 63126

June:

All commercial property owners will receive change of assessment and projected tax liability notices.

July:

On July 1, the assessor will certify the 2019 assessment roll containing the assessor’s final values. This date is set by Missouri statute and cannot be changed. By law, after July 1, the assessor cannot make changes to property values.

Share this article