Final assessment figures show decline in school district’s commercial valuation

Final assessment figures from the county Board of Equalization show a 6.6-percent decline in the assessed valuation of commercial real estate within the Mehlville School District from the preliminary figure the district used to set its 2009-2010 commercial property tax rate.

The district’s tax rates were set Aug. 27 to meet a Sept. 1 deadline.

However, Mehlville officials had to use preliminary assessment figures to set the rates because the county assessor’s office hadn’t yet received post-Board of Equalization valuations.

State legislation that would’ve extended taxing bodies’ deadline to set their rates to Oct. 1 was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon this summer. However, the assessor’s office was working under the Oct. 1 deadline, and only preliminary assessments were available at the end of August.

The final numbers, released in mid-September after taxpayer appeals to the Board of Equalization, show decreases in all four of the school district’s assessment categories: residential, agricultural, commercial and personal property.

The most significant decrease was that of commercial assessed valuation. The district set its 2009-2010 commercial tax rate at $2.9177 per $100 of assessed valuation based on the preliminary commercial assessed valuation of $330,153,040.

But that figure is now $308,427,520 — a decrease of 6.6 percent. That means the district could’ve set its commercial rate at $3.1232 per $100 of assessed valuation, Chief Financial Officer Noel Knobloch said.

However, Knobloch said the district would be able to set one-time “interim” rates next year — 2010-2011 — to recoup any revenue lost because of the drop in assessment.