‘Rise up homeowners, fight back’ is battle cry against reassessment


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Households in St. Louis County have been notified that the assessed value of their homes are going up by 15 to 34 percent. This of course translates into higher property taxes. Yet the rate of inflation hovers around 2 percent.

Wages and pensions are not going up faster than the rate of inflation which means that, if we choose to stay in our homes, our standard of living over time is going downhill.

Karl Marx would say that it is tending to the subsistence level. Giving up food may be required to stay in one’s home. The alternative is even worse because rents are going up even faster. Friedrich Hayek would call this “The Road to Serfdom” leading to a nation of renters and the end of the American Dream.

It’s not the county’s fault, according to the assessor; it is state law that mandates that real estate be appraised at the current market value. That is an interesting concept, “market value.”

An economist would define market value as an impartial, objective, arms-length transaction between a buyer and a seller.

I didn’t buy or sell my house this year, yet my house went up in appraised value by 15 to 34 percent. The assessor will argue, “It’s what you can get if you sell your house on the open market.” I have no intention of selling my house and find it repugnant that a county official would even suggest such a lame illogical reason.

It is pure arrogance on the part of our government, our taxing authority, to continue to ask for increased taxes above the cost of living index.

In every election I attended since returning to St. Louis, the county government has had its hand out for a tax increase.

Rise up homeowners and fight back, you are losing your home, your self-respect, and your American dream.

Richard Herzog