South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

School board votes 5-0 to set Mehlville tax rates

Mehlville’s blended tax rate raised by total of 14.8 cents.

The Mehlville Board of Education voted last week to set the school district’s property tax rates for the current school year.

The school board voted 5-0 to set the 2010-2011 tax rates. Board members Karl Frank Jr. and Erin Weber were absent from the Sept. 16 public hearing.

No one from the public addressed the board on the proposed tax rates during the hearing or the regular board meeting that followed.

Final assessed valuations from the St. Louis County Board of Equalization were released Sept. 15, resulting in slightly different tax rates than those previously publicized. The rates initially were calculated with the assessed valuation of all property in the district estimated at $1,755,259,180. That amount dropped roughly $6 million to a post-BOE valuation of $1,749,832,630.

Using that final number, the board in-creased the district’s blended rate to $3.5763 from the 2009-2010 blended rate of $3.4282 per $100 of assessed valuation — an increase of 14.8 cents.

Mehlville does not assess the blended rate but four rates by property class: residential, commercial, agricultural and personal property.

Individual property-class tax rates, per $100 of assessed valuation, are as follows:

• Residential, $3.5469 — a 9.5-cent increase over the 2009-2010 rate of $3.4522.

• Commercial, $3.3947 — a 50-cent increase over last year’s rate of $2.8935.

• Personal property, $3.9648 — unchanged from last year’s rate.

• Agricultural, $4.09 — a $1.16 increase from last year’s rate of $2.9289.

The district experienced a significant drop this year in the assessed valuation of personal property, Chief Financial Officer Noel Knobloch said.

While the Missouri Constitution’s Han-cock Amendment allows districts like Mehlville to roll up their tax rates when assessed valuations decline to collect the same amount as the previous year, Knobloch told the board last week the district’s tax rates are increasing primarily because of a “reallocation.”

“The majority of that is because of a reallocation or, in effect, the same as a roll-up because of the personal property. We went down by about $25 million,” Knobloch said. “The way the tax rates are calculated is that you’re allowed to assess for as much revenue you got the prior year, and since personal property cannot be rolled up, a drop in personal property gets reallocated to the other three classes of property.

“We don’t get any additional revenue because of that. We stay even, and that’s the intent of the Hancock Amendment,” he added.

Mehlville’s proposed 2010-2011 tax rates also are higher because the district is recouping revenue that wasn’t received last year because rates were set using preliminary — and overestimated — assessed valuations from St. Louis County, he said.

The district’s 2009-2010 tax rates were set in August 2009 to meet a Sept. 1 deadline.

But 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 numbers.

State legislation that would’ve extended taxing bodies’ deadline to set their rates to Oct. 1 was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon that summer.

However, the assessor’s office was working under the Oct. 1 deadline, and only preliminary assessments were available at the end of August. Legislators and Nixon since have approved a bill extending the deadline to Oct. 1.

Final 2009 assessed valuations, released in September 2009 after taxpayer appeals to the Board of Equalization, showed decreases in all four of Mehlville’s assessment categories, the most significant of which was a 6.6-percent drop in commercial assessed valuation.

This year’s residential and commercial tax rates include a one-year interim rate of 1.23 cents and 20 cents, respectively, to recoup $765,198 not collected last year.

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