St Louis County Assessor Increased Property Values Four Times More Than Market Data Supports

This year is a reassessment year for real property in Missouri, so assessors throughout the state are going to update the property values that tax assessments are based upon.  According to state law, the value should reflect the value of the property as of January 1, 2019.  Reassessment is done every two years, so the prior reassessment was in 2017.  Given that the real estate market has been performing well now for the past several years, and property values are increasing, it’s not surprising that most property owners will see an increase in their assessment from the 2017 value to the 2019 value.  However, homeowners in St Louis County have been particularly vocal about their dissatisfaction with the amount of the increase.  An article on STL Today earlier this week shared the story of a Kirkwood couple that said: “We feel like we are being ripped off by the county” after the St Louis County assessor increased the value of their home 153% from the prior value two years before.  According to the STL Today article, the preliminary figures from Jake Zimmerman, the St Louis County Assessor, show the median increase in assessment was 15% from the last assessment in 2017.

How does the St Louis County Assessors 15% Increase in property values compare with the market data?

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How To Appeal Your Property Tax Reassessment

If you are a homeowner, then during the past week or so you probably received a change of assessment notice from your county assessor informing you of the Assessor’s new assessment of the value of your property.  While most people purchase a home with the expectation of it going up in value and, generally, are excited when they find out it has increased in value, this is not one of those occasions.  An increase in the Assessor’s opinion of your property value generally results in just one thing…a higher property tax bill.

What can you do if you don’t agree with the property reassessment on your property?

Fortunately, you do have options, including the ability to appeal the property reassessment if you feel it is high. Depending on the county the property is located in, you may even be able to do so by means of an informal conference that can easily be scheduled by phone.  However, there are deadlines, so you must act fast.  Even if you live in a county that doesn’t offer an informal hearing, or you don’t like the outcome of the informal hearing, you can appeal to the Board of Equalization.  Then, if you don’t like the outcome of the Board of Equalization, you can appeal the assessment to the State Tax Commission as well.  While this may sound a little overwhelming, the process really is not too bad.

Below are links to a couple of great property reassessment appeal resources that will walk you through the process as well as provide you with helpful phone numbers, links, tools, resources and more: