Affton School Board Approves Small Tax Increase

“The Affton School Board voted to increase the amount the district levies in property tax this year at a meeting Tuesday night, but the move may not result in higher tax bills for district residents.

The board set the tax rate at $5.2974 per $100 of assessed valuation for residential real estate, $5.6189 percent for commercial real estate and $5.5131 for personal property. This is an increase of about five percent in the residential and commercial categories from 2010, which were 5.0301 percent and 5.4401 percent, respectively. Personal property rates remain the same.

The vote came after a public hearing preceding the school board meeting at Rogers Middle School Tuesday.

The increase does not require a ballot vote by residents because the rate remains under the maximum rate approved by voters in a 2004 ballot issue.

Affton Business Director John Brazeal explained that the rate was set at a higher level after the total assessed value of property in the area fell by 4 percent, from roughly $401 million to $382 million. The increase is an attempt to bring in the same amount of revenue from property taxes that the district received last year.

In calculating the tax owed, it is important to remember that in Missouri the rates are not applied to the full, fair-market value of the property. For example, residential real estate is assessed at 19 percent of the home’s market value. A home worth $150,000 would be taxed at an assessed valuation of $28,500, which would result in a levy of about $1,500 (compared to $1,430 in 2010 for a similarly assessed home).

Most homes in the area are likely to be assessed lower than in previous years. The average drop in assessed value from 2010 to 2011 is 4.71%.

However, Brazeal cautioned that this rise in tax rates will mean different things to different homeowners or businesses, depending on whether the value of their property has gone up or down. If it has declined enough, the actual amount of taxes paid will be similar, or in some cases, even less.

“The size of the pie itself is not changing, but the slices within the pie are,” Brazeal said by way of explanation. “Yours might be more or less.”

In fact, the size of the pie is dropping a little bit. Brazeal also reported to the board that despite the higher tax level, the district is projected to bring in $203,407 less than in 2010 after the statewide reassessment. The Missouri State Tax Commission reassesses property every other year.”

Printed in the Affton-Shrewsbury Patch on September 22, 2011

Article by Frank Johnson

Original Article

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