SB 0688 Limits increases in assessed valuation of real property and modifies reassessment procedures
Sponsor:Gibbons Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number:3199S.09P Fiscal Note:3199-09
Committee:Ways and Means
Last Action:05/01/02 - HCS Voted Do Pass H Ways & Means Committee Journal page:
Title:SS#2 SCS SBs 688 et al
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SS#2/SCS/SBs 688, 663, 691, 716, 759, 824 & 955 - This act makes the following modifications to various subjects related to property assessment:

1) The act divides the roll-back requirement into personal property, taken in the aggregate, and each individual subclass of real property, as those subclasses are defined in the Constitution. Similar language is carried throughout the remainder of Section 137.073, as necessary, to effectuate this change (Section 137.073). The political subdivision will compare the revenue it would have had under the method in the current law to the method in this act, and, if there is a difference, then the difference is made-up by proportionately raising the tax rates in those classes of property where the rates were rolled- back. When property has changed subclasses between periods of assessment, the "tax revenue" target amount used when revising the rates for a particular subclass of property only includes the property that was in that subclass at the time of the prior assessment.

2) The act allows counties or a city not within a county to choose to adjust for the inflationary growth factor when calculating its roll-back only if they opt-into such adjustment by a vote of the people of the county or city not within a county. The act contains ballot language for this purpose.

3) For the purposes of calculating the applicable rate of levy for each subclass of real property, state-assessed railroad and utility property shall be apportioned to all three subclasses of real property, based on their relative portions of total assessed valuation of the real property in the county (Section 137.073.2)

4) A county may lower the rate below the rate ceiling as in the current law. However, in a taxing jurisdiction other than one that receives funding from the foundation formula, in a year following general reassessment, if the governing body of such jurisdiction intends to increase its tax rate, the governing body shall conduct a public hearing, and in a public meeting it shall adopt an ordinance, resolution or policy statement justifying its action prior to setting and certifying its tax rate (Section 137.073.5).

5) When determining the proposed tax rate for the purposes of the foundation formula, a county shall calculate a blended rate. Such rate shall be calculated by determining the total tax revenue of the property within the jurisdiction of the taxing authority and dividing that number by the total assessed valuation of the same jurisdiction and then multiplying the resulting quotient by a factor of one-hundred. The same blended rate shall be used for the purposes of calculating revenue from state-assessed railroad and utility property (Section 137.073.6).

6) When reporting to the clerk of the county commission, each taxing authority must report its proposed tax rate calculated to three decimal points, unless its tax rate is above one dollar, then it must be calculated to four decimal points (Section 137.073.6).

7) The threshold for requiring a physical inspection of the property is lowered from seventeen percent increased assessed valuation to fifteen percent (Section 137.115.10).

8) Before a physical inspection is completed the assessor must notify the property owner of his or her rights regarding the inspection. The property owner can request an interior inspection within thirty days (Section 137.115.11).

9) The elements of the physical inspection are set forth in greater detail. A mere "drive-by inspection" is not considered sufficient (Section 137.115.12).

10) A tax collector can accept credit cards as a form of payment for taxes, but shall not add a surcharge in excess of the actual fees charged by the credit card bank (Section 137.115.13).

11) A taxpayer can bring suit to enforce any of the provisions of Section 137.115, and receive attorney's fees and expenses if they prevail (Section 137.115.14).

12) When appealing an assessment to the Board of Equalization in St. Charles and St. Louis counties and St. Louis city, the assessor shall have the burden of proving that the assessment reflects the true market value of the property. If the assessor cannot meet this burden, the property owner shall prevail as a matter of law (Section 138.060.1).

13) The boards of equalizations in first class charter counties must provide a taxpayer who has appealed an assessment a written finding of facts and a written basis for the board's decision (Section 138.100.3).

14) A taxpayer can bring suit to enforce any of the provisions of Section 1, and receive attorney's fees and expenses if they prevail.

The act has an effective date of January 1, 2003.