A bill passed at the Sept. 26 St. Charles County Council meeting maintains the amount of tax the County collects in 2022 compared with tax year 2021 to address the effects of vehicle value inflation arising from vehicle shortages. The bill establishes the tax rates for the County’s Road & Bridge and 911 Dispatch & Alarm taxes.
“This is our way of attempting to negate the burden on taxpayers caused by inflation and a drastically increased value of used vehicles,” says St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “This is one small piece of your property tax bill, as there are several other taxing jurisdictions, but we encourage other municipalities and entities to consider the same approach.”
The St. Charles County Assessor values and assesses motor vehicles based on trade-in value published the previous October by the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) Official Used Car Guide, pursuant to Missouri statutory requirements. While it is unusual for used vehicles to greatly increase in value, supply chain shortages have affected new vehicle availability and price, and used vehicle values have, on average, increased nearly 30 percent. The Assessor’s final assessed values on vehicles submitted to County Administration on August 1 reflect an increase of 29.98 percent over vehicle assessed values in 2021, largely due to the rise in used car values created by the shortage of new cars available.
This ordinance to set tax rates is required by statute after the Board of Equalization reviews and rules on taxpayer claims that their personal property assessments are incorrect, and the outcomes of the appeal process are certified. Setting tax rates normally occurs in September. While the County only collects property tax for Road & Bridge and Dispatch & Alarm, together, these two taxes would have collected an additional $810,000 in revenue created by the increase in used car values required in the statutory calculation used by all taxing jurisdictions.
“The property tax the County collects for roads and emergency communications is important to support the County’s infrastructure and public safety,” Ehlmann says, “but we are set to maintain a trajectory of support and growth for these areas that is by no means negatively impacted by our voluntary effort to eliminate the revenue windfall that will result if we take no action.”