ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO—Eligible Seniors can get relief on their property tax bills under an ordinance signed into law Sept. 14 by County Executive Steve Ehlmann.
“This is not a tax cut, but a tax freeze for seniors,” Ehlmann says. “The intent is to give some relief to seniors, many of whom are on a fixed income.”
The local ordinance passed unanimously by the St. Charles County Council Sept. 11 is based on the state law passed this spring by the Missouri Legislature (SB 190).
The new law would:
- Apply to St. Charles County residents who are at least 62-years old as of January 1, 2024.
- Begin in tax year 2024 and won’t apply retroactively.
- Apply to all taxing jurisdictions within St. Charles County (school districts, fire districts, etc.) and not just to the part of the property tax bill that goes to the county itself. (About 2 percent of the total property tax goes to the county for the dedicated Road and Bridge Fund and Dispatch and Alarm Fund.)
- NOT apply to the portion of the property tax bill that goes to bonded indebtedness such as bonds for ambulance districts, fire districts, school districts and cities, nor to the State Blind Pension Fund.
Eligible seniors would have to show:
- Proof that they are at least 62 years old.
- Proof that they own the property.
- Proof that it's their primary homestead.
These changes do not impact 2023 tax bills. Residents who want to get the tax freeze will be able to apply in March of 2024 through the St. Charles County Collector’s office.
Collector of Revenue Michelle McBride says there could be more than 36,000 people applying for the tax freeze.
“We’re going to have to hire more staff to process the applications,” McBride says. “It will be challenging, and we look forward to applying the credits on future tax bills for our seniors.”
In signing the bill, County Executive Ehlmann warned residents to temper their expectations, because the new law could face court challenges from school districts or other taxing jurisdictions between now and when it takes effect next year.
“We drafted a law we think is consistent with what state lawmakers intended, based on our meetings with them,” Ehlmann said. “And if there’s a court challenge, we’ll find out whether the new law will hold up.”