Pattonville School Board Approves Tax Rate Increase
One-time increase is happening because of successful tax appeals from large commercial property owners in the district.
Homeowners who live in the Pattonville School District may see a small increase in their tax bills next year.
The Pattonville School Board approved a residential tax rate of $4.52 for every $100 of assessed valuation, a 9.7-cent increase over last year's rate.
The board also lowered the property tax rate (which people pay on vehicles) by 16 cents to $3.77 per $100 of assessed valuation from $4.26 per $100.
Board Members Robert Dillon, Jeanne Schottmueller, Ronald Kuschel, Ralph Stahlhut, Tamara Hohenstein and Ruth Petrov unanimously approved the rate increase during the Sept. 25 board meeting.
The new residential tax rate comprises the operating levy of $4.03 and a debt service levy of $0.49. The debt service levy has remained unchanged since 2006 when voters approved a no-tax rate increase bond issue.
A portion of the increase is an effort to recoup lost revenue between 2003 and 2011, the years in which the State Tax Commission lowered the district's assessed valuation after people appealed their assessments.
"We based our tax rate decisions in 2003 based on assessed valuation being a dollar amount. If the State Tax Commission says 2003 assessment is something lower, that impacts that calculation," said Ron Orr, chief financial officer for the district.
During 2011-12 school year the district lost $1.7 million in revenue, Orr said. The recoupment process is a one-time adjustment to help recoup some of what the district lost last year.
This year, assessed valuation of property in the district increased 9 percent or $111 million. Harrah's valuation represents $97 million of the increase, according to the tax levy presentation given by Orr.
The district does not plan to use that additional revenue that will be generated, however, because Harrah's has appealed its assessment by St. Louis County. The district would have to repay tax money collected from the casino if the State Tax Commission rules in Harrah's favor.
"Their tax bill is so large we have to be mindful," Orr said. "This is something that’s going to go on for several years years we can't spend money... until it’s ours to spend."
In the past year, the district has cut close to $3 million from the budget and is planning another $2 million in reductions before next year.
What does it mean to homeowners?
A person who owns a home assessed at $150,000 would pay $1,288 under the new tax rate. Last year's tax rate meant a person who owned a home assessed at $150,000 would have paid $1,261.