(The Center Square) – The St. Charles County Council will consider reducing property taxes due to the skyrocketing cost of used cars.
If Bill No. 5100 passes tonight, the property tax rate will decrease from the 2021 rate. The proposed rate for Road and Bridge Fund will decrease from the 2021 rate of 19.88 cents to 19.24 cents and the rate for Dispatch and Alarm Fund will decrease from 3.82 cents to 3.70 cents. Both rates are on $100 of assessed value.
The reductions would result in approximately $811,000 less in property taxes collected – $683,000 for Road and Bridge Fund and $128,000 for the Dispatch and Alarm Fund.
The projected revenue collected from taxpayers for the Road and Bridge Fund is $21.5 million and the Dispatch and Alarm Fund will be $4.1 million in 2022.
“This is our way of attempting to negate the burden on taxpayers caused by inflation and a drastically increased value of used vehicles,” County Executive Steve Ehlmann said in a statement when the bill was introduced earlier this month. “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 determines the taxable amount of an automobile’s value based on trade-in amounts published the previous year by the National Automobile Dealers’ Association’s Official Used Car Guide. Automobiles typically depreciate in value, but supply chain problems are disrupting the availability and price of new automobiles and driving up the price of used cars.
An Assessor’s report to St. Charles County administrators in early August revealed a 29.98% increase of the assessed value of autos compared to 2021, attributable to the increase in used car values and the shortage of new cars.
“The property tax the County collects for roads and emergency communications is important to support the County’s infrastructure and public safety, 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,” Ehlmann said.
Ehlmann first won the election to become County Executive in 2007. After State Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, dropped out of August’s Republican primary for County Executive, Ehlmann defeated Arnie Dienoff with 82% of the vote. No other candidate filed in any other party to run for office.