Homeowner tax rate remains unchanged for fourth year in a row
Homeowner tax rate remains unchanged for fourth year in a row
Friday, September 29, 2017
The Pattonville Board of Education on Sept. 26 approved tax rates for the 2017-2018 school year which hold the residential tax rate unchanged from the previous three years. Maintaining the same rate for four years is in keeping with the district's promise to voters who approved Proposition P in 2013 to limit the residential tax rate increase to 35 cents for as many years as possible.

The passage of Proposition P in November 2013 enabled Pattonville to approve balanced budgets for the last four years and prevented the need to cut $10 million in spending after already cutting $8 million between 2007 and 2013. Proposition P was an overall tax rate increase of $0.9972 designed to maintain and protect Pattonville's current instructional programs and staffing levels. Pattonville is voluntarily limiting the increase to 35 cents for homeowners for as many years as possible in order to reduce the burden on residents.

The newly approved tax rates include two other voluntary reductions, which reduced the overall tax rate for homeowners by nearly $1 (see chart below for details):

  • The district's debt service levy, which is part of the district's overall tax levy, continues to remain unchanged at 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, as promised to voters when they approved zero tax rate increase bond issues in 2017, 2010 and 2006. Under the state's formula for calculating tax rates and the district's taxing capacity, the district could have levied 14 cents more.
  • Over the past year commercial property owners received $2.5 million in property tax refunds due to successful appeals of their property values to the state tax commission. Based on state law these refunds could have shifted $1 million more in additional tax burden to Pattonville’s homeowners and increased the residential tax rate by more than 26 cents. In an effort to protect district homeowners, the district chose not to access the additional levy and lessen the burden on homeowners.
Approximately 86 percent of Pattonville's revenue comes from local sources, which include taxes paid on property in the district. These taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, as determined by the St. Louis County assessor's office. The value of property in Pattonville grew by 5 percent. Half of this growth was due to new construction and new personal property in the district. The other half was a result of existing property being re-assessed by the county (a process which takes place every two years). On existing property, Pattonville’s revenue growth is limited by law to the smaller of two options: the growth in the assessed valuation of property in the district or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This year, the CPI grew by 2.1 percent, which is similar to the growth in value for existing property in Pattonville.