State Auditor’s report lists 2018 tax rates by entity

By: 
Dave Marner
Managing Editor

As 2018 comes to a close, county assessment declaration forms are being mailed out for 2019 tax collections and the state’s auditor has released her office’s annual review of local property tax rates.

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Dec. 19  released her office’s review of local property tax rates for 2018 collections. The auditor’s review is completed to determine whether taxing districts are compliant with state law and to monitor rate adjustments to ensure revenue neutrality, as required by law. Galloway’s office does not make recommendations on property tax rates or increases.

The report provides property tax rates reported to the State Auditor’s Office for local government entities, such as cities, counties, and school, fire and ambulance districts. 

In 2018, Galloway’s staff reviewed 4,814 property tax rates of 2,798 taxing authorities. This is the fourth year in a row that no taxing authorities levied a tax rate that exceeded the tax rate certified since the state agency began reviewing property tax rates in 1985.

According to Galloway’s 118-page report to the governor and legislators, as assessed valuations increase, tax rate ceilings generally decrease — depending on the amount of the increase — to produce substantially the same amount of revenue as allowed in the prior year. As assessed valuations decrease, tax rate ceilings may increase to produce substantially the same revenue as allowed in the prior year from existing property, limited by voter authorization.

Five taxing entities in Gasconade County are scheduled to collect taxes in specific accounts which are below their allowable ceiling, according to the report. Two are school district, two are ambulance districts and the other is the county’s General Revenue account.

The county is levying 14.74 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The county’s ceiling is 36.39 cents a hundred assessed.

Both ambulance districts based in Gasconade County will levy taxes below their allowable ceilings.

The Owensville Area Ambulance District has a tax levy ceiling listed at 31.89 cents per $100 assessed. The district is scheduled to levy 8.32 cents a hundred. The district also collects a three-eighths of a cent sales tax which was approved by OAAD voters.

Hermann Area Ambulance District is levying 13.74 cents per $100 assessed with a ceiling of 28.87 cents.

Both school districts in the county will levy less than their ceilings.

The Gasconade County R-2 School District based in Owensville has a partial Proposition C (sales tax) waiver allowing the district to waive a portion of its required Proposition C reduction to the extent necessary to collect the mandated minimum of $2.75 — or higher depending on the amount stated on the ballot. 

In the R-2 district’s case, voters have previously approved an operating levy up to the ceiling of $3.3774 per $100 of assessed valuation. The district will levy $3.18 again this year. The district also has a debt service levy of 67 cents for 2018. The debt service ceiling is 78.5 cents.

Gasconade County R-1 in Hermann, along with the Strain-Japan and Spring Bluff school districts in Franklin County, Maries R-1 (Vienna) and Maries R-2 (Belle) all have a full Proposition C (sales tax) waiver allowing the district to reduce its required Proposition C reduction to zero and levy up to its calculated tax rate ceiling.

R-1 patrons will pay up to the full ceiling on the operations levy of $3.5396 per$100 assessed but their debt service levy will be below the ceiling of $1.2915 and will pay 75 cents per$100 assessed.

Galloway’s report notes sales tax (Proposition C) rollbacks for school levies were subjected to a limited review to ensure the district did not waive all or part of the rollback without voter approval in order to generate additional local revenues.

A majority of Missouri’s 516 public school districts, 489 the reported noted, have obtained voter approved waivers of the required sales tax rollback of their property tax, including 458 with a full waiver and 31 with a partial waiver. 

According to the report, Gasconade County had a .38 percent increase in its assessed valuation in 2018 and is one of 56 counties falling into the increase range of between .01 and 2.1 percent based on the 2018 consumer price index (CPI) certified by the State Tax Commission.

Maries County was one of 53 counties to have an increase in the assessed valuation above the 2018 consumer price index (CPI) of 2.10 percent which was certified by the State Tax Commission. The increase in assessed valuation in 2018 for Maries County is 2.86 percent.

The increase in Franklin County was at the CPI of 2.1 percent.

A taxing authority located in more than one county is listed under the primary county only. The entire report available on the State Auditor’s website at auditor.mo.gov.