Most property owners in St. Louis County saw an increase in their tax bills this past year. Some of those percentages were quite high.  It's looking like that might be the case again next year.

The St. Louis County Board has given their initial approval for the 2023 maximum property tax levy for 2023.  The actual dollar amount that the county is currently looking at is $163,366,729.  If left as is, that would translate into a 4.39% increase in that levy as compared to last year.

As county government officials look to the demands of next year, they're taking many issues into account.  According to details shared by St. Louis county, the proposed levy for 2023 performs the following:

  • Absorbs increased cost pressures from inflation
  • Funds employee salary and benefits commitments
  • Sustains investments in mental health and substance abuse disorder services
  • Invests in enhanced medical services at the St. Louis County Jail:  Technology - including cyber security, and economic development efforts
  • Incorporates targeted uses of reserves and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies

While the initial levy amount right now represents an increase over last year, a variety of factors could come into play to help level the net property taxes for homeowners.  County officials explain:

"Net tax capacity on St. Louis County grew by an estimated 17% in the last year.  Typically, this would mean a decrease in the percentage of the levy each property owner must pay.  However, this year, some of that growth is attributed to the increase in residential property values that resulted from the busy real estate market, so the effects will vary depending on the property's classification, overall value, and how much the value increased."

All of that said, it's accurate the operating expenses for St. Louis County went up - just like everything else (and everyone else) across the board.  Inflation is making itself known as part of the budget process; so are supply chain issues and fuel.  St. Louis County Administrator Kevin Gray explains:

"We, like everyone, are experiencing the significant impacts of inflation, and increased costs driven by supply chain challenges.  Fuel costs alone have increased by more than 50%, which is significant when you remember our Public Works and Sheriff's Office vehicles cover our 7,000 square mile county."

Taking that into  account, county officials offered some insight into what this would all mean for property owners.  Their example:

"It's estimated that the owner of a home valued at $250,000 would pay approximately $185 dollars less in 2023 on the county portion of their property taxes compared to this year if the value of their home remained the same."

To allow for public comment and input, St. Louis County has scheduled two different meetings that are open to the general public.  The first will happen Monday, November 21 - 7:00 PM - at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia.  The second will happen the following Monday, November 28 - 7:00 PM - at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth.  That meeting on November 28 will also be livestreamed on the St. Louis County Facebook page.

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