Taxpayers should demand larger rollbacks than Hancock Amendment requires
A version of the following commentary appeared as a letter to the editor in the Columbia Missourian.
Earlier this year, Missouri homeowners received their reassessment notices on the value of their property. For many homeowners, the new values were quite a shock. In Jackson County, for example, the average assessment increase was 30 percent.
Missouri’s Hancock Amendment is supposed to require tax rate rollbacks as assessed values increase. Reassessment is not supposed to be a tax increase. However, the high inflation of last year allows local governments to roll back rates far less than usual, if at all. Columbia announced it was keeping its city tax rate exactly the same, despite an eight-percent average valuation increase in Boone County. Don’t let your county or other local government do the same.
In September, counties throughout Missouri are setting their tax rates for 2023. Many of them are seeing large increases in the assessed valuations within their boundaries. Missouri taxpayers need to demand that their counties—and other taxing districts within certain charter counties—roll back rates to offset the otherwise large property tax hikes people will see later this year. Yes, this means local governments should roll back rates even more than is required by Hancock.
Large increases in assessed valuations don’t have to translate to large tax increases, but they will if local officials keep their tax rates the same or lower them by the bare minimum required. High inflation shouldn’t be an excuse to hammer taxpayers with large tax hikes. Taxpayers deserve—and should demand—better treatment from their county officials and other local governments.