St. Louis County residents pack assessment hearing demanding answers

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Photo credit Alex Degman / KMOX
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX)— Some residents said their property assessments this year went up by $20,000. Others $45,000 and still others say the assessed value of their property went up by more than $100,000 this year.A capacity crowd filled a room at the Pavilion in Jefferson Barracks Park to share their concerns — it's the first of several town hall meetings designed to get County Assessor Jake Zimmerman in front of as many people as possible to explain how the assessment process works and, if you need to, how to appeal it.As for why property assessments went as high as they did, Zimmerman told the room that every property in the county is worth more than it used to be — and that's rarely the case year to year."The people living in Clayton and Ladue, for the most part, their homes were worth more, like clockwork, every year or every two years. But it wasn't true in Lemay and it wasn't true in Affton, and it certainly wasn't true in Normandy and it certainly wasn't true in the Riverview Gardens school district."In every neighborhood in St. Louis County, the typical property is worth more than it used to be worth. In particular, in parts of the county where homes are more affordable," Zimmerman says.To the sounds of sarcastic approval from the crowd, Zimmerman said his office isn't perfect and his assessors can't always see what you see. So it's important to appeal your assessment if you think it's wrong. Some in the crowd moaned at the suggestion, shouting they've tried that to no avail -- some homeowners say their appeals were denied even though assessors agreed with their reasons, others say the assessment office workers were rude -- sometimes straight up laughing at them.Zimmerman seemed troubled by this and wanted his office to talk to some property owners individually after the meeting. Other town halls scheduled:
  • 12 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Manchester Police Facility, 200 Highlands Boulevard, Manchester
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Affton White-Rodgers Community Center, 9801 Mackenzie Road

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