Missouri County Passes 10% Business Tax Cut, Another Fights 51% Cut | Missouri
(The Center Square) — Voters gave mixed results to ballot initiatives to cut commercial property taxes in two Missouri counties in Tuesday’s election.
In Laclede County, 60% of voters chose not to lower the tax rate from $1.03 to 51 cents per $100 of property assessment – a 51% reduction – on all utility, industrial , commercial, railway and other that are neither residential nor agricultural. In Clay County, 56% of voters approved of lowering its commercial property tax rate by 10% from $1.59 per $100 of assessment to $1.44.
“I was very happy to see the result and I think it shows people are interested in tax fairness and making sure our businesses have a level playing field,” said county commissioner Jerry Nolte. of Clay, in an interview with The Center Square. . Nolte was also re-elected to his post on Tuesday with 72% of the vote.
Messages with Laclede County Commissioner Randy Angst were not returned. Angst was unopposed in Tuesday’s election in the race for his post.
Clay County’s commercial property surcharge rate was the third highest in the state, behind St. Louis County at $1.70 per $100 of assessed assessment and the City of St. Louis at $1. $.64.
Nolte said voters appeared to be swayed in favor of the cut upon learning that the new rate would put the county on par with neighboring Jackson County.
“I think we benefited from the idea that this was going to give us a level playing field,” Nolte said. “It was a very compelling argument. Why should we in Clay County pay a higher tax rate than Jackson County? I think that got to people.”
Nolte also said other tax cuts prompted voters to lower the business tax.
“We reduced the county general property tax this year and the library district reduced its tax rate, so we are in the process of reducing property taxes,” Nolte said. “You look a little here and a little there and it adds up, I think, to being something important to people.”
Clay County’s 10% cut for businesses was far less than the 51% cut that Laclede County voters rejected.
“I think people don’t want drastic change,” Nolte said. “But they would like to see us go in what they perceive to be the right direction. Luckily, I think that’s what we did. We read the sentiment of our fellow citizens and acted accordingly.
The new Clay County tariff will take effect July 1, 2023.