A proposal to throw out the present system of assessing personal property draws negative assessments from cities and the real estate industry.
Senator Jane Cunningham wants to freeze property values at their 2006 assessments and allow reassessments only when the property is sold. Her proposal is based on assessment problems in the St. Louis area, which she says are out of control.
But spokesman Sam Licklider with the Missouri Association of Realtors thinks Cunningham is off base. "It is a very simple solution to a horribly complex problem and we’re not sure it will work," he tells a Senate committee. He calls it a "Band-Aid on a running sore" and doubts that changing a few things will change "a system that has become seriously broken," referring mainly to the St. Louis area.
Another dreary assessment of the proposal comes from Todd Smith of the Missouri Municipal League, who says the bill could set the state back 25 years. He says the state has spent tens of millions of dollars since 1984 trying to get property taxes equalized. He says Cunningham’s proposal will create a system that will be inequitable again with the home seller feeling the brunt of that inequality.
Opponents of Cunningham’s proposal question its constitutionality because of that possible inequity. Cunningham proposes dealing with that by having voters adopt a constitutional amendment allowing this practice.
Her bill is under study by a senate committee.
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