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Personal property tax bills increasing for many District residents; Here’s why

Personal property tax bills increasing for many District residents; Here’s why

Personal property tax bills are arriving in mailboxes across the District and many residents are seeing increases. We want to share some information that might be helpful as you interpret your bill.
Francis Howell School District - like all public school districts in the state of Missouri - is funded in large part by local taxes. Real estate property taxes (on homes and land) and personal property taxes (on livestock, vehicles, trailers and other things with wheels and motors) make up nearly 60% of the District’s annual revenue. We use these funds to maintain class sizes that promote high academic performance, attract and retain high-quality teachers and staff, keep our schools and District facilities in working order, and fund ongoing operating expenses.

In Missouri, personal property taxes are due by December 31 each year and are based on assessed values using the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) evaluation method for average trade-in value. In many cases, the value of a used vehicle this year is greater than it was last year, causing personal property taxes to increase for most residents.

Although FHSD’s tax rate remains virtually unchanged ($0.0024 increase over prior year), the District will receive additional revenue this year due to unprecedented valuation in the used car market. This is also true for other public entities (police and fire departments, libraries, disability services, etc.) who receive funding through personal property taxes.

Unsurprisingly, just as your personal costs are going up at home, so are the costs for operating a school district. FHSD is experiencing higher costs for things like fuel for school buses, natural gas, recruiting and hiring, etc. The additional revenue FHSD will receive this year – which accounts for less than 2% of the District’s total revenue budget – will help offset the higher inflationary costs we’re facing. However, we recognize this increase is an anomaly; we do not expect to see a comparable increase from personal property taxes in future years as the value of used vehicles stabilizes.

Hopefully, this information helps provide clarity as to the reason for the increase you may be seeing on your personal property tax bill this time of year. Residents are encouraged to visit the County Assessor’s website for more information. You may also find value in the Tax Rate Hearing Slides presented at the September 15, 2022 Board of Education meeting.

We recognize the burden any increase in taxes places on families - especially this time of year. We take our fiduciary responsibility seriously and will be good stewards of the funds we receive this year and in the future.