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Lee Fuqua at the St. Louis County Board of Equalization

Lee Fuqua, 60, of Hazelwood, reviews his evidence after winning a property value appeal at the St. Louis County Board of Equalization on Friday, July 12, 2019. The board agreed to cut his home's value from $233,600 to $219,000. Photo by Jeremy Kohler, jkohler@post-dispatch.com.

CLAYTON — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Tuesday he is asking the board that handles property value appeals to extend the July 8 deadline for accepting appeals.

The Board of Equalization expects to hear at least 25,000 property value appeals this summer after the county's biennial reassessment. Preliminary figures from St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman showed the median home value grew 15% from the last reassessment in 2017.

The board is bound by statute to begin its hearings on the first Monday in July and complete its work by the fourth Saturday in August. A reporter who dropped by the board for about an hour Friday found the appeals moving quickly and in an orderly manner.

In a report to the County Council on Tuesday, Page said, "St. Louis County’s website was inundated with constituents attempting to meet that deadline. They were met with slow speeds, technical glitches and, at one point, a short website outage. Several constituents shared their frustrations with our office."

He also noted that some residents received a letter with the wrong date listed as the deadline, adding to confusion.

"Because of these issues, I am requesting that the Board of Equalization accept all late appeals that have been filed, and that the online appeals process be re-opened with an extended deadline," he said.

"I encourage the Board of Equalization to engage with all the affected taxpayers and inform them what has happened."

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Jeremy Kohler is an investigative reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.