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St. Louis County taxpayers could see relief from late fees blamed on postal delays

St. Louis County taxpayers could see relief from late fees blamed on postal delays

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JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers unveiled a plan Wednesday designed to address penalties charged to some St. Louis County residents for late property tax bills.

Under legislation sponsored by Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, taxpayers hit with late fees because of U.S. Postal Service delays would receive a credit for their 2021 tax bills equal to what they paid in late fees this year.

“Our bill solves a real problem people have been having,” Schupp said.

The language was attached to a larger piece of legislation that is moving through the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

The issue began gaining attention earlier this year after residents who mailed their tax payments to the St. Louis County Collector of Revenue in late December were hit with substantial penalties because the mail was postmarked and arrived after the Jan. 1 deadline.

State law directs tax collectors to collect late fees on payments that are postmarked after deadline.

Officials believe the Postal Service may be to blame for the delivery delays because the number of people who were levied late fees was 4,800 higher than last year.

Schupp said her proposal could mean less money is distributed to various taxing bodies next year.

The legislation was attached to the larger bill after winning bipartisan praise.

Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, said he was pleased to do “anything we can do to help our taxpayers who were caught up in this, no fault of their own.”

The legislation is Senate Bill 5.

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