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Zimmerman takes questions at town hall meeting addressing rising property values

"It's called artificial intelligence," yells resident Doug Brunkhorst, who interrupts St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman during a town hall meeting addressing rising property values on Thursday, June 20, 2019, at the Pavilion at Lemay. Brunkhorst, was one of of many in the packed room, to question, criticize and disagree with how homes are assessed. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

California voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978. It was supported by Gov. Ronald Reagan at the time. If Proposition 13 was approved by Missouri voters, there would be no more need for Missouri assessors. All could be fired, and we could stop this reassessment mess all across Missouri.

Because of Proposition 13, California homeowners pay taxes using the purchase price of their home as a tax base. Up to a 2% increase, per year, in valuation is added to this base, or less if the inflation rate is less than 2%. Hence, it takes 50 years to double a California home’s taxes if it keeps the same owner.

The tax rate remains at 1%. This results in a $1,000 tax on every $100,000 of home valuation. This 1% ($1,000) is divided among all the taxing entities on a percentage basis.

There are no more property tax rate-increase elections in California because of this 2% increase every year.

California home owners can improve their homes without tax increases until homes are resold, making the new purchase price the new base for taxes. What could be more fair than using the purchase price as a base for property taxes?

Ronald E. Levy • Affton