Maplewood resident Alice Hezel went to a town hall meeting hosted by St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman in June for residents who might have felt their recent reassessment was too high. Many had an increase of more than one hundred percent. See the St. Louis Post-Dispatch post on the issue.
Alice Hezel sent her response to the meeting to 40 South:
Well fellow Senior Taxpayers It’s time for another Boston Tea Party, or Mutiny on the Bounty or a Municipal Mutiny.
WE, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Webster Groves and Meacham Park, Crestwood and Kirkwood have all been neighbors and friends for 20, 30 or 40 years. It breaks my heart when I drive through these communities and see all of the “For Sale” signs. WE are being taxed out of our homes and communities that we have struggled to keep in spite of the County Government. The reason we incorporated originally was to get out from under the tyranny of County Government.
When Jake Zimmerman held the town hall meetings, he did not open up by saying WE, St. Louis County Government, are going to ask you, the SENIOR CITIZEN, to do all the work in two weeks and without computers or our Real Estate Tax Program that we, who were getting paid to do it, could not do in a year and get it right.
Mr. Zimmerman should have said, since most of the Senior Citizens do not have access to a computer or our programs we use to determine taxes. I will open up the assessor’s office every weekend until everyone has a chance to research their real estate taxes and have Clayton provide free parking and I will provide tutors to help you learn the computer and our system so you can access our systems and have pictures of the interior of your comparable without having to go and knock on doors to see what your comparable look like.
WE, again must stick together and fight for our future as a community. One person at the meeting I was at said he has lost four neighbors over the tax issue.
Seniors on a fixed income cannot compete with the companies that flip homes for profit or the developers who buy a home and tear it down to build a McMansion. They don’t have to put in the streets or utilities like we had to (So it’s all profit and why doesn’t the County charge them a fee to reimburse us for our taxes to cover our expense to build the roads and put in the utilities and apply this against our real estate taxes.
I don’t want one more homeowner to sell their house so the County won’t sell it for taxes and put them out on the street. After all, I have already paid $30,000+ taxes over the years and I’m sure most of you have also. Even if you sell and move into an apartment eventually the money will run out as the landlord will keep raising the rent as his taxes keep going up and you will eventually end up out on the street.
UNITED WE STAND will be our motto and we all have to stick together to fight this injustice. Stay tuned for an update.
I feel your pain as I also lay awake at nights worrying about how I’m going to survive but I made it to 74 overcoming a stroke, breast and lung cancer and diabetes so I guess I can make it a few more years.
I worked seven years as a St. Louis County Police Officer and seven years for the County highway and for my labor of 14 years the county gives me a whopping $256.38 a month X 12 = $3,076.56 and out of that they want me to pay $3,159.62 in Real Estate Taxes, so YES, I feel your pain.
The next time you see someone in line for food stamps or at a food pantry or trying to get help with paying an electric bill OR dressed like a cow so they can get a free sandwich at Chic-Fil-A and they look familiar, remember it’s probably a retired St. Louis County CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE.