Housing Market Drives Down Values

The assessed valuation of property in Franklin County sank by more than $71 million compared to last year.

Last week, The Missourian reported preliminary assessed value figures that showed a decline of more than $78 million. But those figures did not include the state-assessed railroads/utilities.

With the state-assessed railroads/utilities included, the county’s total assessed value, including personal property and real estate, dipped by $71.6 million.

First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker said the decline in assessed value is obviously out of the commissioners’ hands, adding that values are handled by the assessor’s office

The county’s new assessed value of property is $1.8 billion compared to last year’s value of $1.9 billion.

The county’s largest decline in value has been in residential real estate, and County Assessor Tom Copeland has attributed this to the struggling housing market.

He noted that home values are based on what nearby homes sell for, and prices have still not returned to what they have been in the past.

Brinker said the decline in residential values is not a big surprise based on what has happened to the housing market nationally.

However, Brinker said he is optimistic that values will rebound to some degree.

The county’s residential property values plummeted from $986.8 million in 2012 to $899 million this year.

Personal property in the county went up in value by $10.4 million.

The county’s total real estate value, including residential, commercial/industrial, agricultural and railroad/utilities, went done more than $82 million.

Brinker said he has not heard about tax rates going up to compensate for the drop in values.

The various taxing entities in the county went down in value as follows: schools, $77.8 million; cities, $35.1 million; ambulance districts, $69.8 million; fire districts, $45.3 million; libraries, $73.3 million; colleges (East Central and St. Louis Community College), $69.9 million; sewer districts, $1.7 million; special road districts, $71.6 million; and Developmental Services of Franklin County, $71.6 million.

The assessed value represents a percentage of the appraised value and is used for taxation purposes. For residential, the assessed value is 19 percent of the appraised value; commercial property, 32 percent; and agriculture 12 percent.