According to Franklin County Collector Doug Trentmann, real estate and personal property tax bills were transmitted to the printing company midday Tuesday and should be in residents’ mailboxes sometime next week.
“We are mailing 70,473 bills for real estate taxes,” Trentmann said. “There were an additional 44,641 personal property tax bills.”
Trentmann added the total charges this year for real estate, personal property, and railroad and utilities combined is $127,158,258, which is roughly $7 million more than last year.
“Real estate charges are $90,744,641,” Trentmann said. “Personal property charges are $22,048,281. Railroads and utilities tax charges are $14,365,333.”
Trentmann explained the tax bills will have a new look this year and will be similar to other bills residents may receive for phone service or internet.
“They are now a full sheet of paper and will have a detachable portion at the bottom to be mailed back in with the payment,” Trentmann explained. “It is a new design and we can fit more information on it.”
Trentmann also cautioned residents with the new computer system that will be in use by the county to process the bills this year, each property was given a new unique property account number.
The new account number will be prominently displayed on the bills.
“This especially affects residents who pay their taxes through their banks,” Trentmann said. “Banks pass those tasks on to a clearing house, of which there are only five in the country. Those accounts will tend to use the same information every year.”
Trentmann added residents who do pay through their banks should contact the bank and make sure the new property account number is updated.
Although he is confident in the new system, he is certain there will be some issues.
“There’s no way there won’t be problems,” Trentmann said. “We have to expect something will go wrong.”
Residents paying by check are asked to include the new property account number in the memo line.
Residents will have until Dec. 31 to pay their tax bills to avoid interest and penalties.
Trentmann shared some advice for payments this year.
“If you plan on mailing your taxes into the office, I suggest that you have them postmarked early,” he said. “Not all post offices work all day on Dec. 31. Some mail is not postmarked until Jan. 2, 2020.”
He also suggests not mailing from your home on the 31st or dropping the tax payments in mailboxes.
“In the outer parts of the cities and county, not all mail is picked up on the 31st of December,” Trentmann said. “Play it safe and mail a little early to make certain you have the correct postmark and avoid being returned for a late payment and being charged interest and penalties.”
There are 14 school districts, seven ambulance districts, 10 fire districts, two library districts, one hospital district, four sewer districts, and five road and bridge districts that collect taxes in Franklin County.
Depending on where a taxpayer resides in the county, their home or property could fall within several of these separate taxing districts, which have their own tax rate.
The amount each entity collects is based on a percentage of the overall value of the property and will fluctuate from year to year based on the property values.
Trentmann said because the Labadie levee district did not submit its financial books, the county will not be billing or collecting for that taxing entity. This only affects a small number of residents and only amounts to roughly $3,000 in tax charges.
The preliminary assessed value of real estate and personal property in Franklin County has increased by $109,572,291 over last year.
For the fourth straight year, Franklin County has posted an increase and the gains this year bring the 2019 total to the highest ever assessed valuation at $2,044,978,776.
The valuation of real estate in the county topped out at $1,628,487,498 for 2019, which is an increase of $113,339,956 over last year.
Although there was a dramatic increase in real estate valuation, personal property valuation in the county actually dropped to $416,491,278, a decrease of $3,767,655 from 2018.
Because of the massive increase in the county’s assessed valuation after reassessments this year passed $2 billion, the county has slightly tweaked its tax rates.
Rates will be $0.1273 per $100 of assessed valuation for the general fund, $0.2102 per $100 of assessed valuation for the road and bridge fund, and $0.0975 per $100 of assessed valuation for the SB40 resource board.
In 2018, 70,257 tax bills were mailed on Nov. 2, for real estate taxes and an additional 44,550 personal property tax charges.
In all, the county sent out tax bills totaling $120,159,705.59.
Charges were as follows:
• 2018 Real Estate Taxes — $84,655,115.94,
• 2018 Personal Property Charges — $21,214,989.07,
• 2018 Railroad and Utility Taxes — $14,289,600.98.