ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri State Sen. Bill Eigel from St. Charles County cleared an important hurdle in his drive to practically eliminate personal property taxes.
He wanted to do away with the tax on cars, trucks, boats, and the like for the entire State of Missouri. But a fellow senator had an amendment making it apply only to St. Charles County where Eigel is.
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Eigel said his legislation would reduce the tax to practically zero, but that worries a lot of agencies who say they depend on that money.
St. Charles County collected $115.5 million in personal property taxes in 2021. At least $78 million went to the county’s six school districts, while $12.5 million went to 10 fire districts.
Millions were also sent to the ambulance district, the library board, and to the agency set up to help those with disabilities.
Cottleville’s Fire Protection District Chief Skip Stephens testified against the legislation at a Senate hearing.
”My concern is there’s no plan to replace the revenue. Senate Bill 649 would reduce the funding for all of the fire and EMS agencies in St. Charles County to the tune of 16 to 18 percent,” said Stephens.
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Now, that his legislation has cleared the Senate Committee, it still must go to the full Senate for its okay. The House also has to say yes, and the Governor needs to sign it.
So, there’s still a long way to go. Senator Eigel said he’s confident he’ll get it across the finish line even as dozens of groups in St. Charles County fight to block it.