COLUMBIA — More than 120,000 property tax bills were sent out Wednesday, which is about 5,000 more than the number sent in 2007, according to Boone County Collector Patricia Lensmeyer.
The total assessed valuation of property tax in Boone County is estimated to be $2.3 billion for 2008, according to Boone County Assessor Tom Schauwecker, but he says that is still a preliminary number.
Schauwecker said there was about a three percent increase in total assessed property tax values from 2007, which is due to new construction, but he said the new construction activity has fallen lately, especially in housing.
The total assessed valuation of Boone County increased by five percent in 2006 and six percent in 2005.
“The simple answer is supply and demand,” Schauwecker said, as to why the increase is lower. “The demand for new housing has decreased. There was an oversupply of housing about two years ago, and it is harder to get a loan today.”
Schauwecker also said the financial crisis is directly related to real estate.
Although property tax revenue has changed, Schauwecker said sales tax revenue, the county's primary source of revenue, has remained flat. . Although sales tax revenues are not predicted to increase any time soon, he said that doesn't necessarily mean property taxes will rise.
Lensmeyer said property tax bills were being received Thursday. Late charges, which can reach as high as 25 percent in the first year of delinquency, will take effect starting Jan. 1. Late charges occur every year until the bill is paid.
There are five ways to pay property tax bills: in person, by mail, by phone, through the city's drop box or on-line.
Bills paid in person must be paid before 5 p.m. Dec. 31. Bills paid by mail must be postmarked on or before Dec. 31.
Bills placed in the drop box, located at the Ninth Street entrance of the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center, must be paid by midnight Dec. 31.
Bills paid by phone and online must also be completed by midnight. If paying by phone, it will be necessary to have the bill. If paying online, one can search for the bill.
If you have not received a bill by the end of next week, contact the collector’s office at 886-4285.
Lensmeyer said the total of the bills is about $109.8 million for real estate taxes and about $23.6 million for personal property taxes. In 2007 the total was $105.6 million for real estate and $22.9 million for personal property.
Click here for a complete list of city, county and state tax entities and rates.