LEBANON, Mo. – A recent court ruling means many Laclede County residents could pay an additional amount in personal property taxes this year.
In April 2022, voters in Special Road Districts 1 and 3 approved a tax levy for roads and bridges.
However, that tax was not applied in 2022.
“Through an oversight clerical error, those did not make it to the Missouri State Auditor,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Angst said.
That aforementioned court ruling is allowing the county to recover the missing tax dollars from 2022 as part of the 2023 tax bills.
So who does this affect?
This affects those with property in Special Road Districts 1 and 3 in Laclede County.
“Special Road District 1 encapsulates the city of Lebanon and surrounds the city of Lebanon,” Angst said. “[There’s] about 100 miles of road so they take care of. Special Road District 3 is out in the Phillipsburg area and they have about 80 miles of county roads they care for.”
It’s unclear to determine how much each person will have to pay back, but legal documents say the tax levy in SRD1 is 20 cents for every $100 of property value whereas in SRD3, the levy is 23 cents for every $100 of property value.
OzarksFirst spoke to residents about the recovery effort.
“It’s tough to justify them going back on stuff that they didn’t do correctly to begin with,” Mark Klemin said.
Klemin and his wife own property and a business in Lebanon.
“I think they should cut their losses because if it were if it was a clerical error on my end, I wouldn’t be able to regain it,” Klemin said. “So why do some of that? Why does the [county] get to and not us?”
“It’s important to be able to sustain our operations and be able to continue to provide the services. Obviously, obviously, you want to be able to collect what the voters approved, and another way I look at this is this is honoring the will of the voters,” Angst said. “You know, the voters did approve this in April of 2022, and so that’s a perspective that I have, that this is this is a voter-approved this isn’t anything that has not been done before.”
Klemin agrees that funding for roads is needed.
“Our roads always need to be improved. They’re always taking damage. Our towns getting bigger. We’re getting more and more traffic,” Klemin said.
Angst says this isn’t a double tax and the addition is for 2023 only.
“It’s not a double tax, and I can’t reiterate that enough,” Angst said. “When you look at their budgets and you look at the services they provide, and I believe that these are revenues that they normally have and they would like to be able to continue to receive those revenues again, to provide the services that they have provided in the past.”
Klemin adds the additional tax to his bill will affect his bottom line.
“We’re not going to be able to provide more stuff for customers or more benefits for our employees. It’s just taking away from them and not getting the gain from it.”
Angst adds that public hearings were helpful to make the public aware of the change but Klemin says he wasn’t aware of any additional tax until OzarksFirst spoke to him this afternoon.