Councilman Terry Hollander's Blog

Dec 18

[ARCHIVED] A Lot is Going Right in St. Charles County

The original item was published from December 18, 2015 11:23 AM to December 18, 2015 11:33 AM

Do you read your tax bill to see where your tax dollars are going? This year, you might be surprised to see no line item for General Fund property tax – the tax that goes to the primary operating fund for St. Charles County Government. This is not a mistake and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong – it actually means a lot is going right in St Charles County.

To understand why, we need to take a look back at what has happened with this tax over 20 years. The last time General Fund property tax was raised was before 1993. Even better, since 1995 the County has voluntarily reduced its General Fund property tax, saving county taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Through responsible planning and budgeting, the County recognized that there was sufficient sales tax growth to maintain fund balances and not overtax residents. In 2006, the reduced tax rate reached a point that resulted in a General Fund property tax of less than one dollar on the average St. Charles County home. This year, the remaining tax rate was reduced to zero as required by the state’s 2015 tax rate calculation formula. Your real estate and personal property taxes for 2015 are going to support our area schools, fire districts, municipalities, roads and bridges, community college, library district, ambulance district, 911 services, as well as to the state.

St. Charles County Government relies on sales tax as its primary source of revenue. Of the approximately 7-8% that you pay in sales tax for every purchase, 1.6% goes to the County while the rest goes to municipalities and the state. Sales taxes help the County, municipalities and the state fund public safety and law enforcement services, courts, health services, transportation projects, regional park and recreation projects, and more. Since sales taxes are so important locally, I strongly urge you to Shop Local St. Charles County. The extra benefit is that you are helping our area business owners thrive in their own communities.

St. Charles County Government strives to maintain a conservative budget and has operated in the black for many years. We have practiced sound financial planning and controlled spending of taxpayer dollars, which has enabled us to address priorities, support services, invest in projects, and build reserves. It’s exciting to say that 2015 was a good year for growth, jobs and the economy as a whole in St. Charles County. As your County Councilman I will continue to do what I can to promote jobs, positive growth and keep taxes low in St. Charles County. Happy holidays to you and your family!