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A Publication of St. Charles County Government - January 2019

Top Five
Things to Know About St. Charles County This Month

1. How County Government Works for YOU

Executive Building

It’s a new year and that means a new budget for St. Charles County Government. Have you ever wondered how public safety, road repairs, health and other services you rely upon are funded?
Governments typically are funded by both sales tax and property tax. St. Charles County’s sales tax is 1.6 percent on the dollar, but the County currently does not collect property tax from residents. This is because the sales tax authorized by voters in 1979 required a rollback in property tax in years of significant growth in sales tax revenues. Additionally, sales tax growth during the 1990s population boom was so significant that the County started voluntarily rolling back the property tax rate further. By doing so, the County has saved taxpayers nearly $62 million in property taxes since 1990.
However, even with our community’s growth in population that shops in St. Charles County, the popularity of online shopping has meant smaller annual increases in the County’s sales tax revenue and little additional funds for the expansion of services. Three-quarters of one percent of the sales tax goes into the County’s General Operating Fund, which supports the primary functions of County government. From this fund, the County operates the Police Department, jail, provides for the operations of the Prosecuting Attorney's office, Public Health Department, and basic functions such as human resources, finance and technology. Other portions of sales tax support major road projects and capital expenditures, including the new Emergency Operations Center and police vehicles. Road maintenance and emergency communications/911 services are funded by separate taxes.
St. Charles County Government continues to budget conservatively and maintains reserves to operate within its means. However, because of the limited growth in sales tax and lack of property tax revenue, the County will be challenged in maintaining and expanding services as the community continues to grow. To learn more, view the 2019 budget online.

2. Online Filing Makes Personal Property Assessments Easy

Filing Assessment Online
Personal property assessment forms are hitting mailboxes by the end of this month. When you receive the form, be sure to look for the unique secure access code and link to conveniently file online. The link also is available through the Assessor’s website.

Why file?
  • Missouri law requires personal property owners to file every year. Those who fail to complete their assessment by March 1 can be charged a late-filing penalty up to $105.

  • Failing to file may delay the ability to renew or register license plates for a vehicle.
The Assessor uses the assessments to establish the value of all personal property within St. Charles County to assure the tax responsibility is distributed among the public. Using personal property assessments, as well as real estate assessments, the Collector of Revenue creates and distributes tax bills at the end of the year and collects the amount of tax established by the taxing authorities (school, city, fire districts, etc.) to each property owner. Additionally, personal property and real estate taxes support the County’s Road and Bridge fund for road maintenance and the Dispatch and Alarm fund for emergency services dispatching.

Download more information about how the assessment and taxing process works in St. Charles County.

3. Building a MAPP for a Healthier County


St. Charles County continuously ranks as one of Missouri’s healthiest counties and strives to be among the healthiest places to live and work in the U.S. This year, the Department of Public Health is leading a community-wide effort to ensure St. Charles County continues to reach that goal.
Through the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework, Public Health, community leaders and residents will be asked to identify priorities and outline a path toward reaching goals. The process will evaluate health resources available, identify health issues important to residents and businesses, and develop strategies to address community concerns.
More information is available online. Stay tuned to Public Health’s Facebook and Twitter for a link to complete a community health survey! For questions, please contact the department at 636-949-7400.

4. Say "I Do" in County Parks

Wedding at Old Peace Chapel
If you became engaged over the holidays, look no further than St. Charles County Parks for the perfect wedding site! From the sandy white beach of Klondike Park to the picturesque views from Quail Ridge Lodge and The Grand Pavilion at The Historic Daniel Boone Home, it’s easy to see why St. Charles County Parks were voted “Best of Weddings” by The Knot and “Best of Missouri” by The Wedding Spot! The natural, scenic landscapes and beautiful, affordable venues are perfect for couples looking for a unique place to host their special day.

Created in 1997, St. Charles County Parks are supported through a voter-approved local use tax. Learn more about weddings in County parks online and call 636-949-7535 or email to arrange a tour today!

5. GGL Spotlight: Handling Traffic During Holidays, Snow

View of Traffic in Snow

Unique traffic patterns during holidays and winter weather provide interesting challenges for St. Charles County’s Gateway Green Light (GGL) operators. Here are two examples of how they kept motorists on the go this winter:

  • Traffic patterns on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day are not the same as regular weekdays and weekends. With fewer vehicles and less congestion on the roads, normal daily traffic signal timing patterns are longer than necessary. This year, using GGL’s Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), operators programmed a special timing plan on lights in anticipation of the irregular traffic patterns. These changes shortened signal cycles and provided a more appropriate length of green light time to handle lower traffic volumes, reducing traffic signal delay and improving travel times.

  • Friday night rush hour started early on Jan. 11, 2019, with residents racing to get home ahead of the incoming winter snowstorm. In response, GGL operators adjusted traffic signal timing plans along several major corridors in St. Charles County, including Wentzville Parkway, Route K, Route N, Highway 94, and Mid Rivers Mall Drive, to accommodate. Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, GGL operators continued to monitor traffic and make necessary adjustments.

The GGL program, a cooperative traffic control initiative between St. Charles County Government, local municipalities, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), coordinates and synchronizes more than 300 traffic signals and other traffic control devices throughout the county. GGL operators monitor traffic conditions, identify problems, and implement changes when necessary to improve traffic flow. GGL is funded by the voter-approved half-percent Transportation Sales Tax. Visit the GGL website for more information.

On SCCMO-TV in January...

Click on the images below, or visit the SCCMO-TV YouTube channel or tv.sccmo.org, to watch recent County Council meetings, hear the latest local news and helpful information on County News Updates, see what's happening in County Parks, and more.

If finding a new job in the new year is one of your goals, don't miss the monthly edition of Job Source to see who's hiring in St. Charles County!

To view agendas and minutes from Council meetings, visit sccmo.org.

County News Update
County Council Meetings
Job Source

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

A Look Back with the County Executive

Road funding has long been a challenge in Missouri and certainly in St. Charles County. Since the early 1800s, local officials have made the case to the state and voters for investing in transportation infrastructure. I can count myself among them. St. Charles County is the third largest county in Missouri and still ranks as one of the fastest growing. We cannot afford to neglect our roads; however, funding for state roads in our county and throughout the state is a concern.
Since 2012, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has completed 14 major projects in St. Charles County at a cost of $195,925,000. Five of the 14 projects were constructed without having to contribute local dollars to the project and nine of the 14 were completed as a cost share partnership. Of these nine, 60 percent of the funding was provided by County and municipal funds (including federal funds secured by local entities). This is because MoDOT has chosen to concentrate on maintaining roads only, due to a lack of funding. Transportation funding in Missouri comes from a per-gallon fee on fuel, which has stayed the same regardless of the cost of fuel or the amount used. As vehicles have become more fuel efficient and inflation has shrunk buying power, MoDOT has not met the need to expand its system in St. Charles County and in other areas in the region. We are extremely fortunate that voters have reauthorized the half-percent Transportation Sales Tax three times, which provides approximately $20 million annually for road improvement projects. These funds have helped us work with MoDOT to fund the Page Extension, I-70 and Fifth Street improvements and more. Unfortunately, as our growth continues, we cannot afford to help maintain the state road and highway system.

This month and next, we’ll explore the history of our local road system to understand where we are today...MORE                  

Council Comments

Mike Klinghammer

Mike Klinghammer, District 6

January and February can be tough months in the Midwest. The holidays are over, the weather is cold, and the desire to stay indoors and hibernate is sometimes overbearing. But the good news is, we don’t have to! The winter months are a great time to enjoy St. Charles County Parks and say goodbye to cabin fever. Our Parks system, which is funded by a local use tax approved by voters in 1997, is open year-round for walkers, runners, hikers, bikers or any outdoor enthusiast...MORE


Calendar, Reminders and Directory

  • County government offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 18, for Presidents' Day.

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