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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 5.06 Assessment Division

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.



Chapter 5.06
Assessment Division

Sections:

5.06.010 District Deputy Assessors Personal property tax assessment differences.
5.06.020 Employee appointments and bonds.
5.06.030 Clerks to act as deputies.
5.06.040 Assessment districts.
5.06.050 Chief Deputy Assessor.
5.06.060 District Deputy Assessor duties.
5.06.070 Architect and practical builder.
5.06.080 Board of Equalization payroll.
5.06.090 Payroll.
5.06.100 Appeals to Board of Equalization.
5.06.110 Tax levy annually.
5.06.120 Records showing basis of valuation.
5.06.130 Uniform standard unit value.
5.06.140 Depth table for lots varying from standard unit foot.
5.06.150 Corner influence table.
5.06.160 Unit value maps.
5.06.170 City block maps or plats.
5.06.180 Manual--Building classification--Lot sizes.
5.06.190 Manual--Corner influence rules.
5.06.200 Manual--Value explanations.
5.06.210 Field men to have manuals.
5.06.220 Field record cards--Use.
5.06.230 Field record cards--Contents.
5.06.240 Field record cards--Transfer of information.
5.06.250 Determination of true building value.
5.06.260 Uniform assessment system.
5.06.270 Comptroller's duties.
5.06.280 Assessor empowered to modify system.

For accounting control over assessments, see 5.04.080

For procedures allowing the office of the Assessor to comply with state statutes relating to postponed assessments of deferred maintenance improvements, see 5.26.100--5.26.140

Charter:

Art. XV 4 et seq. Assessment Division

5.06.010 District Deputy Assessors--Personal property tax assessment differences.

All District Deputy Assessors shall be under the control of and obey all orders emanating from the Assessor, and in addition to all other duties prescribed by the Charter and ordinances shall, after the first day of January in each year, and until the adjournment of the Board of Equalization examine the personal returns made by the taxpayers and other data. Should there be a material difference in the values of personal property as stated by the property holder and the District Deputy Assessor, it shall be the duty of the District Deputy Assessor to notify the owner that the difference exists and that the owner may be heard, giving time and place of the hearing, with the object in view of a more efficient and complete assessment. Should no agreement be reached between the owner and the District Deputy Assessor, or should the owner fail to appear before the District Deputy Assessor, then it shall be the duty of the District Deputy Assessor to notify the Board of Equalization in writing, that the owner has failed to make a proper return, and in the notice shall state the nature of the discrepancy.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 61: 1960 C. 126.010.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8901

5.06.020 Employee appointments and bonds.

The Assessor is authorized to appoint, in accordance with the Charter and ordinances of the City, one Chief Deputy Assessor, the number of Deputy Assessors and clerks as necessary, one valuation engineer, an architect, who shall be a practical builder and who shall be employed during the session of the Board of Equalization, and other assistants as necessary for the proper performance of the duties of his office. The Chief Deputy Assessor shall give bond in the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). The valuation engineer shall give bond in the sum of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00).
(1948 C. Ch. 23 62: 1960 C. 126.020.)

5.06.030 Clerks to act as deputies.

The Assessor may authorize clerks as necessary to act as deputies to take personal returns and administer oaths to the same, but they shall receive no additional compensation while so acting.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 63: 1960 C. 126.030.)

5.06.040 Assessment districts.

For the more convenient assessment of all taxable property, real and personal, within the City in the manner provided by law, the Assessor shall divide the City into suitable assessment districts and shall assign a district Assessor to each, and shall have power, as necessity or convenience requires, to alter and change the districts and to add thereto and to redivide the City into such districts, and shall likewise have power to change the assignments of District Deputy Assessors and to require any District Deputy Assessor to perform duties in other than their respective districts or elsewhere within the Assessment Division.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 64: 1960 C. 126.040.)

5.06.050 Chief Deputy Assessor.

The Chief Deputy Assessor shall be in all respects qualified by attainments and experience to conduct the operations of the Assessment Division and shall perform all duties of the Assessor during the absence of the Assessor from the office.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 65: 1960 C. 126.050.)

5.06.060 District Deputy Assessor duties.

It shall be the duty of the District Deputy Assessors to assess the property within the districts to which they are respectively assigned. They shall commence their assessment on the first day of June in each year and complete the same and make their final report to the Assessor on or before the first day of January next following. Each District Deputy Assessor shall enter the valuation of land and improvements against each lot or parcel of ground on his file plats and on the Assessor's office plats in a different colored ink for each year's assessment.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 66: 1960 C. 126.060.)

5.06.070 Architect and practical builder.

The architect and practical builder shall possess the qualifications of a member of the Board of Equalization and be experienced as an architect and practical builder of public and private edifices, and before entering on his duties he shall take and subscribe to an oath before the Register that he will faithfully and impartially estimate the cash value of each building referred to him by the board. He shall be in attendance every day during the session of the board except when absent on duty in reference to matters referred to him.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 67: 1960 C. 126.070.)

5.06.080 Board of Equalization payroll.

Immediately after the final adjournment of the Board of Equalization in each year the Assessor shall make out and certify a payroll and state therein the number of days actually served by each member of the board and the number of days served by its architect and practical builder, and the total amount each of them is entitled to receive as compensation in full for their services. He shall send the payroll to the Comptroller, who shall draw his warrant on the Treasurer for the amount and charge it to the account of the Assessment Division.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 68: 1960 C. 126.080.)

5.06.090 Payroll.

The Assessor shall certify to the Comptroller the payrolls of his division, whereupon the Comptroller shall draw his warrants upon the Treasurer, charging the same to the appropriation for the Assessment Division.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 69: 1960 C. 126.090.)

5.06.100 Appeals to Board of Equalization.

All appeals to the Board of Equalization must be in writing and verified by affidavit on blanks furnished by the Assessor, who is given authority to prescribe the questions to be answered on the blanks by the appellant.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 70: 1960 C. 126.100.)

Charter:

Art. XV 10 et seq. Board of Equalization

V.A.M.S.:

138.140--138.180 Board of Equalization in St. Louis City

Cases:

A taxpayer may waive notice of proposed increase in assessed valuation by Board of Equalization and appear to contest the increase, after which he cannot complain of insufficiency of notice. State ex. rel. Lindell Tower Apts. v. Guise, 206 S.W. 2d 320,357 Mo. 50.

There is a presumption of validity and a good faith in actions of county boards of equalization. May Dept. Stores Co. v. State Tax Commission, 308 S.W. 2d 748.

Board of Equalization of St. Louis County has only such power and jurisdiction as given by statute. Foster Bros. Mfg. Co. v. State Tax Commission, 319 S.W. 2d 590.

Appearance by a property owner before the Board of Equalization at the time fixed cured any defect in the notice to appear. State v. Bd. of Equalization, 165 Mo. 1047 (1914).

The Board of Equalization did not prejudge the amount of an assessment increase, where the notice proposed an increase to $90,000.00 but the board only increased it to $28,900.00. State v. Bd. of Equalization, 165 Mo. 1047 (1914).

5.06.110 Tax levy annually.

For the support of the city government, payment of the city debt and interest thereon, and for the improvement of the city, a tax shall be levied annually, to be fixed by ordinance, upon all property made taxable by the laws of the state, within the limits of the city.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 71: 1960 C. 126.110.)

For property tax rate, see Ch. 5.26

V.A.M.S.:

137.485--137.550 Property taxes

92.010 et seq. Generally, taxation in St. Louis and Kansas City

City Counselor Ops.: 8108, 8840, 8899

McQuillin:

38.89 et seq. Power to levy assessment

5.06.120 Records showing basis of valuation.

There shall be prepared and maintained by the assessor, as a permanent public record accessible to the public during office hours, suitable record cards upon which shall be recorded the various elements or the basis of valuation, which, among other factors, were taken into consideration in ascertaining and determining the true value, in money, each city lot or parcel of land and of each improvement thereon.

These cards shall have entered thereon the following substantiating information in regard to building and land, to indicate all facts requisite to the determination of the value of each lot or parcel and buildings thereon.

There shall be noted block number, lot number, street on which property fronts, and in case of corner lot, mention must be made of side street for consideration of corner factors, also the front and depth of lot, together with unit value and provision for entering depth and corner factor for the determination of final value. A provision on card should be made for acreage and for entering percentage of enhancing or detracting influence that would enter into valuation of land. To further substantiate any enhancing or detracting influence it shall be required to provide for recording the following information:

Lot--Level, high or low

Street--Asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, macadam, etc.

Alley--Asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, macadam, etc.

Improvements--Sidewalk, curb, water, sewer, gas, etc.

It is further directed that to enable the recording of building values, provision shall be made to permit the listing of a detailed description of each building, and for recording at least the following information:

Building--Single dwelling, double dwelling, duplex, bungalow, apartment, apartment hotel, flat building, club, elevator, factory, garage, gas station, hotel, mill, office, shop, store, theatre, warehouse, etc.

Foundation--Brick, concrete, concrete blocks, stone, etc.

Basement--Sub, full, part dirt floor, cement floor, laundry, or none, etc.

Construction--Brick, blocks, concrete, frame, mill, stone, tile, etc.

Exterior--Brick common, brick pressed, concrete, shingle, etc.

Plumbing--Modern, old style, open outside closet, toilet, city water, bath rooms, sewer, etc.

Roof--Board, gravel, iron, patent, prepared, shingle, shingle asbestos, slate, tile, etc.

Roof Style--Flat, gable, gambrel, hip, mansard, etc.

Porches--Brick, front side, sleeping, sun, etc.

Heating--Central station, fire places, furnaces, furnace, pipeless, furnished, gas, hot water, oil burner, steam, stove, vapor, etc.

Lighting--Combination, electric, gas, lamps, etc.

Miscellaneous--Bay windows, beam ceiling, billiard room, bookcases, cabinets, chimneys, china closet, elevator--hand, elevator--power, fire escape, indoor bed, mantles, refrigerator, sideboard, skylight, sprinklers, etc.

The permanent record card shall in addition to detailed description of building provide for recording following details in regard to garage:

Number of cars capacity, type, floor, roof, size, area, unit value and reproduction cost.

There shall also be provided on permanent record card in space properly designated, the building dimensions, size, style, height, cube, or area and provision is to be made for recording of condition of same whether good, fair or bad, also lack of utility or obsolescence.

The permanent record card shall further provide on its face, space for the purpose of recording number of rooms, and in case of apartments, the number of same and number of rooms in each, finished attic rooms, finished basement rooms, date completed, age and when and how remodeled. There shall be provided on permanent record card a space headed "building appraisal," into which shall be inscribed a square with cross rulings representing ten feet on a side. There shall be sketched size and location of building on lot, and size and position of porches and bays and recorded height from basement floor to top of wall.

The permanent record card shall provide space for the name of the owner of record as the same appears on the assessment book of each year, with space for recording transfers and date of same, and under the year of assessment shall be entered data from space of card listing land valuation, building and total valuation for taxation purposes.

There shall also be provided space on reverse side of card for name of deputy assessor, reasons for decreased assessment and reasons for increased assessment, space for sketching of irregular shaped lots and any additional information that the assessor may deem necessary to substantiate valuation.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 72: 1960 C. 126.120.)

5.06.130 Uniform standard unit value.

The assessor is directed to establish a uniform standard unit value for determining the true value in money of all city lots and parcels of land, which shall be designated as the standard unit foot and which shall be a strip of land one foot wide and one hundred twenty-five feet deep or other standard depth as shall be finally agreed upon and adopted.

This shall be done by determining the true value in money of the strip of land in the middle of each block extending one foot along the street frontage and at right angles to the street to a depth of one hundred twenty-five feet (or standard depth as varying conditions warrant) and the values so determined shall be the standard unit foot value to be considered, together with other factors, in determining the value of each lot or parcel of land in the block fronting on street.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 73: 1960 C. 126.130.)

5.06.140 Depth table for lots varying from standard unit foot.

The assessor shall establish a depth table for the purpose of assessing uniformly lots varying in depth from that of the established unit foot. The depth table shall set forth the percentage relationship which the standard unit foot value of lots of greater or less depths than the standard unit foot shall bear to the value of the standard unit foot and shall be based on Somers original curve of value.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 74: 1960 C. 126.140.)

5.06.150 Corner influence table.

The assessor shall also establish a corner influence table which shall express uniform rules for the determination of enhancing or detracting value of side street influence, also uniform rules for the determination of the influence of alley, railway or other enhancing or detracting elements.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 75: 1960 C. 126.150.)

5.06.160 Unit value maps.

The assessor shall prepare unit value maps representing areas of convenient size upon which have been entered the prescribed unit value of land for each block in the district together with the corner influence and depth table applicable to the districts for use if desired at community meetings for discussion of the unit foot value entered thereon.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 76: 1960 C. 126.160.)

5.06.170 City block maps or plats.

The assessor shall annually prepare city block maps or plats containing the assessment for land, buildings and improvements. These block maps or plats shall be posted in each block, or some place designated by the assessor, on or before the second Monday in March annually. Provision on these plats shall be made for designating a suitable place, for public meetings, to be called for the purpose of public discussion and community expression of opinion relative to the uniform methods used in arriving at the assessed valuations of the land and buildings.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 77: 1960 C. 126.170.)

5.06.180 Manual--Building classification--Lot sizes.

There shall be prepared by the assessor a schedule or manual classifying various types of buildings or structures by their use and construction with pictures or cuts of each representative type showing the uniform method of applying reproduction costs factors, previously determined by the square or cubic foot content of each type. The base reproduction price per square foot or cubic foot should appear beneath each picture. There shall be noted on bottom of each sheet additions and deductions because of variation from the standard type.

This manual shall further show with proper sketches set rules for the computation of values of lots of various sizes and shapes and describe the rules applicable thereto as follows:

Rule I Rectangular lots

To compute, multiply the unit value by the depth factor to obtain front foot value, multiply front foot value by lot frontage to obtain value of lot.

Rule II Back or no front lots

Use as depth factor the difference between the depth factors for the greatest and least distance from street.

Rule III "L" shaped lots

To compute, calculate as rectangular lot plus no front lot as outlined in Rule I and Rule II of this section.

Rule IV Lots with parallel sides irregular depth

Compute as for rectangular lot and use average depth for factor.

Rule V Triangular lots

With apex fronting on street compute one-third of base by depth factor represented by perpendicular depth.

Rule VI Triangular lots

With base fronting on street compute--use two-thirds of frontage on street by depth factor represented by perpendicular depth.

Rule VII Lots--Front and rear parallel (Street front greatest)

To compute, calculate difference between front and rear widths.

Reduce frontage by one-third of this difference. Then use perpendicular depth and compute same as rectangle.

Rule VIII Lots--Front and rear parallel (Street front less than rear)

To compute, add to frontage one-third of difference between rear and front width. Then use perpendicular depth and compute as rectangle.

Rule IX Lots--Sides parallel, front, rear and sides irregular

To compute. Lots with irregular widths and depths.

Use average lengths of two sides as depth, calculate frontage same as Rule VII, reduce frontage by one-third of difference between front and rear.

Rule X Irregular lots

Reduce to lots with parallel sides, or to triangles and proceed as outlined under rules governing previously stated.

Rule XI Lots fronting on curves

Reduce to equivalent rectangular, triangular or irregular shaped lot and compute under methods outlined in previous rules.

Rule XII Lots with depth greater than standard depth fronting two streets of different unit values

Compute as standard depth lot on high unit value street, add remainder as lot fronting on low value street with depth as indicated.

Rule XIII Lots with depth greater than standard depth fronting two converging streets of different unit value

To compute, follow method outlined above applying principle of parallel sides with unequal depths.

Rule XIV To compute valuation on lots with depths greater than two hundred feet extending through from high unit value street to low unit value street

Calculate lot of standard depth on low unit value street and add valuation on high unit value street for remainder of depth.

Rule XV To compute irregular lots extending through from street to street

Reduce to triangular lots and lots with parallel sides and compute as explained for through lots.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 78: 1960 C. 126.180.)

5.06.190 Manual--Corner influence rules.

The assessor's manual shall, for the purpose of uniformity in assessing, show definite rules for application of corner influence tables previously adopted.

The assessor shall not apply the corner influence table to residence corner lots where these lots have no value over inside lots in the judgment of the assessor.

The assessor shall in case of doubt as to proper classification of a street corner, permit the present building operation to control.

The assessor shall for the purpose of uniformity in applying corner influence tables set forth clearly in the manual, the corner influence factors applied to lots of various shapes and dimensions as follows:

Rectangular lot fronting high value street. Compute as inside lot on high value street, using depth factor. Compute lot on low value street, using corner factor, sum of these equals valuation.

Rectangular lot, narrow frontage on high value street and greater than standard depth. Compute: Calculate corner lot of standard depth on high value street, compute lot on low value street using corner factor and compute rear portion of lot which is portion greater than standard depth, as inside lot on low value street, sum equals valuation.

The assessor shall set forth in the manual the method to be used in the application of the corner influence factor for computing lots with irregular shape and unusual peculiarities and shall require that these rules be substantially adhered to in the computations necessary to arrive at value.

The assessor shall designate the method of procedure in the same clear manner as is outlined in the examples in this section.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 79: 1960 C. 126.190.)

5.06.200 Manual--Value explanations.

The manual shall set forth depreciation data and define its use. Such data shall provide for the allowance of depreciation for such factors as age, neglect and improper maintenance and lack of utility or obsolescence. Lack of utility shall be construed to include nonconvertibility, improper layout, adaptation and faulty design.

The assessor's manual shall explain enhancement of value due to remodeling or other causes.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 80: 1960 C. 126.200.)

5.06.210 Field men to have manuals.

The assessor shall supply field men with copies of the manual and instruct them in its use and application.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 81: 1960 C. 126.210.)

5.06.220 Field record cards--Use.

The assessor shall have printed convenient size record cards containing in abbreviated form space for recording data requisite for permanent record cards together with legal description of property to be used by deputy assessors in gathering required information.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 82: 1960 C. 126.220.)

5.06.230 Field record cards--Contents.

The assessor shall charge his deputies with obtaining the required information in the field, sketch in building dimensions, measurements, descriptions and classifications as per manual and state use and construction of same, and note all enhancing and detracting factors that would effect final value.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 83: 1960 C. 126.230.)

5.06.240 Field record cards--Transfer of information.

The assessor shall instruct that these field cards be returned to main office after buildings have been measured and appraised, where area or cubic contents shall be calculated and extended on cards.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 84: 1960 C. 126.240.)

5.06.250 Determination of true building value.

The reproduction cost shall be calculated and the age, condition or other factors extended on the cards under the supervision of a qualified building engineer to determine final true value in money of the building which is entered on permanent record cards.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 85: 1960 C. 126.250.)

5.06.260 Uniform assessment system.

The assessor shall continue the present method of assessment of property until all steps have been taken to install completely the uniform assessment system set forth in this chapter, in order that there shall be no delay in the assessment of property annually, at the time prescribed by law.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 86: 1960 C. 126.260.)

5.06.270 Comptroller's duties.

The comptroller, as head of the department of finance, shall prescribe forms and designate rules and regulations and require the observance thereof, for the purpose of maintaining proper accounting control over the books, bills and abstracts of the assessor's office. He shall make, or cause to be made, a continuous study looking to a further improvement and development of the method or system of assessments and shall in consequence of such study recommend to the board of aldermen proper amendments to this chapter.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 87: 1960 C. 126.270.)

Charter

Art. XV 16 Duty of comptroller as to erroneous assessments

V.A.M.S.:

137.525 Duties of city comptroller in assessment of property

Ops. Atty. Gen.:

Assessment lists and assessment books maintained in office of assessor of City of St. Louis are public records open to public inspection. No. 40, May 13, 1955.

5.06.280 Assessor empowered to modify system.

The assessment system set forth in this chapter shall be followed by the assessor assessing all land and buildings. However, if, in his judgment, any modifications are necessary in order to arrive at the true value, in money, of property he shall be authorized to make such modification.
(1948 C. Ch. 23 88: 1960 C. 126.280.)

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