St. Charles County residents upset over 'drive-by assessors'


by Staff

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 1 at 6:00 PM

ST. CHARLES COUNTY ( – Residents of St. Louis County have long complained about drive-by home assessments, and now may have some company.

St. Charles County residents are sharing in the displeasure as they watch assessors drive by their home.

“She pulled off, looked at the house, put something in and moved on,” said resident Chuck Schubert. “You can’t assess overall quality of a home just by the front side of it.”

Schubert has lived in the same house for 30 years. He says seeing assessors spend minimal time, then watching his tax rates increase have been driving him nuts.

“I’ve seen my assessment increase according to market, but not decrease according to market,” he said.

According to St. Charles County Assessor Scott Shipman, his office uses a computer data system—with aerial pictures, lot and property measurements and a record of home improvement permits to provide an overall value to the home.

But getting out of the car isn’t part of the protocol.

“Our assessors get asked questions every day out in the field; they are absolutely doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Shipman said.

According to the Assessor, there’s simply too much property and not enough time to do it any other way.

“[a]Thousand parcels to review every two years,” he said. “Just logistically the cycle would never be complete.”

Most counties in Missouri use a similar system of mass appraisal, but Shipman reminds homeowners that his assessment is not the only factor in the final tax rate.