County taxpayers to pay price after casino tax assessments lower -

County taxpayers to pay price after casino tax assessments lowered

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By Curt Hudson By Curt Hudson

(KMOV) – St. Louis County taxpayers are taking a hit after a controversial decision to lower tax assessments for two casinos is now busting budgets at fire departments and school districts.

The county’s board of equalization cut assessments for Harrah’s by nearly $300 million. Between Harrah’s and River City Casino, about $12 million in tax revenue has suddenly disappeared.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman says the drastic cuts will impact everyone in the county, slashing revenue for various groups like the zoo and the Special School District.

The casinos appealed the assessments, which were dropped by the board of equalization.

River City dropped from a value of $280 million down to just under $170 million. Harrah’s dropped from $500 million down to $215 million.

The biggest impact is likely to be felt where the casinos are located and feed tax money to schools and fire departments. The Pattonville School District is still adding up damage, and in South St. Louis County, the small Hancock Place School District is looking at a big tax hike.

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