Amendment 1 means nothing to many Missourians
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Amendment 1 means nothing to many Missourians

Date: October 13, 2010
By: Allison Blood
State Capitol Bureau

While Missourians are preparing to vote in November, most will not have to worry about voting on Amendment 1. Allison Blood has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  2:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Amendment 1 may not end up effecting any Missourians.

The Amendment would require charter counties to elect, rather than appoint their assessors.

Missourians in St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jackson County and Jefferson County live in charter counties.

As it stands now, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties already elect their assessors, and in August, St. Louis County voted to begin electing their assessors in April of 2011.

Jackson County, the final county remaining, is currently exempt from this amendment because of their population.

The provision exempts any charter county with a population of between 600 and 700 thousand citizens from this amendment.

According to 2008 Census data, Jackson County had just over 668 thousand people.

St. Louis County Republican Senator Eric Schmitt proposed this measure as a Senate joint resolution last year.

He says he purposely didn't include Jackson County in the legislation because he's a representative for St. Louis County, not Jackson County.

Actuality:  SCHMITT3.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: "Personally, I think that would be a good thing, but I'll let Jackson County uhm, deal with that. I went up there as an elected representative from St. Louis County, that was really my main goal, and at the end of the day that's what we've been able to accomplish and I'm proud of that."

Scmitt says even if Jackson County fails to meet the population exemption, it probably won't be subect to the amendment.

SOT exemption

Schmitt says this legislation made more sense for St. Louis County a year ago.

Actuality:  SCHMITT1.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "2009 when I went up there, and we actually got it on the ballot for 2010, it was the first opportunity to get it on the ballot, so since then, now, people are going to be voting on it even though it's already been voted on in St. Louis County, but you sort of have to look at this in context of when we actually got it on the ballot last year."

Assessors are in charge of determining the property values of both real and personal property within their district.

Randy Turley of the State Tax Commission says it's his office's job to oversee that the assessors are doing their job.

Actuality:  TURLEY1.WAV
Run Time:  00:06
Description: "The assessor values all the property in the county, the real property and the personal property."

He says he hasn't seen any difference in the accuracy of assesments between elected and non-elected assessors.

Schmitt stands behind his legislation saying it solidifies the accountability of the property assessors.

Actuality:  SCHMITT4.WAV
Run Time:  00:19
Description: "We've had a decade of problems with that office, wheather it was tax increases under the viel of reassessment, reassessment numbers not relefcting housing market downturns or an unresponsive appeals process or most, what garnered the most attention was inflated driveby assessments which we had several years ago."

Schmitt says he looked to St. Charles County when he formulated this legistlation.

Actuality:  SCHMITT5.WAV
Run Time:  00:07
Description: "That elected assessor in St. Charles County has been acknowledged by the tax commission and an UMSL study as the most accurate in the state."

So no matter how Missourians vote on Amendment 1, Schmitt's goal has already been realized.

From Jefferson City, I'm Allison Blood.