The Webster Groves City Council on Sept. 3 decided to remain neutral, for now at least, on a proposal by the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to allow the district to raise residential property taxes next year.
The council is prepared to support a sewer district increase on property taxes, with its funding option that would allow the city to use half the funds generated toward city projects.
MSD officials are making a similar proposal to communities throughout the district’s coverage area.
Webster Groves is located within three MSD taxing subdistricts: for operation, maintenance and construction improvement funds. Each subdistrict is authorized to levy a tax of up to 10 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.
In conjunction with voter approval of MSD’s Prop S in 2016 for operation and maintenance services, the tax rates in all these subdistricts are now set at zero, though the taxing authority remains.
However, MSD’s Prop S to voters in 2019 — to fund capital improvement projects and address issues related to flooding and erosion — failed at the polls, though Webster voters supported the proposal.
MSD officials say that if the taxes are reinstituted in Webster Groves, its three subdistricts could generate revenue to be used for construction of storm water capital projects within the city.
If reinstituted in Webster Groves, the property tax rates would vary depending on the subdistrict where a person lives. District rates previously were 7.8 cents per $100 in Deer Creek, 7.6 cents in Gravois Creek, and 6.7 cents in the Seminary Branch.
The owner of a $100,000 home in the Deer Creek subdistrict would pay an extra $14.82 a year if the tax is reinstituted. That cost would be an extra $14.44 in the Gravois Creek subdistrict and an extra $12.73 in the Seminary Branch subdistrict.
All three subdistricts that take in Webster Groves also include other cities. It’s possible that Webster would allow for the tax increases, while others cities would reject the proposal. Should that occur, MSD trustees would not approve tax increases in that area.