WHAT ARE YOU, CLARKSON VALLEY?
Recently a citizen called me, not real happy.
Her concerns were two: 1) why Clarkson Valley's real estate tax was so
much higher than Chesterfield's, and 2) what do citizens get for their Clarkson
Valley taxes? These are legitimate
concerns and as we talked, I realized there must be many other citizens
wondering about the same thing. I did a little research about other cities taxes and would
like to share the information. How
does your city compare to others in West County?
After all, Clarkson Valley owns nothing, i.e. no streets to repair, no
buildings to maintain, etc. So what
about those taxes you pay that are directed to the city?
How do they compare to other cities' rates; what does the city provide
you, the citizen; and are they doing so with efficiency?
The total tax rate used to determine your tax bill is
composed of many governmental entities; Rockwood School District, fire district,
metropolitan zoo, county services, etc. and Clarkson Valley.
The residential real estate rate for Clarkson Valley is $.129 per $100.00
assessed valuation. For a home
assessed at $500,000.00 located in Clarkson Valley, the tax would be $122.55
while the same assessed value home in Chesterfield would be a $57.00 -
difference of $65.55 a year. Clarkson
Valley provides trash pickup at no charge to the residents - but more on that
Let's compare what other taxes you pay versus other cities:
Percentage of your bill added to your total bill:
Chesterfield Ballwin Ellisville Wildwood Clarkson Valley
Water 5% 5% 7% 5% 0%
Telephone 5% 5% 7% 5% 0%
Gas 5% 5% 7% 5% 0%
Electric 5% 5% 7% 5% 2%
As you can see, the amount of tax dollars paid within each
city differs greatly. This is as it
should be. Chesterfield and the
other municipalities shown above have streets, buildings, maintenance
requirements to meet, etc.
Why was the City of Clarkson Valley formed?
And what have we evolved into? The
city was originally founded as a Village in 1950.
The basic reason was protection of property values, one-acre lots,
residential in a country setting. In
1987 the citizens voted to change our status to a city of the fourth class under
Missouri state law. This meant a
Mayor/Board of Aldermen-type government with city wards, etc.
The city has three primary responsibilities (functions): 1) safety of
individual citizens and their property, 2) protection of citizens' property
values, 3) environmental protection. What
1) Safety of citizens and their property.
We pass ordinances to ensure the appropriate law enforcement agencies -
mainly the police - have the ability to provide safe living conditions
throughout the city. We have a
police officer in our city full time with more than adequate backup as required.
We have our own municipal court, judge, prosecuting attorney and clerk.
2) The city has maintained its fundamental plan of one-acre
residential lot sizes (the only exceptions are the lots at the corner of
Clarkson Road and Clayton Road). Our
building code ordinances are strictly enforced, as are our land use ordinances,
i.e. construction inside the building lines.
These ordinances have served us well.
And today, some of the finest homes with beautiful surroundings can be
found in Clarkson Valley.
3) City ordinances addressing such environmental issues as
noise pollutions, general nuisances, and solid waste management are in force.
We provide twice-weekly trash pickup, once a week recycling and yard
waste pickup at no charge. Remember,
it is not necessary to take your trash to the curb.
They will pick it up at your garage door.
Note: please continue to recycle.
Is the city a good steward of your money?
I will take another time to give you an itemized review of the city
budget. However, I think you can
get a real feel for where your money goes by looking at our expense budget for
July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. Total
expenses for this year are just under $1 million while the police ($360,732.00
and trash ($381,888.00) amounts totaled $742,620, or 76% of our total expense.
We were able to reduce this year's trash expense by 20% beginning October
2006 with a new hauler (we hear a lot of good things about their service).
We have been running a budget deficit for the last three years as
expenses continue to outpace revenues. As
you know, this type of trend cannot continue for long.
We invite you to visit our website at www.clarksonvalley.org to review
services provided and the budget, and welcome your suggestions and/or questions,
We thank you for your support of your city and I hope this
brief explanation will assist you in understanding why your city does what it
does. See you at our next Board
Meeting - the first Tuesday of each month.
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