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Editor,

I recently opened my mail and discovered a notice from the board of equalization. The notice said that the property value on my home almost doubled. This was a terrible shock. I'm sure this has happened to many hundreds of other St. Francois county residents. I have discovered the cause of this terrible injustice and will attempt to share my discoveries.

There are two main reasons for this injustice. The first being the State of Missouri enacted a terrible law many years ago which allowed them to tax our property at one hundred percent of its market value or we face a penalty. The second reason is a culmination of circumstances between the local prison, developers, and the public schools. I will discuss the second cause in my next letter.

The state law is intended to force property owners who bought their land decades ago out of their homes in the name of progress. When developers built big houses and apartment buildings all around you, your property values will increase exponentially and the higher property values will raise your property taxes. The county tries not to raise property taxes to one hundred percent of market value knowing that it could force many elderly and disabled residents out of their homes.

This unfair law must be changed or property taxes will grow out of control. We can put the blame for this on our state senator Gary Romine and our state congressman Mike Henderson. I called Mr. Henderson's office and the response was cold hearted and uncaring. Since all the funds for property taxes goes into the public schools and Mr. Henderson is a retired public school employee, he doesn't care if our property taxes go up as long as the public schools receive theirs and the state takes a little off the top for the property tax penalty. We need a two percent moratorium on all property tax increases We also need to repeal the states intrusive property tax law. If Mr. Romine and Mr. Henderson refuse to act they should be voted out of office.

John Stagg

Farmington

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