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Tax Loophole For St. Louis County Country Clubs Has Homeowners Paying More

A loophole reportedly allows private country clubs in West County to pay less taxes, affecting what school districts like Parkway receive and forcing homeowners to pay more. Watch KMOV's story here.

According to a recent news report by KMOV invstigative reporter Chris Nagus, private country clubs in Missouri receive a "sweetheart deal" which allows them to pay less in taxes.

(View Chris Nagus' report on KMOV here.)

As a result, homeowners pay more in taxes and school districts, including the Parkway School District, receive less money for education.

According to Nagus' report, Ballwin's Meadowbrook Country Club, Bellerive Country Club and Westwood are all located within the Parkway school district. He said Parkway is losing $218,850 a year due to the loophole.

Parkway School District Board President Beth Feldman is interviewed in the KMOV report. She points out that any extra money would help Parkway because the district cut eight million dollars from its budget last year and will likely make additional cuts.

Nagus said in his report that there are 16 private country clubs in St. Louis County that receive the tax advantage due to an old court ruling. The law allows the country clubs to pay taxes based on residential codes, instead of paying commercial taxes.

County Assessor Jake Zimmerman said the loophole is unfair and is calling on the Missouri legislature to change the law.

What do you think about the loophole? Tell us in the comments below.

Anne Gassel November 10, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Sure would have sounded different if you would have said, "Parkway could receive an extra $218k a year if the laws and zoning codes were different." Parkway currently is not entitled to that money so they are not losing it. With the state's economy in a slump, every school district is looking for additional money. Painting a group as bad guys because they have been following the law for years and it was a non-issue when you didn't need their money, is just more class warfare. Should the law be changed? You better find out what all would be impacted if you did so before you answer. Country Clubs are under a unique set of regulations that limit what they can do, such as no advertising for members, in exchange for this tax status. If you change the tax status, those limitations (and others) would likely go away. It would be far more useful to ask this question about legislative action once all the facts are known.

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