Mt’neer Strong proposal will have some impact on farmers

Steve Chapman

On April 2, Mt. Vernon residents will go to the polls and decide whether to pass Proposition Mt’neer Strong; a $10-million loan that the district would take out to pay for several improvements to its facilities.
The loan would be paid for with a $0.35 tax levy per $100 of assessed personal property, raising personal property tax from $0.57 to $0.92 per $100 assessed valuation.
Mt. Vernon farmers would see an increase on their property tax, the extent depending on what grade of soil is found on their land. Doug Bowerman, Lawrence County assessor, said soil is graded numerically, and the higher the soil grade’s number, the lower its value. Most soil found in Lawrence County is graded at four or six, though grades two, three, five, seven and eight are also found in the county.
To give an idea of how the levy would impact Mt. Vernon farmers, Bowerman provided scenarios where one farmer might own 40 acres of grade four soil, and another farmer might own 40 acres of grade six soil. The farmer with 40 acres of grade four soil currently has a tax bill of $64.41 per year. If the tax levy passes, that goes up to $71.20 per year. The farmer with 40 acres of grade six soil currently pays $23.43 per year; the tax levy would increase that amount to $25.90.
Bowerman also said the assessor’s office has no say in how farmland value is determined. Rather, that is decided by the Missouri State Legislature, which uses recommendations from the State Tax Commission. The tax commission, in turn, uses a study performed by the University of Missouri.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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