Protest Demonstration to be Held at Alton Court House, Monday July 13- 10 am to 2 pm- Massive Tax Increase in Oregon County
A peaceful demonstration will be held to protest excessive property tax increases in Oregon County Monday, July 13, from 10 am to 2 pm at the Oregon County Courthouse in Alton, Mo. According to Mike Slack, co-chair of the Commonsense Property Rights Coalition, the membership overwhelmingly voted to hold the demonstration at their regular meeting held July 6.
“Property taxes have increased for many people 50% up to 100%, with one resident stating his have risen by 300%.” Slack said. “While our members understand the need for local taxes, this situation is unusual. Our Assessor says this increase is being forced on him by the State Tax Commission. We asked the Assessor to attend our recent meeting and take questions from the public, but he declined. It is evident to us that the unelected State Tax Commission is bullying our elected officials into raising taxes by a massive amount while the country is in a recession, while Oregon County is listed as the poorest county in the state, and while Oregon County is one of the three counties with lowest land value in the state. The Tax Commission says they are applying ‘fair market value’ which is a very subjective term. Real estate in Oregon County takes longer to sell, and we believe they are applying standards valid in other counties, but not in ours. Additionally, by state law property taxes can only be raised above 15% when all properties have been legally appraised. Driving by and taking a picture does not count as an appraisal” Slack said.
“An interesting thing about our protest is that it is to provide support to our County elected officials, encouraging them to stand up to abuse of the system by the State government. The PRC exists to protect the property rights and Constitutional rights of citizens following the idea Thomas Jefferson espoused when he said ‘The only purpose of government is to safeguard the rights of citizens.’ In a recent poll we discovered that 90% of our members are either military veterans, or the spouse of a military veteran.”