JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Last week, we introduced you to longtime Contact 2 volunteer Steve Radinsky. He’s one of nearly 5,000 St. Louis County residents charged penalties and interest on their 2020 real estate taxes.
“It’s the pandemic’s fault, but I think all of us are getting a penalty and interest that was not our fault,” Radinsky said.
In early March, the Radinskys received a $714 bill from the St. Louis County Collector of Revenue. That’s when Steve learned the check—which he says he mailed December 27, 2020—wasn’t postmarked until January 2, 2021. Unfortunately for Steve and others in this position, state statute doesn’t provide a simple fix.
“They have a statute that says if the county was at fault in doing this, they could give me an appeal and they could refund my money. But because the federal government is at fault, they can’t do it,” Radinsky said.
Contact 2 called Missouri State Senator Jill Schupp about this issue.
“They are subject to a penalty and interest that I don’t believe they should be subject to,” she said.
Schupp worked to get an amendment on House Bill 271 in hopes of solving this problem for citizens like Radinsky. The legislation passed on Wednesday, just days before the session ends.
“I’m delighted this has happened and people who shouldn’t have been charged penalties and fees have an opportunity to get those back,” Schupp said. “Working alongside some House members, with my amazing staff, and with the people in the community, and people like you who let me know about the problem, we were able to find a solution that was reasonable.”
The bill has an emergency clause, so it will go into law as soon as Governor Mike Parson signs it. St. Louis County can then create a system to credit affected taxpayers on next year’s real estate tax bill.
“Everybody breaks even on this, nobody loses anything. Including the taxpayers who tried to do the right thing and who’s payment might have been slowed down due to the post office,” Schupp said.
It’s a rewarding resolution for the Contact 2 team. We’re grateful Senator Schupp worked to add this amendment and for the lawmakers who helped pass it. Interestingly, Schupp voted against the legislation, due to a separate, unrelated provision she opposed that was added to the final version of the bill.