ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Charles County Council passed a bill Monday night to lower various rates for taxpayers, a decision officials hope will reduce the strain of property taxes as used car values rise globally.

The county approved Bill No. 5100 for final passage, which decreases the costs owed for its road-bridge and dispatch-and-alarm funds.

As a result, St. Charles County is expected to lower the overall property tax levy for roads and bridges to 19.24 cents per $100 assessed value and the dispatch-and-alarm rate to 3.7 cents per assessed value. Those rates drop from 19.88 and 3.82 last years, respectively.

“This is our way of attempting to negate the burden on taxpayers caused by inflation and a drastically increased value of used vehicles,” St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said. “This is one small piece of your property tax bill, as there are several other taxing jurisdictions, but we encourage other municipalities and entities to consider the same approach.”

Ehlmann estimates that without the drop, these two taxes would have collected an additional $810,000 in county revenue created by the increase in used car values, some up more than 30% in Kelley Blue Book values from previous years. This change doesn’t necessarily apply to taxes owed to local municipalities in the county, such as St. Charles City or St. Peters.

“The property tax the county collects for roads and emergency communications is important to support the county’s infrastructure and public safety,” Ehlmann said. “We are set to maintain a trajectory of support and growth for these areas that is by no means negatively impacted by our voluntary effort to eliminate the revenue windfall that will result if we take no action.”

Under state law, city and county property taxes are finalized in the fall and are required to be paid by the end of the year.