Municipal Tax Rates
in St. Louis County, MO
Three principal sources of municipal revenue in St. Louis County are sales taxes, property taxes and taxes on utilities. Rates vary among the 91 cities in St. Louis County, but all cities receive a substantial portion of their revenues from these sources.
Sales taxes: Retail sales in St. Louis County are subject to state sales tax (4.225%), a transportation sales tax (0.5%), a mass transit sales tax for Metrolink (0.25%) a children's services sales tax (0.25%),and a Regional Parks and Trails sales tax (0.1%) plus a one percent (1%) local sales tax that is distributed among the 91 municipalities and St. Louis County. St. Louis County's share is based on the unincorporated population of St. Louis County. Thus, the base retail sales tax rate throughout St. Louis County is 6.325%. Local Sales Tax rates are monitored by the Missouri Department of Revenue, which is responsible for the collection of sales taxes.
Sales tax distribution: A complex set of rules governs the distribution of the one percent local sales tax in St. Louis County. Some cities, designated point-of-sale or "A" cities, retain most of the sales tax revenues collected from businesses within their boundaries. These are cities that had had local sales taxes before the countywide levy was enacted. Other cities, designated pool or "B" cities, share revenues with others in the pool on a per capita basis. Unincorporated St. Louis County is part of the pool. Legislation passed in 1993 provides for some sharing of revenues by point-of-sale cities: a sliding scale is used to calculate amounts contributed to the pool by point-of-sale cities. Finally, areas annexed by point-of-sale cities after 1995 remain in the sales tax pool. As a result, some cities have both point-of-sale and pool portions and are thus designated "A/B" cities.
Local sales tax rates: In addition to the one percent local retail sales tax that is collected countywide, there are five local option sales taxes that individual cities may levy. (1) The 1993 revenue reform legislation allows cities to levy an additional one quarter percent tax. Twelve and one-half (12.5) percent of that additional money is shared with the members of the one cent pool. (2) Cities may levy an additional 0.5 percent for capital improvements projects. For this tax, cities elect to participate in a revenue-sharing pool or retain 85 percent of revenue generated by this tax. (3) Another 0.5 percent sales tax may be levied for park and stormwater projects. (4) A .25 percent fire protection service sales tax for cities with fire protection responsibilities. (5) Up to 0.5% sales tax for economic development purposes If all of the above taxes are levied by a given city, the total retail sales tax rate is 8.325 percent. In addition, Transportation Development Districts can levy up to 1% in sales tax, and Community Improvement Districts can levy up to 1% in sales tax.
Property taxes: Most but not all St. Louis County municipalities levy a property tax for municipal purposes. Part of the reason for the wide range of municipal rates from zero to $1.27 is that twenty cities have their own fire departments paid for out of city revenues while most of the rest obtain their fire protection and ambulance service from fire protection districts which have separate property tax levies. A few cities use municipal revenues to contract for fire service from neighboring municipalities or fire protection districts. Cities also vary as to what services they pay for with city revenues; trash collection and parks and recreation services in some cases are provided at city expense and in many cases are not. Most cities tax personal as well as real property. Those which do not are indicated in the table as excluding personal property.
Utilities gross receipts taxes: Cities in Missouri are authorized to levy these taxes on utility bills paid to electric, gas, telephone, water and sewer companies. Cities have not levied them on sewer charges, however. For cities there is no maximum rate. Villages levy these charges on the electric utility only at a maximum rate of two percent. Some cities have different rates on different utilities, and some have different rates for residential and non-residential customers.