Lower Taxes

  • 58.75% Lower Residential Tax Rate.
  • Homeowners to Save Hundreds Of Dollars Per Year.
  • City of Hazelwood to Save More Than $600,000.

The Robertson Fire Protection District (RFPD) reduced its 2023 residential tax rate by 58.75%. This is expected to reduce the cost of emergency services to residents of the District and the City of Hazelwood, which pays for Robertson’s services for thousands of its residents, by more than half a million dollars. As a result, the owner of a $200,000 home in Bridgeton could see more than $500 a year of savings on their property tax bill.

“Economically, it is a challenging time for many of our residents. As a board, we must be financially responsible and look out for the safety and welfare of our residents and our fire district. Unfortunately, the City of Hazelwood has not been as responsible. They have given away millions of taxpayer dollars in corporate welfare through commercial TIFs, tax abatements and more. All of these corporate tax breaks result in our residents paying more in taxes for everything from schools and police to fire, rescue and paramedic services,” says RFPD Board Chair Joan Noel.

“The majority of the property in our fire protection district is commercial property, so these tax breaks dramatically impact our budget and our ability to operate. However, now that some of these City created initiatives are expiring, specifically the Missouri Bottom/370 tax abatement, we can take a substantial tax burden off our residents and the City of Hazelwood while continuing to provide the same quality emergency services,” says Noel.

The RFPD Board of Directors voluntarily rolled back the residential tax rate from $2.40 to .99-cents, a $1.41 decrease for the 2023 calendar year. This residential tax rate is now one of the lowest fire protection district tax rates in St. Louis County. It will result in an estimated $638,000 savings to the City of Hazelwood and the district's residents. The commercial rate of $2.47, agricultural rate of $2.57 and personal property rate of $2.63 will stay at their current levels.

“This decision by the RFPD Board shows our willingness to work with the City of Hazelwood to find a solution to the ongoing expensive legal battle they started in 2017,” says Noel.

In December 2017, the City of Hazelwood’s City Council passed a resolution that attempted to terminate the 1995 Fire Service Agreement between RFPD and City. Under the terms of the agreement, RFPD provides fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to Hazelwood residents who live within the District, and the City of Hazelwood provides payment for these services. The City pays for these services with tax revenue paid by the residents who live within the fire district and through other taxes and fees they collect. Approximately half of the RFPD is within the City of Hazelwood, and the City provides the District with nearly 50% of its funding as part of the Fire Service Agreement.

In 2021 the courts ruled that the City must continue to provide monthly payments to RFPD as described in the 1995 Fire Services Agreement, but a final decision on the case is still pending. A 2021 Missouri Supreme Court decision involving the Affton Fire Protection District and the City of Crestwood ruled in favor of the Affton Fire Protection District. The Court said the City voluntarily annexed the land in the fire district, and the City must pay the District the current Fire District tax rate that district residents voted on.