A group of 16 counties says Ameren Missouri’s property within their borders is worth $103 million more than the utility claims, and both sides are gearing up for a long appeal in front of the state’s tax commission. At issue is a utility’s depreciation schedule, or how the utility writes down the value of an aging asset over time.
Ameren Missouri says it is just following new guidelines from the Missouri State Tax Commission on depreciation. Some county assessors want more clarity. “As assessors, we have a way of valuing houses and cars,” said Lincoln County Assessor Kevin Bishop. “But when you’re dealing with natural gas distribution, we’re kind of at the mercy of them to supply us good data.” ‘
Other utilities, including Laclede Gas Co., have also been affected by the change in guidelines. Laclede Gas has also appealed county valuations to the tax commission.