Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Dan Atwill
Boone County Presiding Commissioner
Phone: (573) 886-4307

County Recognizes Dykhouse for Work on Ameren Litigation

Local Schools to Receive More Than $2 Million in Withheld Funds

October 31, 2019 – The Boone County Commission recognized Boone County Counselor CJ Dykhouse on Thursday afternoon in honor of his successful litigation against Ameren Corporation, a St. Louis-based conglomerate of power and energy companies. As a result of Dykhouse’s work, Boone County will distribute more than $2.8 million in revenues on Friday to 25 school districts and public entities throughout the county.

Ameren first filed an untimely complaint with the Boone County Board of Equalization in 2018 disputing the valuation of its natural gas distribution system in Boone County. Ameren has filed a similar complaint in at least 16 other Missouri counties. When the County’s Board of Equalization refused to extend its deadline for appeals, Ameren appealed that decision to the Missouri State Tax Commission. After an extensive review process, the Tax Commission handed down its decision in September. Ameren was given another 30 days to appeal that decision, which is now final.

As a result of the Tax Commission’s decision, the County will now distribute Ameren’s 2018 property tax payments which had been held in escrow by Boone County Collector Brian McCollum.  On Friday, McCollum will disburse funds to all affected public entities including a payment of $1,784,357.28 to Columbia Public Schools, $246,522.98 to Southern Boone County R1 Schools, $114,945.90 to the City of Columbia, $109,119.04 to the Columbia/Boone County Library District and $85,668.84 to the Centralia R6 School District. In all, more than $2.8 million will be disbursed to 25 public entities that normally receive a percentage of Boone County property taxes.

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman praised Dykhouse’s work, saying “Columbia Public Schools is grateful for Mr. Dykhouse’s leadership, expertise, and persistence in getting this matter resolved to the benefit of our more than 18,000 students.”

Christopher Felmlee, Superintendent of the Southern Boone County R1 school district, said “the Southern Boone School District appreciates the settlement negotiated by County Counselor CJ Dykhouse against Ameren. The funds come at a critical time when residential developmental is the predominant growth development in our community and while the district is investing heavily in teachers to maintain the lowest possible student to teacher ratio in the county.”

The Boone County Commission presented Dykhouse with a proclamation honoring his legal work in defending the county’s position in this litigation. Several representatives from local taxing entities were also on hand to celebrate the outcome of Dykhouse’s work. Dykhouse became County Counselor in 2008 after working in private practice for a number of years.

“A lot of other counties would have chosen to seek outside counsel for an issue of this magnitude but we knew CJ would be diligent in his efforts to pursue a positive outcome,” said Dan Atwill, Boone County Presiding Commissioner. “That’s just the way CJ works and the citizens of Boone County owe him a debt of gratitude for his outstanding work.”