The Southeast Missourian Reports that 16 Counties including Cape Girardeau County are still in a legal battle with Ameren Missouri over a natural-gas distribution lines assessment. Millions of dollars in property taxes still remain in escrow and local government can’t touch it. Ameren is arguing that property taxes are too high but assessors say that depreciation is factored in, and they are following state law. They also say that about $13 million combined in the 16 counties is being held in escrow and the money increases by about $3.5 million a year. Ameren’s vice president for external affairs and communications, Warren Wood said Ameren paid about $591 million in property taxes. Only $8.6 million of that is in dispute, or less than 1.5 percent. Ameren says they are taking its case for the 2014 and 2015 tax years before the Tax Commission later this year, but they still may not be out of the woods yet.