A new law that went into effect earlier this week offers property tax relief to seniors in Missouri. However, it is up to the counties to approve the property tax breaks. Moreover, the relief will only be available on the primary residences of people aged 65 and older.
Property Tax Relief To Seniors In Missouri: Who Will Get It?
On Monday, a new Missouri law went into effect, called the Senate Bill 190. This bill spares senior homeowners in the state from rate hikes on property taxes.
Essentially, the new law freezes the property assessment for seniors to ensure their tax bill doesn’t increase with the usual increase in the assessment value. This would prove extremely helpful to seniors as they mostly live on fixed incomes.
Several Missourians have witnessed a significant spike in their 2023 property value assessments, which is the basis of property tax rates. The jump in property value assessments is directly related to the state’s real estate market boom.
As noted above, the freeze on property tax rates would only be available on the primary residences of seniors eligible for social security. It means the property tax relief to seniors in Missouri wouldn’t apply to teachers, firefighters and other public employees who don’t collect Social Security but receive pensions.
In addition to property tax relief to seniors in Missouri, the new legislation ends state taxes on Social Security benefits starting next year. Presently, Social Security recipients pay taxes only if their income is over $85,000 annually ($100,000 or more for couples filing jointly).
The income tax relief is available to all seniors. Missouri is one of 11 states that taxes Social Security benefits.
Although the legislation received widespread bipartisan support (passed the Republican-led House by 154-2), some raised questions over the bill’s potential loss of revenue of $319 million a year. Many also blamed Governor Mike Parson’s broad fiscal policies for the significant drop in state revenue going forward.
What Do Counties Have To Say?
As for how counties stand on the new law, St. Louis County, which rejected the plan last month, is now reconsidering the plan to offer a property tax break to senior homeowners.
St. Charles and Jefferson Counties favor tax breaks but still have some issues to work out, including if the tax freeze applies to all taxing districts in a county.
Jackson County’s executive suggested hiring a consultant to develop a better way to implement the new law. Meanwhile, the county legislators have proposed two ordinances to implement the new law.
The Clay County Commission is still studying the new law to develop the best plan to implement it. Similarly, Platte County is also interested in implementing the new law.
In case counties don’t implement property tax relief, the residents in that county can gather enough signatures to put the topic on a ballot for voters to decide.
This article originally appeared on ValueWalk
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