Typically, but not always, conservative Republican counties support senior citizens over the interests of taxing authorities like school districts, and fire districts who oppose SB 190. These conservative counties (Camden County, Clay County, Laclede and Miller County) broadly interpret SB 190 to include as many seniors as possible.
Typically, Democrat counties, and many rural Republican counties, support taxing authorities over senior citizens. These Democrat counties (Greene County, Jackson County, St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and Republican counties like St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin, Texas, Taney and others) adopt narrow interpretations of SB 190 or don’t pass the bill. They don’t include all seniors. They artificially set older age limits, and use means testing, which aren’t allowed by the law, to disqualify seniors based on income or value of the primary residence in question.
Lessons we’ve learned this year about SB 190
MO Tax Relief Now has been working with almost 40 counties across Missouri helping residents get SB 190 implemented in their counties.
Typically, conservative Republican counties support senior citizens over taxing authorities like school districts, and fire districts who oppose SB 190. These conservative counties [St. Charles County, Camden County, Clay County, and Miller County] broadly interpret SB 190 to include as many seniors as possible.
Typically, liberal Democrat counties support taxing authorities over senior citizens. These Democrat counties (Greene County, Jackson County, St. Louis County, St. Louis City) adopt narrow interpretations of SB 190. They don’t include all seniors. They artificially set older age limits, and use means testing, which aren’t allowed by the law, to disqualify seniors based on income or value of the primary residence in question.
A half dozen counties are gathering signatures for a petition drive because their County Councils (both Republican, Taney County, Howard County, Cooper County, and Democrat, Boone) won’t support the senior property tax freeze. A successful county-wide petition drive needs someone to take ownership to lead. State Representative Cheri Toalson-Reisch, District 44, is leading the petition drive in Boone County. She receives good support from the local media who cover the petition story. These media stories help Representative Reisch find recruits who collect signatures with her.
In Taney County, Josh Smith, leads the charge. He’s an experienced campaigner who has led petition drives before. He has received some media coverage, but Smith primarily relies on an extensive personal network and word-of-mouth in hairstyling salons and other small businesses like coffee shops.
MO Tax Relief Now will help you get SB 190 implemented in your county. Reach out to our directors.
Who qualifies to have their property taxes frozen?
All seniors qualify when they reach the age of 62 which would qualify them for Social Security if they had Social Security. This includes teachers and railroad workers.
What is considered to be the primary residence?
A primary residence is considered to be the single legal home address in Missouri that a senior lives at more than six months each year. A primary residence doesn’t refer to second homes, investment property like rentals, or commercial property that a senior may own.
What does a freeze on a property taxes mean?
When you reach the required age, the amount of taxes you paid that year will be frozen for as long as you live in that home. If you move to a new home, your taxes will be frozen at the amount you paid at that time you buy your new home. These “frozen taxes" will remain in effect if the surviving spouse is at the required age until she or he sells, leaves, or dies while living in the primary residence.
Why do seniors need a freeze on their property taxes?
Seniors live on fixed incomes, and an ever-increasing share of their income is spent on healthcare as they age. It is financially difficult for them to manage ever-increasing property taxes due to assessment increases based on unrealized capital gains. Seniors fixed incomes are more heavily burdened by inflation and downturns in the economy than their younger counterparts. Seniors deserve the opportunity to remain in their homes instead of moving into nursing homes as long as their health allows them to stay. Neighborhoods benefit from the diversity seniors provide. Often seniors provide many hours of volunteer work to their community’s churches, hospitals, and schools.
If we freeze property taxes for seniors, will it give them an unfair tax advantage?
The tax freeze gives seniors an advantage at a critical financial time in their lives. Missouri wants to be known as a leader who appreciates the stability and positive influence seniors bring to its state. It’s not an unfair advantage because every Missouri citizen will be a senior in the future, and they will be eligible for this freeze also. Most seniors have paid property taxes for 40+ years. They shouldn’t have to worry about paying ever-increasing property taxes to stay in their homes.
Will a senior’s property taxes go up if a higher tax rate is voted on and passed?
No, a senior’s tax bill will stay the same. If higher tax rates are voted on and approved, higher rates won't be applied to the frozen property taxes.
Will taxing districts who rely on property taxes see a drop in revenue?
No, a taxing body will not see a loss in revenue. However, they won’t see the amount of revenue gains they had seen. If a taxing body feels it needs a larger budget, they can go to the voters and ask for the increase. Nothing in this law prevents taxing bodies from asking voters to approve an increase in their revenue.
Will seniors be able to appeal their property value assessments?
Yes, if a senior feels their frozen assessment is too high, in the case of a market collapse, they can appeal their assessment value just like any other property owner. If the senior wins the appeal, this value will become the new frozen assessed valuation.
Can seniors sell their homes and buy different homes? Will they lose their right to freeze their property taxes?
Yes, seniors can sell their primary residence to right-size for their changing life situations. In this case, the property tax freeze will be applied to their new home’s taxes immediately upon purchase.
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MO Tax Relief Now needs your help. We are building a network of 10,000 Missourians who will help stop state, county and local taxing authorities from taking more and more of our hard-earned money. Enough is enough. Government needs to spend our tax money more efficiently and put its citizens first. Sign up today. We will email updates to you.