Property tax relief could be coming to Missouri homeowners if the House and Senate can agree to language before the session ends Friday evening.

House sponsor, Rep. Mike Sutherland (R-Warrenton) has successfully guided the legislation to passage in the House. Now he must work against the clock to reach agreement with the Senate. Sutherland says a main feature of SB 711 enforces mandatory levy rollbacks after reassessment increases the value of property, something missing in current law that some counties exploited.

"That’s kind of a loophole within that law," Sutherland states in an interview with the Missourinet, "and that’s actually one of the things we’re trying to address in the bill is to close that loophole with taxing districts that each time reassessment happens they truly have to roll back their rates."

Legislators heard plenty of complaints from constituents that that didn’t happen after the last property reassessment. Complaints rolled in, especially from St. Louis County, that counties failed to rollback their property tax levies in accordance with state law. Sutherland says the bill would close the loophole those tax entities exploited.

Sutherland says no taxing entity is supposed to reap a windfall from reassessment, which he says occurred after the last reassessment. He says the bill cannot address past problems, but can keep them from recurring. The bill also gives taxpayers notice about increases and a right to challenge reassessment. Missing is a tax credit for senior citizens to offset steep property tax increases. Sutherland hopes to add that in talks with the Senate.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (1:10 MP3)