A property tax relief bill has been approved by the House and sent to Governor Blunt.

The House approved SB 711 on a 142-5 vote. The bill seeks to address a common complaint that arose after the last reassessment of property. Some county governments refused to roll back tax levies in accordance with state law.

Rep. Mike Sutherland (R-Warrenton), the House sponsor, says the outcry was heard across the state, but especially in St. Louis County. Sutherland says the bill will close a loophole exploited by local governments, including school districts, in which they reaped a windfall from reassessment, because they refused to roll back tax levies after reassessment raised property values. Sutherland says the bill will mandate that local governments roll back their tax rates.

The bill also enhances the state Circuit Breaker program. That program provides senior citizens property tax relief. The bill increases the maximum annual salary a senior citizen can earn to qualify for the Circuit Breaker from $27,500 to $30,000. The spousal exemption would double, from $2,000 to $4,000, which would allow a married couple to earn $34,000 and qualify. The maximum benefit from the Circuit Breaker would rise from $750 to $1,100.