The legislature will again look bills that would help protect seniors and the disabled from getting taxed out of their homes.
Senator Jane Cunningham of St. Louis County is proposing legislation that would prevent assessed tax valuation on homes from being increased until it gets sold. The bill also contains certain exemptions for those over 55. The Department of Education is watching the bill … which was also filed last year … since schools depend on tax revenue to operate.
Legislative analyst Mark Van Zandt says tax legislation is always a balance.
“From a policy point of view, tax legislation is always a balance … schools could not be dependent just from payments from those who directly benefit from them; from a larger view, everyone benefits from public schools,” he says. “The question is what should be the level of that contribution?”
Van Zandt points to laws already on the books, such as the circuit breaker statute, but says “many folks in their later years just don’t have the financial resources to continue to pay a sustained amount in terms of property taxes so the legislature has to again find that balance.”
The legislature convenes for regular session Jan. 6.
The bill filed, SB 671, limits increases in assessed value of residential real property, not subject to transfers of ownership, during reassessment years to the lesser of the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the Midwest Region or 2 percent. Residential real property will only be subject to reassessment upon a transfer of ownership. Certain transfers between family members and transfers made by people age fifty-five and older would not trigger reassessment.
Cunningham’s bill also says taxpayers may dispute assessed values by hiring appraisers who meet certain accreditation requirements. Appraisals provided by such appraisers will form the basis for determining assessed value. This act subjects all school districts in the state to the property tax rate roll-back requirements created by the enactment of Senate Bill 711 (2008). Her bill is identical to Senate Bill 501, which was filed last year.