Republicans and Democrats who serve on a Missouri House interim committee studying local taxation expressed concern about rising property taxes for senior citizens, during a Wednesday hearing in Jefferson City.
State Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa, who serves on the House Special Interim Committee on Oversight of Local Taxation, also wants to protect those on fixed incomes.
“Even though you may buy a home, pay the loan off in 30 years, you still never own that home because if you don’t pay your (property) taxes, the state can come in or the county will come in and take your home,” Taylor tells committee members.
Taylor describes that as “thievery.” He says elderly residents have paid their homes off and that it’s difficult for them to pay their property taxes.
There is bipartisan support on the committee on the issue. State Rep. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, says it’s difficult for seniors in her district to pay increasing property taxes.
“We have to protect those people that are older so that they don’t lose their homes,” Washington tells the committee.
She also says abatement is an issue in her Jackson County district.
State Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis County, echoes Representative Washington’s concerns. Murphy says Missouri’s property tax assessment system isn’t fair. Murphy and Washington both note a $2 million Missouri home was valued at $190,000.
Committee Chairman J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, agrees. He says many seniors don’t have the ability to pay higher property taxes.
The committee held its final hearing of 2019 on Wednesday at the Statehouse. They also held four previous hearings during the interim.
The committee also discussed property tax increases in Jackson County. Eggleston showed a map to the committee, saying Jackson County has seen major increases. Washington says that’s because assessments hadn’t been done properly before the current Jackson County Assessor, former House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, took the position.
Chairman Eggleston notes that the St. Louis City and Jackson County assessors are the only two assessors in Missouri that are not elected. He says state lawmakers “carved out” an exemption for them in 2010.
Eggleston supports making those two posts elected positions, saying the same rules should apply to all Missourians. He tells Missourinet he’ll file legislation in January, to try to put the issue on the statewide ballot. Eggleston says that, if lawmakers approve it, the measure would go to a statewide vote, because it would change the state Constitution.
“So I’m looking to put forward an HJR (House Joint Resolution) to put it back on the ballot to include those two assessors as well,” Eggleston says.
If state lawmakers approve the measure, it would be placed on the August or November 2020 statewide ballot.
Chairman Eggleston also delivered a presentation to the committee Wednesday about Wayfair, which involves an internet use tax.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with House Special Interim Committee on Oversight of Local Taxation Chairman J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, which was recorded on November 20, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:
Copyright © 2019 · Missourinet