Missouri’s senior citizens are one step away from getting some tax relief. The state Legislature has passed a bipartisan tax relief plan for seniors.

The bill would allow counties to freeze the property tax rates of Missouri seniors when the seniors turn 65. It would also exempt social security benefits from state income taxes, no matter how much is made.

The Missouri House of Representatives passed the measure Monday.

The proposal is sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville. It was carried in the House by state Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho.

“Their home is their largest asset and the equity in someone’s home is an investment of a lifetime and the one tangible thing people have to show for their lifetime of work,” said Baker. “Seniors who have played by the rules their entire lives, save for retirement, pay their fair share of taxes, should never face the prospect of being taxed out of their home by the government.”

House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, said the effort is a long time coming.

“Our seniors need that safety to know that when they are paying into the system, they should be able to get it on the back end and enjoy a secure retirement,” said Plocher.

The estimated annual loss to the state is about $318 million. Local school districts would also lose money they would usually get from an increase in property taxes.

State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Manchester, said the legislation should have included an income cap.

“Yes, it helps some of our seniors who need that help and it helps all of the rest of them who don’t need this at all,” said Lavender.

The legislation heads to Gov. Mike Parson for a decision.

To view Senate Bill 190, click here.

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