The final week of the Missouri Legislature’s session is here and a proposal that is expected to fizzle is one that aims to reign in on big property valuation increases.

Rep. Jeff Coleman, R-Grain Valley, said he’s been trying to pass this measure for about five years, but it comes up short each year that he’s filed it. He filed the resolution after a legislative committee traveled around the state to hear from the public about taxes.

“What ended up happening is this issue with property tax on your residence was the one that everybody talked about and it took all of our time during those committees because people were afraid of getting taxed out of their homes. And so, I put together this legislation,” Coleman told Missourinet.

His proposed vote of the people would not allow new property assessments or reassessments to exceed a change in the Consumer Price Index or 2%, whichever is less.

“The main counties where we’re seeing the really bad assessment issues are Jackson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County, and some down in the Springfield area and also in Columbia – Boone County. Those are the ones that are feeling it the worst, but when you get a tax bill and you can’t pay it, it hurts no matter where you are. We’re getting those calls from all over the state,” he said.

Why a 2% limit?

“That’s typically around the area that our seniors’ Social Security gets a bump up every year. So, I was trying to keep it in line with raises for Social Security,” according to Coleman.

What about the local revenue that schools, fire districts, and others get as a result of property taxes?

“We’re not taking anything away from the municipalities – the schools, the libraries, the cities, the counties. They still get everything they’ve been getting; all we’re doing is limiting future increases. If they need more than what the 2% allows, then they still have the ability to go out to the people and ask the people to increase their tax levies,” he said.

What are the roadblocks Coleman has been running into? He blames House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, and Senate Pro-Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, for not prioritizing his resolution.

“For the last two years, they’ve kept the legislation in a position where they’ll let it go through, but not until the very end where we run out of time. They know that it’s not going to pass because there’s not enough time left in the session,” he said.

Coleman said since Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, is on deck to take over as House Speaker next year, he feels like his proposal has a better chance of passing.

Coleman urges homeowners to contact House and Senate leadership to share their thoughts about the measure.

For more information on House Joint Resolution 78, click here.

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