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Passage of Proposition 1 paves the way for senior property tax credit

Circular, red white and blue "I Voted!" stickers are strewn haphazardly on a beige table.
Rebecca Smith
Boone County voters passed Proposition 1 on Tuesday.

Boone County voters passed Proposition 1 yesterday with 68% of the vote.

Proposition 1 asked the question, “Shall the County of Boone exempt senior citizens from certain increases in the property tax liability due on such senior citizens’ primary residences?”

This comes after Missouri Senate Bill 190 passed in August 2023. This bill gives counties the right to grant property tax credits to eligible taxpayers.

To receive this tax credit, seniors must be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and pay real property taxes on homes that they own.

This credit would subtract the amount of tax owed on a residence in the first year of homeownership from the tax owed on the same residence in the current year.

The Boone County Commission says the proposition will benefit lower to moderate-income seniors. The commission is considering enacting a stipulation that the program only applies to residences with an appraised value of $300,000 or less.

According to a press release, these residences account for 86% of homes in Boone County.

There are some concerns about the vague language used in the proposition. State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, is a supporter of SB190 and Proposition 1.

“I’m happy it passed,” Toalson Reisch said. “Now the commission is going to have to figure out what they’re going to do next, because the county commission has been vague and ambiguous.”

Some view Proposition 1 as “vague” partially due to the use of ambiguous language in SB190.

Bills addressing the vague language of SB190 have already been written. Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, will present Senate Bill 756 to a special committee on property tax reform today.

The new bill clarifies “eligible credit amount” and “initial credit year,” and specifies that qualifying taxpayers be 62 years old, rather than eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.

Reisch is also attempting to clarify legislation related to SB190.

“I am doing an initiative petition to put on the November ballot, with exact, specific language that would freeze all taxes across the board and would have no income limit,” Reisch said.

Now that Proposition 1 has passed, the Boone County Commission can develop a more specific policy. It says the Commission is open to feedback and that the final policy will be the result of a public process.

Kiana Fernandes is a senior at the Missouri School of Journalism.
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