Branson state lawmaker proposes to eliminate property tax for some Missouri seniors

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Property taxes could become a thing of the past for older Missourians. There’s an effort in the state capitol to save seniors a lot of money each year.

It’s a reality for all Missourians. After buying a house or a vehicle, property taxes on those at the end of the year. One lawmaker from the Ozarks, Rep. Brian Seitz from Branson, wants to eliminate those payments for people once they reach a certain age, if they have a limited income.

Daniel Finney is a Missouri taxpayer.

“Seems like every time you turn around, they’re wanting more and more taxes,” Finney said.

Finney said he understands taxes are used to pay for the government, but at some point, they’re too much for everyone.

“You pay taxes on stuff when you buy it anyway and then you have to pay it every year,” Finney said.

He said he would support removing those for seniors, who might have stretched incomes and potentially more medical expenses to pay for.

Branson state Representative Brian Seitz is hoping other Missouri lawmakers agree.

“They put so much into society and I’d like to give something back by relieving that personal property tax burden from their shoulders,” Seitz said.

Seitz proposed amending the Missouri Constitution by eliminating that tax payment for people 65 and over, making less then $45,000 a year. The idea, he said, came during his campaign for election when he met an older woman working a minimum wage job in Branson.

“Property taxes were coming up and she was having difficulty paying them. Seniors, especially during this pandemic time period, don’t have a lot of disposable income,” Seitz said.

Early on, though, Seitz said he was told losing those taxes would cost the state big time.

“It was quite into the high hundreds of millions of dollars. I’ve since been told that’s something that’s often elevated,” Seitz said.

Even so, he thinks the change would draw more seniors to Missouri.

“There could be a great economic benefit, an economic boom in a sense if we could encourage seniors to move here,” he said.

Finney, a 59-year-old, wouldn’t be immediately affected if the idea is approved by the Missouri House, Senate and voters, but he does say he thinks the government could do without the income payments of those who are older than him.

“I don’t care to pay my fair share but sometimes, they’re overreached,” Finney said.

Rep. Seitz did say he’s considering raising the age and lowing income limits on the proposal to make fewer people eligible, easing the blow to the state’s revenue.

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