Greene County leaders debate concerns over new property tax breaks for seniors

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A property tax break for seniors is causing concerns for schools, fire departments, and other entities.

Governor Mike Parson earlier this summer signed Senate Bill 190. It allows counties to freeze property taxes for seniors eligible for Social Security benefits.

“We’ve been asked to stand in front of a moving freight train that no one else wanted to help us stop,” said Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon. “We could’ve done better. I will own that, but here we are, and I think together we can fix this thing with at least get it in better shape.”

Dixon gathered county leaders together Friday afternoon to discuss the many problems the freeze could create. School district superintendents, fire protection districts, library leaders, the mayor, the county clerk, and more all turned to the commission with concerns.

“Why was the commission so quick to implement it, not even knowing what the impact was going to be on taxpayers and the entities here today?” said Dr. Travis Shaw, the Springfield Public Schools director of operations.

“We have enough trouble as public school districts passing bond issues and tax levies, so we are very concerned,” said Pleasant Hope Superintendent Shaundra Ingram.

For now, the commission is organizing a task force to move forward and tackle the money questions of the future.

“It’s not a fun place to be, but we will figure it out together,” said Dixon.

The commission says it doesn’t have the exact number at this point and doesn’t know the financial impact yet.

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