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How counties are approaching new Missouri law offering property tax relief to seniors

Missouri Senate Bill 190 went into effect Monday
wengers prop tax.jpeg
Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-28 18:10:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new law in Missouri giving seniors tax relief took effect Monday, Aug. 28. The law, known as Senate Bill 190, impacts income and property taxes.

Social security recipients will no longer have to pay income tax on their social security benefits beginning in 2024.

The law also gives counties the option to offer social security recipients a break on property taxes. The law essentially freezes a senior’s property assessment so their tax bill does not increase as assessments typically increase in value. This will allow more seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, to age in place at their homes.

The law only provides the tax credit for an eligible property owner's primary residence.

“Retirement is on the horizon, so I would be better able to budget our money,” said Mona Wenger, a Lee’s Summit resident.

Most Americans are eligible for social security benefits at age 62.

But some teachers, firefighters and other public employees do not collect social security benefits because they have pensions instead, so the bill does not apply to them.

Here’s where counties in the Kansas City metropolitan area stand on whether to opt into the law:

Jackson County
The county executive suggested hiring a consultant to find an equitable way to roll out the law’s benefits. Meanwhile, county legislators have proposed two separate ordinances (5774 and 5787) to implement the state law.

Clay County
The Clay County Commission continues to research the new law. Leaders have questions about how to best implement the law.

Platte County
Commissioners in Platte County are interested in opting into the law.

Commissioner Dagmar Wood is leading a working group to hire staff and create an application process for seniors. Wood believes the earliest seniors might benefit is 2024.

If elected leaders do not opt into the law, residents in a county can gather signatures to put the question on a ballot for voters to decide whether to opt in.