Local lawmakers push tax relief bills for struggling seniors | St. Louis Public Radio

Local lawmakers push tax relief bills for struggling seniors

Apr 16, 2012

Tax Day can be a tough time for anyone, but it’s especially hard for seniors facing rising personal property taxes on a fixed income. That’s according to some local lawmakers who are asking the state to give seniors a break.

State Representatives Jill Shupp and Scott Sifton are pushing two bills in Missouri’s legislature to help seniors:

  • One would provide seniors an average $200 state tax credit;
  • The other would freeze property tax rates for qualified homeowners when they turn 62.

Sifton says the legislation would affect about 10,000 Missouri residents -- like Inice Walker who has lived in her St. Louis County home for 40 years. 

“I pay more now in taxes than when I was working," Walker said. "And now I’m on a fixed income just like most other seniors. It’s hard living month to month and we need some release."

During a press conference at Pagedale City Hall Monday,  St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman called on leaders in the Missouri House to let the bills reach the floor for a vote.

“These are people who have worked hard all their lives; they have paid their bills; and now through no fault of their own they face the prospect of losing their home," Zimmerman said. "And that is not fair."

The tax credit bill, sponsored by Representative Sifton, is nearly identical to a 2005 tax credit for seniors that was cut from the budget two years ago.