COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A state lawmaker filed an initiative petition about two months ago in an effort to enact a tax freeze for seniors.
A state law allowing a property tax freeze for seniors went into effect Aug. 28. On Aug. 29, state Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville) filed an initiative petition to let voters decide whether to implement it in Boone County.
The Boone County commissioners have the option to enact the tax freeze. So far, the commission hasn't taken action.
If passed, the property tax for Boone County residents 62 years old and older who own their own home would be frozen at the same rate, no matter the changes in tax rates or assessed property value. U.S. Census data shows 10%-14% of taxpayers in Boone County are home-owning seniors.
As of Monday, Toalson Reisch said she's collected about 1,000 of the 4,600 signatures needed to get it on the ballot. There's no deadline for the signatures, but Toalson Reisch is aiming for the August 2024 ballot.
"Most people in this demographic are retired or only working part-time. They are on a fixed income... and with the inflation going on, you can't afford gas and food and increased utilities and insurance," Toalson Reisch said.
Boone County commissioners said public school districts and the county fire protection district would be most affected by this change.
Although the Boone County Fire Protection District's budget is made up solely from property taxes and personal property taxes, Assistant Fire Chief Gale Blomenkamp is not concerned about a large impact on the budget from this particular law.
"We have a very good budget. Our citizens take very good care of us," Blomenkamp said. "At this point, we feel very confident and comfortable where we're at."
Check back for updates to this developing story.