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Boone County Commission to craft senior property tax relief after voter approval


The Boone County Commission will set to work drafting a program for senior property tax relief after voters overwhelmingly passed the measure Tuesday.

The commission said in a release Wednesday morning that the work to create program guidelines will include public feedback. Concerns have been raised that public entities such as schools could miss out on future revenue increases if senior property taxes are frozen.

"As stated throughout the election cycle, the Commission intends to implement a program that benefits the seniors who may need it the most, while also being mindful of the impact on the taxing jurisdictions, such as the schools throughout the County," the commission said in a written statement.

The property tax freeze will apply to Boone County residents who qualify for social security and own their home. The county is hoping for clarification from the state legislature on some parts of the law that commissioners say are too vague.

Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson said the commission wants to have public forums with as many county residents as possible to make sure the rules surrounding the senior property tax freeze are widely agreed upon.

"How do we take care of those that kind of of individual that needs tax relief to be able to stay in their home  and balance that against  the  the taxing entities who rely on those  those tax revenues," Thompson said.

Thompson also said the county will need to hire at least two more full-time employees to implement the tax freeze. There would be one in the County Collector's office and one in the County Assessor's office. The money for these positions would come out of the county's general revenue.

Boone County Commissioner Kip Kendrick told ABC 17 News last week that the commission will likely put some stipulations on the tax freeze. These could include only being applied to properties with a value of $300,000 or less according to their assessment file, and creating an end date to determine if tweaks are needed.

Between 10% and 14% of taxpayers in Boone County are home-owning seniors, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Several taxing entities, such as school districts, fire districts and other public services, expressed some concern for loss of revenue. However, with possible changes coming, many were uncertain on the exact effects.

"The Columbia and Boone County Library District, a component unit of the Daniel Boone Regional Library, acknowledges that library income will be adversely affected by the passage of Proposition 1, the senior tax credit program in Boone County. The Library awaits more detail on how the tax credit will be applied and the resulting revenue decrease," Daniel Boone Regional Library Executive Director Margaret Conroy said in a statement.

Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville), who has championed the tax freeze, is collecting signatures to get a slightly different version of the tax freeze on the November ballot. She's not happy with the commission's ideas about limiting it to houses valued at $300,000 or less.

A bill is heading through the Missouri legislature that would add that clarification the county commission is looking for. Some of the qualifications under this bill include being 62 or older, owning a homestead, maintaining liability for property taxes and having no delinquent taxes owed to the county.

"What it will do, for example, is make it crystal clear that a person only has to be 62," Toalson Reisch said. "It doesn't matter if they're on Social Security, teacher, retirement or any any other kind of retirement. The age will be 62... there's no income limit, such as the county commission has said."

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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