Jackson County Legislature approves property tax credits for seniors

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - In an 8-1 vote, the Jackson County Legislature approved Ordinance 5787, giving the county the ability to provide property tax credits to eligible taxpayers– specifically seniors.

Jackson County lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to approve the ordinance. It allows anyone 62 or older who owns a home with a market value of less than $550,000 to apply for a property tax credit on the home. They must also receive social security to qualify.

“We tried to adjust that. Unfortunately, the state law does not allow us to,” Legislator Manuel Abarca said. “So, I think this is a great opportunity to focus on the state to look for more opportunities to empower the local jurisdictions and not leave all that power invested in the state.”

Just last week, the original draft of the ordinance was rejected, concerning many about the future homeownership of Jackson County’s seniors. Many seniors live on a fixed income, making it difficult for them to adapt to increased taxes.

“They will be forced from their homes. There is no question in my mind. They will be forced from their homes,” said real estate agent Stacy Johnson in response to the rejection.

ALSO READ: Jackson County legislators reject tax ordinance for seniors

Glen and Dottie Williams are homeowners in Blue Springs. They expressed how paying taxes on their home this year will be a major challenge due to its massive jump in value by the Jackson County Assessor.

“This neighborhood is probably half and half retired and working families,” Glen Williams explained. “So I know a lot of these people can’t do it this. My neighbor over here is 90 years old. I don’t know how he’s gonna pay his taxes.”

Today, we have provided relief to seniors who need it most and I will continue to advocate for greater localized control of taxation by the legislature to provide faster solutions when the administration is unwilling to help.

Budget Chair Manny Abarca

Following today’s approval, Vice Chair Megan Marshall said she is “proud this Legislature was able to craft Ordinance #5787, although imperfect, to ensure property tax relief for our county’s most vulnerable homeowners.”

The ordinance is authorized by the state under SB 190, passed into Missouri law on August 28, 2023. Homeowners who are approved won’t be able to apply for the property tax credit until it’s time to file for the 2024 tax year, however.

Legislator Sean Smith has concerns this ordinance ignores market values can go up over the years and push senior citizens over being eligible.

“There’s no reason not to include an inflationary adjustment that is specific to the values the assessor is placing on properties,” Smith argued. “So, if the average property goes up 30% in a year, then the $550,000 cap should go up 30% a year.”

How Jackson County plans to execute this ordinance with be determined in the coming months. Marshall criticized SB190′s lack of guidance in her statements, saying “SB190 is flawed legislation passed with no regard for how counties would implement it.”

READ MORE: Lee’s Summit sues Jackson County over property tax assessment
READ MORE: Independence will sue Jackson County over troubled Jackson County assessment
For more stories on the Jackson County property assessment, click here.

Latest News

Latest News