Senator Tony Luetkemeyer’s Legislation Protects Property Owners From Tax Hikes
JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, filed legislation to prevent runaway property tax assessments. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Luetkemeyer will cap property tax increases and ensure that homeowners have enough time to appeal a county assessor’s determination. The reforms were prompted by complaints from property owners who experienced dramatic assessment increases in 2019 and were given inadequate time to appeal higher taxes.
Earlier this year, many property owners around the state saw their tax assessments double or even triple. In certain counties, taxpayers received their notice of increased assessments a mere 24 hours prior to the deadline to file an appeal with the board of equalization.
“These reforms will prevent the sorts of abuses of the assessment process that we saw in 2019,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Taxpayers must be protected from excessive tax increases and be provided sufficient time to appeal their assessment if they believe it’s unfair.”
One of Sen. Luetkemeyer’s bills, Senate Bill 675, limits property assessment increases to no more than 5 percent or the rate of inflation. The bill also requires a physical inspection whenever an assessment increases by more than 5 percent. Currently, assessors can increase the taxable value of real estate up to 15 percent without a physical inspection. Senate Bill 676 modifies the schedule for assessment notifications and requires at least 30 days notice to allow homeowners sufficient time to contest tax hikes. Finally, Senate Joint Resolution 48 asks voters to approve a change to Missouri’s Constitution allowing property assessment increases to be limited by law.
Luetkemeyer noted that he is particularly concerned about the impact these runaway taxes have on people on fixed incomes. “Our seniors, disabled veterans and others on fixed incomes are particularly hard hit by these unexpected tax hikes, and we cannot allow local government to literally tax people out of their homes.”
Pre-filing of bills for the 2020 legislative session began on Dec. 2. Lawmakers return to the State Capitol on Jan. 8.
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34/