Taxpayer Protection Measures Advance
This week, my Senate Joint Resolution 39 passed out of the senate and has been referred to a House committee for a hearing. This measure asks Missouri voters to give the Legislature authority to cap increases in property taxes. As it stands now, there’s nothing to keep a county assessor from dramatically raising valuations of Missourians’ homes and exposing property owners to big jumps in their taxes.
The resolution forwarded to the House this week is part of my two-prong effort to prevent excessive and unexpected tax increases like the ones many of my constituents experienced in 2019 and in 2021. Those years, many residents of my district saw their assessments double, or more, with little notice. In 2020, I proposed legislation to require in-person inspections any time assessments increased by more than 15%, and that measure has now become law. Last year, I sponsored legislation to limit the growth of property assessments, but the session ended before the bill could pass. This year, I renewed that effort with the introduction of Senate Bill 680. That legislation caps increases in property assessments to 5% in any two-year assessment cycle. The measure was passed as an amendment to a Senate bill and now awaits action in the House. Voter approval of SJR 39 is required before that reform can take effect.
I have high hopes we can get SB 680 and SJR 39 passed before the 2022 legislative session ends on May 13. I believe it’s imperative that we do so. For many Missourians, their home is their most valuable asset. It is not acceptable that property assessments can rise so rapidly that homeowners, especially those on fixed incomes, could be taxed out of their homes. We need to get this changed.
Meanwhile, my legislation to prevent future radical attempts to defund the Kansas City Police Department continues to make progress toward becoming law. Passage of Senate Bill 678 would raise the minimum funding threshold for the KCPD for the first time since the 1950s. A companion measure, Senate Joint Resolution 38, will require voter approval before the change takes place. Both measures are due for debate on the House floor. I look forward to both pieces of legislation being taken up, and passed, in the remaining weeks.
It is my great honor to represent the citizens of Platte and Buchanan counties in the Missouri Senate. Please contact my office at (573) 751-2183, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.