Moving Priorities Forward
I began the 2022 legislative session with a number of priorities in mind. Among my top goals, I vowed to increase support for law enforcement and provide homeowners protection from runaway property assessments. We made significant strides addressing both of those priorities this week, with two of my measures advancing through the legislative process.
My Senate Bill 678 passed out of the Senate this week and is now before the House of Representatives. This bill increases the minimum funding threshold for the Kansas City Police Department, the only local police agency in Missouri under state control. I put forward this legislation in response to an effort by the City Council of Kansas City to strip $43 million from the police department budget. My legislation increases funding for the KCPD from its current threshold of 20% of general revenue to 25%, the first increase since the 1950s. My legislation will prevent future efforts to defund the KCPD and ensure the department has the resources necessary to keep our community safe.
In other activity this week, my legislation limiting the growth of property assessments was added as an amendment to Senate Bill 649. Identical to my Senate Bill 680, this amendment caps growth in property assessments to a percentage equal to the rate of inflation, or 10% in any two-year assessment cycle. This legislation addresses the huge spikes in property taxes some of my constituents saw following previous assessment increases. A house is the biggest asset for many Missourians, but rising assessments can literally result in people being taxed out of their home. My legislation provides greater predictability to homeowners, so they’ll know their taxes won’t double or triple overnight, as actually happened in some places during the previous cycle.
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.