St. Louis County aims for head start on property tax freeze for seniors

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) -- With statewide legislation currently sitting on the governor’s desk, Missouri’s largest county is aiming to freeze property taxes for seniors.

The statewide bill SB 190 allows counties to approve property tax freezes for seniors once they become eligible for Social Security at the age of 62. It was passed by the House and Senate before the end of the 2023 legislative session earlier in May.

County Councilman Mark Harder introduced the bill in the St. Louis County Council Tuesday, making it one of the first counties in the state to attempt to implement such tax freezes. Harder says it boils down to helping those on fixed incomes.

“If [property taxes are] going up almost every year, it’s hard to budget for that on a fixed income, whereas the younger folks have an opportunity to make more money,” Harder said.

Property tax assessments are currently being sent out by the St. Louis County Assessor, but News 4 has previously spoken with homeowners in St. Louis County and across the Metro concerned that their property taxes are rising upwards of 30% in a two-year period. It’s been especially difficult for some young homeowners and those trying to get into the market, with some camping out for a whole workweek to secure new houses in St. Charles County.

Harder says the freezes will not have a significant impact on the county’s already unbalanced budget, which is $40 million in the red. A spokesperson for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page says the legislation would require additional funding and staffing to set up and process applications for the tax credits.

If SB 190 is signed and the county’s bill passes, seniors could see the relief in 2024.