JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s senior homeowners would be spared from rate hikes on property taxes under a bill that went into effect Monday. It will be up to the counties to approve the property tax breaks. The freeze on property tax rates would only apply to the primary residences of people age 65 and older.

Will Missouri counties approve a tax freeze?

 St. Louis County will reconsider a plan to give senior-citizen homeowners a property tax break after rejecting it last month.  Four of the seven council members rejected the bill last month. Councilman Dennis Hancock says some of the council members who voted “no” in the last session could have been swayed with a more pointed conversation.

St. Charles and Jefferson Counties are considering the tax breaks, but there are still some issues to work out. There are questions about whether the tax freeze applies to all taxing districts in a county.

“Our seniors need that safety to know that when they’re paying into that system, they should be able to get it on the back end and enjoy a secure retirement,” Republican House Speaker Dean Plocher said in a rare speech on the floor.

Social security benefits

The legislation will end state taxes on Social Security benefits beginning in 2024. Currently, Missouri residents only pay taxes on Social Security if they make more than $85,000 a year or, if married, they make $100,000 a year or more. Lawmakers extended the tax break to all seniors.

The measure received widespread bipartisan support and passed the House 154-2, although Lavender raised concerns about the bill’s $319-million-a-year price tag in potential lost revenue.