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Governor's Property Tax-Cut Bills Heard in Committee

February 03, 1998
By: LUCAS WALL
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Senior citizens and educators lined up Tuesday to support property tax-cut legislation.

House Speaker Steve Gaw, D-Moberly, and Rep. May Scheve, D-St. Louis County, presented two nearly identical bills to the House Ways & Means Committee.

The bills, supported by Gov. Mel Carnahan, would expand the "circuit breaker" tax credit for senior citizens and the disabled. They would raise the maximum income level to qualify from $15,000 to $25,000. The circuit breaker allows for up to a $750 state income tax credit to offset the cost of local property tax.

Also included is up to a $35 per-person tax credit for all Missourians who pay property tax. Scheve's bill limits the credit to those earning under $100,000 a year.

Marie Nowak of the AARP told the committee increasingly high property taxes put a burden on the elderly, especially those with fixed incomes.

The Missouri Council of School Administrators and the Missouri National Education Association chapter also endorsed the bills because the state would pay the credits, not local governments.

Missouri must cut taxes by about $120 million this year to comply with the state constitution's revenue limit.