For Immediate Release, February 7, 2017
More than 100,000 Missouri seniors and people with disabilities may lose a modest property tax credit in order to pay for another corporate tax cut, as a result of a proposal advanced by the Senate Ways and Means Committee this morning. Despite having one of the lowest effective corporate income tax rates in the country, the Senate Committee Substitute for SBs 285 and 17 would eliminate the circuit breaker property tax credit for seniors and people with disabilities that rent their homes, and cap other tax credits, to further reduce the corporate tax rate.
“We appreciate that lawmakers understand that we can’t simply afford to continue to cut taxes without paying for them,” said Amy Blouin, Executive Director of the Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit think tank that analyzes tax and budget policies. “But this bill puts the cart before the horse. Instead of comprehensively reviewing the tax credit system as the Governor has called for, this bill rushes to pay for a corporate tax break on the shoulders of 100,000 vulnerable seniors and Missourians living with disabilities.”
The estimated 100,700 Missourians who would lose eligibility for the credit rent their homes. While they do not pay property taxes directly, landlords incorporate those costs into rental prices. In recognition of this, most states with similar tax credits include renters in eligibility.
“Tax credits significantly reduce state revenue and deserve to be evaluated to make sure Missourians are getting a bang for their buck,” continued Blouin. “But there are ways to increase efficiency and lower the cost other than haphazard changes that harm seniors and people with disabilities to line the pockets of corporations.”
The AARP, Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging, NAMI St. Louis and Paraquad also opposed the bill.