Jackson County Legislators May Ditch Tax Proposal Meant To Help Elderly Homeowners | KCUR

Jackson County Legislators May Ditch Tax Proposal Meant To Help Elderly Homeowners

Aug 10, 2018

A new property tax to help seniors stay in their homes seemed like such a good idea in April that the entire Jackson County Legislature co-sponsored the ordinance to put it on the November ballot.

Now it is likely that legislators will repeal the ordinance at its Monday meeting, killing the program before it gets off the ground.

Scott Burnett, chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, says there was little chance voters would approve it.

“It polls so poorly,” he says, “that you couldn’t go to funders” for money to mount a campaign.

The polling was done by Shepherd’s Center Central, according to Burnett. The center provides services to homebound adults.

The plan would boost property taxes in Jackson County to help pay for minor to moderate home repairs.  The owners of a $100,000 house would pay an additional $9.50 a year. In all, the tax would raise $5.3 million a year, the county estimates.

The money would go to various organizations to do specific work on homes.

A Missouri law allows counties to levy such a tax “for the purpose of providing services to persons sixty years of age or older.” Fifty-five other counties have already enacted such a tax.

Burnett, who has been trying for years to pass it, says its likely demise is “very disappointing.”

Sam Zeff is KCUR's metro reporter. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.