Missouri seniors soon may receive tax relief under legislation that Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign, which benefits the state’s older residents.
Under the bill, the first $6,000 of income from a public pension and all Social Security benefits are exempt from income taxes. The biggest change in tax law under the bill is the removal of an income cap — $85,000 for single filers and $100,000 for married couples — for the pension and Social Security exemptions.
The bill now seems to be the largest tax measure lawmakers will pass this year. In March, the House approved a bill cutting corporate and income taxes by more than $1 billion. Other bills addressing personal property taxes that have passed the House but languished in the Senate would cut up to $800 million from local tax receipts.
The only opposition in the House came from members who thought the tax cut was too large and comes too soon after lawmakers passed a bill reducing revenues by almost $800 million annually. The exemption for Social Security benefits, for example, is for any portion of payments that are taxable under federal law. There is no federal income tax on Social Security benefits for people with income of $25,000 or less. Up to 85 percent of Social Security benefits are taxable.
House Speaker Dean Plocher, who has pushed for much larger income and corporate tax cuts that now appear unlikely to pass, urged the House to accept the bill. “Our seniors need that,” he said. “When they are paying into the system, they should get it on the back end.”
The local break included in the bill would allow counties to pass ordinances exempting people older than 65 from increases in property taxes. If passed by local voters, no senior citizen would pay more in property taxes on real property than they did for the same property in the year they turned 65.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice