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Robin Hood in Reverse…Reversed

The Missouri Senate took a big step Tuesday toward protecting the well-being of over 100,000 low income elderly and disabled residents by voting to preserve an important property tax credit.

As I explained last week, a proposal before the Senate would have eliminated renters’ eligibility for the state’s property tax “circuitbreaker” credit and used the savings to help finance new tax credits for businesses.

Like most of the states with circuitbreaker credits, Missouri makes the credit available to low-income elderly and disabled renters (as well as to homeowners), in order to help offset the property taxes that landlords pass along in the form of higher rent.  Eliminating renters’ eligibility for the credit would make it more difficult for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents to make ends meet.  It would also damage the Missouri economy, because low-income people are among those most likely to spend every dollar they have.

Whether the cut to the circuitbreaker credit stays off the table is now up to the Missouri House.  It should go along with the Senate and keep the circuitbreaker, and the crucial assistance it provides, alive for Missouri’s renters.