Improving the Circuit Breaker Property Tax Credit Helps Older Adults in Missouri Remain in Their Homes
Increasing housing values and associated property taxes can price older adults out of the homes they have lived in for decades, separating them from their neighbors and communities. Marillac Mission Fund’s Theory of Change seeks to increase the stability and quality of life for older adults experiencing poverty to continue to live independently, in line with our value of respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life. The relief offered by the Missouri “Circuit Breaker” property tax credit helps older Missourians and Missourians living with disabilities who have fixed incomes stay in their homes by refunding a portion of property taxes that have been paid. However, it has not been adjusted since 2008, limiting its reach and impact. There are currently at least three bills moving through the state legislature (Senate Bill 15 is the furthest, having passed through Committee) that seek to strengthen the Circuit Breaker by expanding income eligibility, increasing the credit amount, and/or indexing the credit and eligibility to keep pace with inflation. Through the Missouri Council on Aging*, and with partners like the Missouri Budget Project, Marillac Mission Fund is working to advocate for these updates that would reach more people throughout our state. Missouri Budget Project has created a fact sheet to give more background information on the credit and its use throughout the state.
As our grantees have first-hand experience working with low-income older adults and adults with disabilities, we are asking for your assistance in gathering stories about how increasing property taxes has impacted those you serve. These anonymous personal stories can often illustrate a problem better than data and make advocacy more impactful. Please use this survey to share stories of older adults at risk of losing housing due to high or rising housing costs. These stories will be used to support advocacy efforts to provide property tax relief in Missouri, specifically improvements to Missouri's "Circuit Breaker" Property Tax Credit, through testimony, conversations with lawmakers, or action alerts.
Please feel free to share this survey link with other organizations serving older adults in Missouri. This survey is designed to be completed by direct service organizations on behalf of their clients. This survey does not collect identifying information about specific clients, but rather is designed to collect anonymous stories along with contact information for the organizations sharing that information.
*If you would like to stay informed of legislation relevant to older adults and adults with disabilities in Missouri, you can sign up to join the Aging and Disability Advocacy Network calls every other Friday morning at 11:00am, presented by the Missouri Council on Aging.