• Rep. Threlkeld on Property Tax Increases

Dear Mr. Boland:

Thank you for your letter expressing your concern regarding the difficulties we all face as we continue to be required to pay higher and higher property taxes without a vote of the people. I agree with many of your observations and am frustrated, too.

When I came to the Missouri General Assembly over three years ago, I had high hopes of playing a major role in correcting this problem. I asked for and received appointment to the Senior Security Committee. This committee handled the hearings for multiple bills that would have corrected the property tax problem. I had a ringside seat for every bill and watched as the education lobby opposed every one.

Though this opposition could not derail my support for property tax reform, unfortunately, I cannot say the same for many of my colleagues. I hope that the voters in each of their districts will ask them why they are not willing to do what is fair and what is right. It is still possible to provide healthy funding for our public schools using other sources of revenue, and I have not given up on eventual reform. While the Legislature is too weak to act, there appears to be two more options.

First, there is a ballot initiative which may go to a vote of the people in November if enough petition signatures are obtained. I’m told that this initiative would eliminate use of the local property tax for school funding, and require the state to provide all funding for public schools.

Second, while I am not a fan of lawsuits, this issue appears to me to be ripe for one. Article X of the Missouri Constitution appears pretty clear about not taxing Missourians at higher levels without their approval. I have been researching and collecting information regarding this. If all else fails, litigation may be the last option. I’ll know more after the November elections.

Sharing your frustration,

Rep. Kevin Threlkeld

Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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