* Hancock Reform Legislation

By Stephen E. Sowers
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 11:10 PM CST
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A property tax reform package presented by Senate Leader Mike Gibbons would, among other things, protect taxpayers from back door tax increases under the veil of reassessment.

Senate Bill 711 will also close tax loopholes with truth in taxation, require advanace notifications for more predictable assessments and tax bill increases and expand tax relief for low-income seniors and the disabled.

A Republican from Kirkwood, Gibbons told the Senate Ways and Means Committee earlier this week that “we must protect taxpayers from tax increases caused by reassessment.”

Senate Bill 711 mandates that all taxing jurisdictions, regardless of whether they are operating at or below their tax rate ceiling, must roll back their tax rate to counter reassessment increases. The measure would keep homeowners from being taxed out of their homes. The bill puts teeth back into the Hancock Amendment to protect taxpayers.

The bill also increases the senior citizen property tax credit award from $750 to $1,100.

The full text of SB 711 can be found on the Web at: http://www.senate.mo.gov and doing a keyword search for SB 711.

LIONS TO HEAR EMERSON: U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, whose district includes Phelps County, will speak at the Thursday noon luncheon meeting of the Rolla Lions Club.

The club meets at the Lions Den, 1061 South Bishop Ave.

Emerson announced Monday that she has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for governor in this year’s election. She will, however, be a candidate for reelection to her seat in the House.

On another subject, Emerson said Tuesday following President Bush’s State of the Union address Monday night that “this year we should underscore the basic importance of working together across party lines to improve our standard of living at home and our stature aboard.

“On some issues there can be no progress without cooperation; we must negotiate a Farm Bill that gives American producers a level playing field in the global marketplace while keeping a safe, affordable supply of food on our store shelves.

“On a second important issue, we must identify the needs of the Baby Boom generation and devise a plan to meet them starting with access to health care.”

Emerson also said she was very pleased that President Bush addressed the sweeping problem of global hunger. But she emphasized that instead of sending money to starving nations we should send food. “U.S. food aid puts bags of food in towns and villages in every corner of the world, and each bag says ‘Gift of the people of the United States of America.’ Food has a dramatic advantage over cash as food can only be eaten. Money can be diverted, mismanaged, abused and dangerous to local economies in hundreds of ways in which food commodities cannot.”

Emerson, by the way, on Tuesday voted in favor of the economic stimulus package that advanced through the House. She said the package was neither perfect nor complete, “but does immediate, measurable good.”

BLUNT’S CALL: Gov. Matt Blunt Tuesday called on the General Assembly to pass legislation to ensure Missourians will not have to pay state taxes on tax refund checks related to the federal economic stimulus package being debated in Washington.

The money should go directly to Missouri’s hardworking families, Gov. Blunt said. “I am asking our elected representatives to send me a one-time bill exempting any one-time federal income tax rebates from state taxes.”

On the same subject, Attorney General Jay Nixon warns that con artists are already at work, calling Missourians and asking for their Social Security number in order to trick eager consumers into thinking that will expedite the refund process.

Nixon said consumers should hang up on any such phone calls or delete any such emails.

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Published in: on February 2, 2008 at 5:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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