Retirement benefits would be exempt from MO income tax under bill headed to Parson’s desk

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Seniors in Missouri starting next year would be exempt from paying income taxes on Social Security benefits under a bill headed to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk.

Missouri is one of only 12 states that taxes the retirement benefits, according to the AARP’s website. Current law taxes residents on their retirement benefits if they make more than $85,000 a year or $100,000 a year for married couples.

The legislation, which passed the House on a resounding vote of 134-2 on Monday, would extend the tax break to all seniors. It also would allow county governments to freeze rate hikes on property taxes for homeowners age 65 and older.

“Our seniors need that safety to know that when they’re paying into the system, they should be able to get it on the back end and enjoy a secure retirement,” House Speaker Dean Plocher, a St. Louis Republican, said in a rare speech from the floor Monday.

While she voted in favor of the measure, state Rep. Deb Lavender, a Manchester Democrat, raised concerns about the proposal’s $319 million-per-year cost.

“It helps some of our seniors who need that help and it helps all of the rest of them who don’t need this at all,” Lavender said.