Tax credit may be taken away from low income Missouri seniors

A Missouri Senate Committee endorses legislation to end an income tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who rent their homes, despite pleas from the poor not to do so.

Several disabled renters said the tax break of up to $750 annually allows them to pay bills and other necessities. They pleaded with the senate appropriations committee Tuesday to keep the tax break.

But the committee voted to advance a bill that would do away with the tax credit and redirect the $57 million of savings to programs that serve seniors and the disabled. The plan is backed by Governor Jay Nixon.

A commission Nixon appointed recommended ending the tax break for renters while continuing it for homeowners. The credit is intended offset property taxes.

Groups such as the Missouri Area Agency on Aging are as well trying to protect the tax break.

"It's like a lifeline for the seniors. They rely on it that money to supplement their income to help pay for things like utilities, purchase eyeglasses, medicines, replace worn out appliances , so they really rely on this money," said Pam Windberg of the Northeast Missouri Agency on Aging.

The agency is asking those who will be affected by this to please contact their local legislators to help them protect and have the tax credit be continued.