Missouri home buyers could be eligible for tax break

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | 2:51 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missourians who buy a house in 2010 could get a property tax break.

Gov. Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, both Democrats, proposed Tuesday having a state housing commission pay the property taxes for several thousand low- and moderate-income people who buy a house next year.

The proposal could cover 9,000 to 11,000 households and cost $15 million. The Missouri Housing Development Commission, which would need to approve the idea, would pay for the tax break using an agency reserve fund.

Housing commissioners are scheduled to meet in December. Zweifel is the panel's chairman and Nixon is one of the board members, along with the lieutenant governor, attorney general and six people appointed by the governor.

The housing agency uses tax credits and tax-free bonds to help finance the construction of affordable houses and apartments.

Nixon said using the reserve fund to help people buy homes would strengthen Missouri's economy.

"Because this is so vital to our state's economic growth, we want to do everything feasible to encourage people to buy homes and make it easier for homeowners to save money and energy resources," he said.

Under the proposal announced Tuesday, those buying a new or existing house would be eligible to have $1,250 paid by the state panel. They could get an extra $500 if the house is energy-efficient or if they take steps to make the building more energy-efficient within 60 days of the closing.

Energy-efficiency improvements would include installing high-performance windows and programmable thermostats as well as more efficient water heaters, toilets and lights. It also would cover sealing of heating and air conditioning ducts and insulating water heater pipes.

The income thresholds for the tax break would vary based upon where the house is located. The maximum household incomes would range from $58,300 to $98,560.



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John Schultz November 24, 2009 | 8:22 p.m.

What a ridiculous plan. Part of the reason the financial sector went to pot is government involvement in the lending industry and a general desire to pump up home ownership. If people can't afford to pay their property taxes, then they likely can't afford to pay for energy efficiency improvements, let alone major repairs like a new roof or furnace when Murphy strikes.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 24, 2009 | 8:47 p.m.

A leaner, more efficient run government with a decreased government employee/politician payroll, partnership with the private sector to stimulate meaningful, (and not intangible bureaucratic jobs), in America by American citizens and the willingness to allow the housing market to "self-correct" could contribute to an environment of less property taxes for all current and future home owners.
At the same time, some folks should be renters, until some "real wealth," stability and security is personally attained.

(Report Comment)

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