Amendment 2 would ease tax burden on former POWs with disabilities

2009 legislature placed the amendment on the ballot
Saturday, October 23, 2010 | 4:24 p.m. CDT; updated 2:47 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 25, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Amendment 2 would exempt the homesteads of former prisoners of war with total service-connected disabilities from property taxes.

The Missouri Veterans Commission estimated there are no more than 100 former POWs living in Missouri who would qualify for the tax exemption.

Ballot language

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

The number of qualified former prisoners of war and the amount of each exemption are unknown, however, because the number who meet the qualifications is expected to be small, the cost to local governmental entities should be minimal. Revenue to the state blind pension fund may be reduced by $1,200.

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The proposal was placed on the ballot by the 2009 Missouri General Assembly. Legislative staff estimated then that it would cost local governments a total of about $187,000. That number was based on a rough estimate that there might be as many as 200 former POWs who would qualify.

Supporters say the tax exemption is a fitting way to show appreciation for former POWs. Opponents, however, argue the amendment focuses too specifically on one group of veterans and creates an opportunity for fraud.

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