• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

    New County Ordinance Allows Real Estate Taxes to be Frozen for Camden County Seniors Turning 62

    ByNuala Hafner

    Sep 19, 2023
    New County Ordinance Allows Real Estate Taxes to be Frozen for Camden County Seniors Turning 62

    In a unanimous decision, the Camden County Commission approved a new ordinance that grants senior citizens the ability to freeze their real estate taxes once they reach the age of 62. This ordinance was made possible by the passage of Senate Bill 190, which was signed into law by Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson on July 6, 2023. Sponsored by Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, SB 190 modifies tax provisions for seniors.

    The Camden County Commission, along with their attorney, stakeholders, and county officials, have been working diligently since July to create a fair ordinance that would benefit all eligible seniors. Under SB 190, a county can provide a property tax credit to eligible taxpayers if the county adopts an ordinance or if a petition in support of the credit is delivered to the governing body. Camden County has now officially adopted such an ordinance.

    To be eligible for the tax freeze, residents must meet certain criteria. They must be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits or be of age to receive “old-age insurance benefits,” which is currently 62 years of age. Additionally, they must own or have a legal or equitable interest in a primary residence and be responsible for paying real property taxes on that residence.

    It is important to note that the freeze only applies to taxes and not assessments or levees. If a property undergoes remodeling that increases its square footage and results in a 50 percent assessment increase, the property taxes will be reassessed accordingly.

    Interested individuals will need to apply to have their taxes frozen. This, according to Camden County Commissioner James Gohagen, is a tremendous benefit for those who have diligently paid their taxes throughout their working years. Gohagen emphasized the importance of providing a break to senior citizens, particularly those on a fixed income.

    Camden County and Green County are the only two counties in Missouri that have passed an ordinance to freeze real estate taxes for seniors. However, Green County’s ordinance is limited to seniors who receive social security benefits, while Camden County’s ordinance includes all individuals aged 62 or older, regardless of whether they receive social security retirement benefits.

    The bill took effect on August 28, meaning that real estate taxes will now be frozen for qualified senior citizens who apply for and meet the eligibility requirements in Camden County. Applications will be made available to Camden County residents in the first quarter of 2024.

    – Senate Bill 190: Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson
    – Senate Bill 190: Senator Tony Luetkemeyer
    – Camden County Commission’s Thursday, September 7 meeting.