New Kansas Senate bill would cover seniors’ local property tax increases

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A new bill in the Kansas Senate would use state tax dollars to offset property tax increases for the elderly.

The proposal allows certain people 65 and older to get a refund from the state any year their property tax bill goes up. If your property tax bill from a county went up $50, the state would pay you that difference of $50. The refund could increase in each year after, as the base year amount stays the same. There is a maximum savings of $2,500 a year.

To qualify, household income couldn’t be higher than $50,000 and a home could not be worth more than $350,000. The bill also applies to disabled veterans, and its sponsor said the proposal would give confidence to seniors.

“They’re facing a lot of economic pressures right now, and particularly in a post-COVID economy, my guess is you’re going to see more and more senior folks opting not to go into assisted living or to nursing homes,” said Baldwin City Sen. Tom Holland. “They’re going to want to stay in their homes the rest of their lives, as long as they can.”

Holland is sponsoring the bill with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

“We need this, we need property tax certainty, we need to provide some housing assurances that our elderly will not be taxed out of their homes,” Holland said.

The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates more than 80,000 households would participate. It would cost the state an average of $20 million each of the next three years.

The bill has yet to be voted on by either chamber.

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