PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2019 

A look at some of the big takeaways from the release of the redacted Mueller report. Also, on our Friday rundown: Iowa recovers from devastating floods and prepares for more. And, scallopers urged to minimize the threat to seagrass.

Daily Newscasts

MO Tax Credit: Home Sweet Home for Seniors and People with Disabilities?

September 1, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Low-income seniors and people with disabilities could lose out on what some say is a critical support. During the special session that begins next week, Missouri lawmakers will consider a tax package that includes provisions to eliminate the circuit-breaker tax credit for renters. This property tax credit provides an average of $495 a year to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes.

Shawn D'Abreu, public policy specialist at Paraquad, says the credit helps individuals secure accessible housing and remain independent.

"There are folks who depend upon this money at the end of this year to be able to provide food on the table, to pay for utilities, in order to really be a hedge against the hard times that we're all experiencing."

D'Abreu says the majority of those with a disability are living below the poverty level, making their struggle to find affordable and accessible housing all the more difficult.

According to the Missouri Budget Project, for tax year 2010 to date, more than 105,000 qualified for the circuit-breaker credit: seniors, veterans with disabilities and others living with a disability who rent their housing.

Kim Ellis, Crestwood, is on Social Security disability. She says the circuit breaker tax credit is helping her through these tough times.

"If it wasn't for that tax credit, there's no way, no way at all, that I would be able to even exist right now. Without that, I'd been back out on the street and homeless by now because I probably would have just given up."

D'Abreu says there are misconceptions that the credit primarily benefits those who live in institutions, but that's not the case.

"They're mostly people that are living in the community - who are renting an apartment, who may have transitioned from nursing homes into the community - that are primarily benefiting from this in the disability community, and they really need this property tax credit."

Some in favor of repealing the circuit-breaker tax credit say it's a tough, but necessary, decision needed to keep budgets balanced while promoting jobs.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MO