In January 2013, Republican state Rep. Dick Hess introduced House Bill 658, the senior citizen property tax reduction exchange program. This legislation authorizes school districts to set up programs in which senior citizens volunteer in their school district and receive a property tax credit in exchange for their services.
He goes on to say how seniors who live on a fixed income are especially vulnerable to rising taxes. He states that it is prudent for policymakers to find ways of lowering property taxes without sacrificing the quality of education.
Rep. Hess has forgotten that he co-sponsored House Bill 76, which effectively eliminates school property taxes for everyone. So why is he introducing HB 658? And to indicate that the quality of education is somehow affected by the money allocated to the schools is ridiculous. A good deal of the tax money is being spent on pensions, not on educating our children.
It shows the character of our elected representatives once again.
HB 76 was introduced in January 2013 and was sent to finance on March 14, 2013, where it still is. The House has not voted on this bill yet. Why? However, HB658 was voted on by the House on March 19, 2013, with 194 yeas and seven absent.
Bills similar to HB76 have been in the House for years and nothing is ever done. I'm sick of all the excuses from these legislators. If they really cared about the plight of our seniors, let alone anyone else who is struggling to keep their home, they would do everything in their power to pass this legislation.
The real insult here is to propose that seniors who have earned their retirement and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor are being offered a job (voluntary) to work at their local school to help defray their tax obligation.
What in God's name are these guys thinking? Many seniors are already working part time so they can keep their homes, because of the egregious property taxes they have to pay. It's immoral to offer $5 dollars per hour for this work -- not even minimum wage.
If you want change, call your representative and demand that HB76 be passed.