House Members Support Disaster Tax Suspension

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JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said Wednesday they support the idea of suspending taxes for destroyed commercial property.

House Bill 5, introduced as part of the special session this week, would exempt property destroyed by natural disasters from taxation if it passes.The bill would immediately become effective and be a permanent part of the Missouri Compiled Statutes.

"It removes (property owners) from the tax rolls until they can get back on their feet," said co-sponsor Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage. He said back taxes would not be charged once they resume paying taxes.

Rep. Linda Black, D-Bonne Terre, said the state would lose tax revenue from the measure, but small businesses in particular would be protected.

"I think it's important that we make provisions for those businesses that have been destroyed by a natural disaster," she said.

The bill is currently in the House Ways and Means Committee.