Senate Committee Moves to Repeal Circuit Breaker Tax Credit for the Low-Income Elderly and Disabled

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee voted “do pass” legislation that would repeal the “Circuit Breaker” Tax Credit for the disabled and elderly.

Missouri SB 350 is sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles).

The tax credit allow low-income, elderly or those 100% disabled to claim a portion of their rent as a tax credit. In 2012,107,000 Missourians  claimed the credit, totaling $57 million. The average person is able to receive $450 a year. The maximum credit is $750.

Advocates of the credit point out that it leaves the money with the recipient to direct to their specific needs rather than have that money go to a fund to be distributed as lawmakers determine.

Many who receive the credit say it is essential for them, as it is used to supplement their income for items including utility bills, non-covered health care procedures and more.

Dempsey’s bill would eliminate the tax credit and create the Senior Services Protection Fund.
The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit program was first established as an amendment to the Missouri Constitution in 1972 by a direct vote of Missouri citizens and has been upheld by each legislature.

The bill will now be considered by the full Senate.

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