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Property tax relief bill for seniors passes the Kentucky Senate

Shepherdsville GOP Senator Michael Nemes
Shepherdsville GOP Senator Michael Nemes

The Kentucky Senate is seeking voter backing to provide some tax relief for homeowners 65 and older. It comes in the form of a constitutional amendment.

SB 23, if approved by both Houses of the Legislature and voters, would freeze the property tax assessment for 65-year-olds. The bill easily passed with 32 yes votes. Among those supporting the measure was GOP Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon.

“I vote aye for all of the folks, senior citizens that in the last six months, the last year, that have called me begging for relief from their property taxes,” said Higdon.

More than one senator expressed concern on how wealthy property owners could benefit while younger homeowners would still face higher assessments. Some senators said some type of “means testing” would be preferable.

In voting yes, Harlan GOP Senator Johnnie Turner said the constitutional amendment doesn’t eliminate property taxes for these citizens.

“Gonna pay the taxes that’s owed on that home when you turn 65 years old. So, I don’t think anybody will get by without paying any taxes if they own a home whether they’re a millionaire or a poor person. They’re gonna pay the tax that’s owed on the value of that home when they turn 65 and it stays at that value,” said Turner.

Lawrenceburg GOP Senator Adrienne Southworth supports the bill, but said more clear concise wording on the ballot would be helpful.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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