RENO, Missouri (Reuters) – Missouri state lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill to eliminate a property tax exemption for homeowners, setting the stage for the state to begin a process of winding down the state’s estate tax.
Under the measure, any estate or trust, including a person’s spouse or children, would be exempt from Missouri’s estate and inheritance taxes.
It would apply only to estates worth $2 million or more.
The measure was approved in a 43-0 vote, with four Republicans and one Democrat voting against it.
It would be the first time in Missouri history that a state estate tax exemption was eliminated.
The House and Senate approved separate versions of the bill on Wednesday and the House approved it late on Wednesday night.
The Senate passed the measure on a 39-12 vote on Wednesday evening.
Senate Majority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Republican, said it was important to preserve Missouri’s tax code and its ability to fund schools and public services.
House Speaker Kurt Schaefer, a Democrat, said he believed it was time to end the estate tax, which was enacted in 2006 to encourage people to pass down to their children property that is subject to the state tax.
In 2015, the state repealed the estate and estate taxes.
The state also eliminated a property-tax deduction for homeowners who pass away.
The state now deducts the difference between the actual value of the property and the amount of the estate or trusts they pass on to heirs.
In 2017, Missouri lawmakers approved a measure that would have allowed homeowners to deduct up to $10,000 from the estate of a person who died in 2017.
The bill, SB 537, was defeated in the state House by a 23-13 vote, but it passed the Senate by a 56-12 margin on Wednesday.