Topeka To keep seniors from paying higher property taxes, counties would be prohibited from increasing the assessed values of their homes under a plan outlined Friday by Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett.
However, a Democratic legislator questioned whether the plan would lead to higher taxes for businesses and other homeowners.
Barnett is proposing a constitutional amendment to freeze a home's assessed value for tax purposes once its owner turns 65.
The value would remain frozen until the home is sold or transferred.
An amendment requires approval by two-thirds of both legislative chambers and a majority of voters but is necessary because the constitution requires residential and business property to be taxed based on its fair market value, which fluctuates from year to year.
Barnett, an Emporia physician and state senator hoping to unseat Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, outlined his plan 11 days before the Nov. 7 general election. He has already proposed income and estate tax cuts to stimulate the economy but said he decided to offer a property tax plan because of his conversations with voters.