A Conservative Argument Against Constitutional Amendment #2

The text of Missouri Constitutional Amendment #2 on the November ballot is:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

The number of qualified former prisoners of war and the amount of each exemption are unknown, however, because the number who meet the qualifications is expected to be small, the cost to local governmental entities should be minimal. Revenue to the state blind pension fund may be reduced by $1,200.

As a conservative, I both love lower taxes and respect veterans who have served the country. However, I don’t favor extending tax relief to special classes who are more beloved of the majority of voters, legislators, or petition signers.

What, exactly, is the principle involved here? The former POWs served the country, so they should not pay property taxes on their primary homes? What about other disabled veterans? Why are they not special enough? Or law enforcement and fire fighting personnel? And volunteer firefighters. And teachers! We all love and respect teachers. Clerks at the Revenue License Offices? And so on.

I favor lower taxes for everyone, not just limited subsets of people who behave according to government favor.

(Cross-posted at 24th State.)

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