Jackson County property appeals top 51k and keep growing, tensions mount against Frank White

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 4:32 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - If you are appealing your Jackson County property assessment, you have a lot of company.

Nearly 51,800 people had filed as of July 29. The deadline was Monday, July 31, at midnight. So, that incredible number does not include the weekend push. Seventeen percent of all property owners are appealing.

It’s the largest number of people to appeal in recent memory. In 2019′s controversial assessment, about 30,000 people appealed. Some experts question what the final number will be wondering if Jackson County could close in on 60,000 appeals.

A spokesperson for the assessor’s office said the final total will be announced Thursday.

The large number of appeals reflects the outcry of homeowners and political tension.

Stacey Johnson-Cosby ran numerous workshops to teach homeowners how to appeal assessments.

“Based on the number of taxpayers filing appeals and telling the county that they got it wrong, it’s clear that they have failed yet again,” said Cosby. “I’m personally calling on Frank White to stop this nightmare for these vulnerable homeowners, including senior citizens and families that will end up homeless at the end of this self-created fiasco.”

Cosby pointed to a partially broken system that homeowners were forced to navigate as they sat on hold and were hung up on as they tried to connect in person with the county.

“If I were Frank White, I would be worried about my failures equating to enough angry Jackson Countians to recall me. At minimum, I would show up in public to defend my leadership- not act like Trump,” said Jackson County legislator Manny Abarca.

Tensions also became public between Jackson County Executive Frank White and Mayor Quinton Lucas in a recent letter regarding property taxes. Mayor Lucas questioned if people could afford the large increases.

Homeowners have also questioned Frank White’s leadership as they discussed their assessments.

“Who are they responsible to? Frank White? What is Mr. White doing?” questioned homeowner John Welchert.

Other homeowners tell KCTV5 if this was any other business and not the government, people would be fired, and they should be.

ALSO READ: Learn from people who fought their Jackson County assessments and won

Perspective on Jackson County

Jackson County’s assessor says the average increase for homeowners is around 30 percent.

That number is being challenged by data expert, Preston Smith who says it’s 36.7 percent.

“When you crunch their own numbers, it’s 36.7 percent. And there’s no doubt that’s what it is,” said Smith.

KCTV5 Investigates questioned the county about the difference in analysis last week. The county has still not responded.

If 36.7% is the actual average increase, it means Jackson County homeowners faced one of the largest hikes of any metro community in the United States. It would outpace Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and LA County.

Here’s how Jackson County compares to other metro counties when it comes to property owners appealing by percentage:

How Jackson County stacks up with nearby counties in appealing property assessments.
How Jackson County stacks up with nearby counties in appealing property assessments.(KCTV5)

Jackson County spokesperson Marshanna Smith gave KCTV5 the following statement:

ALSO READ: Data expert challenges Jackson County’s claim that property values raised 30%, says his analysis shows it’s even higher