Jackson County property tax appeals top 54k, assessor defends assessment

Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 10:21 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The number of appeals regarding property assessments in Jackson County is now 54,539, representing more than 18% of properties.

On Thursday, Jackson County Assessor Gail McCann Beatty defended the assessment despite cries from homeowners.

“Was it perfect? No, it was never going to be. We are working through any challenges that we have,” said Gail McCann Beatty.

Beatty said she supports Tyler Technologies, the out-of-state contractor that helped with the assessment.

The county claimed the average increase is 30%. Some homeowners questioned if that was true when they saw their large increases.

“I call bull,” said Tuesday Velaer.

Data experts challenge Beatty’s claim that residential properties increased by 30%. Preston Smith claimed it’s 36.7%. And if you look at residential properties that increased in value, Smith said the average increase was 41.4%.

Beatty offered this explanation.

ALSO READ: Tensions run high over property taxes, even between top county and city leaders

“The 30% was an estimate for single families. We will know the exact numbers once we get through the appeals and report those out,” Beatty said.

Homeowners have pointed to the unevenness inside neighborhoods. It’s a fact that KCTV5 has revealed as some properties face giant increases and others drop in value- all on the same block. It becomes more baffling when you realize some properties were recently sold so there’s current data.

Just this week, KCTV5 became aware of a $1 million property that dropped in value from around $880,000 to around $350,000 — despite the fact that it sold in December for $1,035,000.

Beatty responded some properties accurately fell in value, and that each case has specific information.

There’s clear political tension surrounding the assessment.

“How can we find some level of relief to make sure people can stay in their homes? Thousands of dollars in increases will not work,” said Lucas.

“It’s unfortunate that the mayor stood in front of a camera and made a comment without ever having a conversation to me,” Beatty said. “The mayor knows my phone number.”

ALSO READ: KC mayor calls Jackson County’s property assessment a ‘crisis,’ questions the long-term implications