KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Gail Beatty is the director of Jackson County Assessment Office. She’s new to this position but has extensive experience in real estate and appraisals.
“I don’t want anyone to lose property over this,” she said.
Beatty admits even she is stunned with what she is hearing from homeowners.
“I was shocked in some cases into the increases they had, but I am bound by state statute,” she said.
Beatty somewhat expected this saying property values in the Kansas City area have increased 12.9% in the past two years since the last assessment. So, the hikes are for a lot of homeowners are hefty.
KCTV5 questioned her about home many homes have increased in value more than 15%.
“About 30% of all went over 15%,” Beatty said.
When we asked if that has happened in the past, she told us “there is no easy button you can push to see what increases were and there is no historical way of tracking that.”
That response stunned local realtor Curtis Jay. He says the county should have a better handle on the tax base.
“When values were increasing in the urban core, they were still claiming $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 when they sold for $300,000. But because they failed for decades, people should not penalized for their mistakes,” he said.
The emails pouring in from senior citizens and young families is sobering. Many fear they will lose their homes.
The county reached what they call a “correlated value” on each property. They grouped neighborhoods together, reviewed recent sales and then they considered characteristics of your home. They used computer programs to crunch that information.
But odds are no one looked at your house in person. They simply used satellite photos which has sparked criticism.
“Do you think like in St. Louis if you are going to increase value more than 15%, someone should knock on the door and take a good look,” questioned KCTV5’s investigative reporter Angie Ricono.
Beatty said while that sounds perfect solution she said staffing won’t allow for that.
“We would need a thousand appraisers to do that," Beatty said.
The county has 15 appraisers.
Beatty says the number of people calling and planning to fight their assessments could reach a new high. It’s something she encourages.
“We are here to help you give us an opportunity to do that,” she said.
On Thursday, grab a notebook. We are going to lay out how to fight your sky-high assessment.
We’d love for you to be a part of our conversation. Let us know about your tax bill. Send us an email.