JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – On Friday, KCTV5 News learned that state lawmakers are talking about stepping in to do something about the Jackson County assessment mess.

A special committee made up of 10 representatives has been formed to address the property tax concerns of homeowners across the state.

Jackson County homeowners have been outraged at sky-high assessments.

KCTV5 has connected with homeowners who have seen a 450% increase on their homes.

State Representative Robert Sauls from Independence said a solution must come from the state level to protect and help all taxpayers.

He’s especially concerned about what he’s hearing from seniors and who would need to spend hundreds of dollars to fight rising assessments.

“Honestly my biggest concern is dealing with people living on fixed incomes or paycheck to paycheck. These people are struggling to get by and this only makes it worse,” said Sauls.

Sauls said the reports he’s seen on KCTV5, which show 28% of homeowners receiving assessments of a perfect 14.9%, concern him. That report also revealed the 14.9% assessments blanketed much of the county, but in the city many homeowners faced steeper taxes.

Other reports revealed problems we uncovered with the help of whistleblowers and homeowners. Assessments appear uneven inside neighborhoods and on the same street, land values have shot up, and some information on assessments is flat out wrong.

It’s unclear what the committee plans to do because it has just formed and members have not had a chance to meet. However, Sauls said there is absolutely a willingness among state leaders to step in and solve this problem.

Other members include:

  • Rep. J. Eggleston (R) Maysville, MO
  • Rep. Mike McGirl (R) Potosi, MO
  • Rep. Steve Butz (D) St. Louis, MO
  • Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R) St. Peters, MO
  • Rep. Jeff Coleman (R) Grain Valley, MO
  • Rep. Jim Murphy (R) St. Louis, MO
  • Rep. Chrissy Sommer (R) St. Charles, MO
  • Rep. Jered Taylor (R) Republic, MO
  • Rep. Barbara Washington (D) Kansas City, MO

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(2) comments

rob_kc

The most regressive tax on working families living paycheck to paycheck is actually the state sales tax.

rob_kc

The least bad solution is a land value tax appraised using the building residual method of assessment. With a land value tax, lots are only appraised at the price they are expected to sell for if cleared of improvements. This is done by dividing the improved real estate price by the land area, plotting the price per area on an overhead map, smoothing this downwards to deduct the value of improvements, and then summing the value of the land enclosed by each lot. This ensures that appraisals do not exceed the value of the land + improvements. Taxing land instead of buildings also reduces blight, vacancies, and spikes in assessments caused by large investors engaged in land speculation.

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