KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The State Auditor's office released its final report on Jackson county this week, highlighting several concerns over the county's property reassessment in 2019.

The report concluded that Jackson county "...needs to improve controls and procedures in its assessment department to ensure effective and efficient future reassessments," according to a news release highlighting the state's findings.

In 2019 KCTV5's reporting exposed hundreds of inaccuracies and pointed to poor methods of collecting data about properties in Kansas City.

 The assessments led to hundreds of appeals, heated meetings with county officials and several lawsuits.

Christine Taylor-Butler was among the people who appealed the county's assessment of her home in Hyde Park, which had nearly doubled.

"This last property tax was exhausting," she recalled. "We weren't just fighting for ourselves. We were fighting for our neighbors."

 Preston Smith, who works with the Jackson County Board of Equalization, helped KCTV5 identify some of the inaccuracies in the county's methods. Many of the assessments relied on aerial imagery and real estate data instead of in person inspections.

The state's audit validated many of those concerns, noting that Jackson County's overall valuation increased 70 percent higher than any other county in the state.

But Smith was not encouraged at what the report could mean for the county's upcoming assessment in 2021.

"I thought the report was superficial and disappointing," Smith said. "I'm not sure the process is going to improve much."

Smith and Taylor-Butler shared concerns that the county would use many of the same gathering techniques this year. They were also critical of County Assessor Gail McCann Beatty.

"The assessor's still in her office," Taylor-Butler said. "There were no repercussions."

 Taylor Butler remained optimistic that increases in appraisals would not be as dramatic in 2021.

She said if they are, she and her neighbors will be ready.

"We're better prepped now," she said. "I think people understood the stakes once it got huge. I think this time it will be harder to come back with numbers that aren't accurate."

KCTV5.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<

Copyright 2021 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.