KANSAS CITY MO (KCTV) -- A homeowner questions how the county could blow her assessment so badly.
She contacted KCTV5 News wondering if aerial photography led to major mistakes. What she discovered prompted our investigative unit to take a closer look.
Sherre Wichmann gained 1,000 square feet of living space, but there’s no renovation and no addition.
Wichmann blames her roof, and now questions how many other assessments are wrong.
‘I know I don’t live in 3,300 square feet,” she said.
Wichmann’s house is actually 2,300 square feet.
“That’s big bucks … that’s like another house,” she said.
The original MLS data on file shows 2,365 square feet, but the county didn’t want to pay $2,000 for full access to the MLS system. They winged it and used pictures.
They now think Wichmann’s home has 3,357 square feet, but it doesn’t.
“My house has been the same since 1960. Somebody explain this?” she said.
The only thing that changed is the county’s perspective. Appraisers viewed properties from the sky and calculated square footage from above. Wichmann thinks her roof with large eves and her front porch threw things off.
“You don’t live under that. That’s not living space. I’m not going to invite you for coffee under the eves in the bushes,” she said.
Her property value shot up from $260,969 to $348,153
“They didn’t check it. They made changes to official record and they didn’t’ send out a notification here’s what it was. Here’s what it is now. Do you agree?” Wichmann said.
Wichmann found the mistake because she went digging. She clicked and clicked until she got property details. Extra steps that most homeowners don’t do.
“I think the files in the city are wrong,” said Christine Taylor Butler who put in the extra work too and discovered the same mistake.
The county gave her an extra 1,000 square feet to her home. She blames this side porch.
“It’s a county at war with its own residents who have been here for decades,” she said.
Both homeowners are furious with the quality of assessments and the current decision to just stick with it even though the list of problems keeps growing
Here’s a look at the concerns that have been directly reported to KCTV5:
- Assessments are uneven -- even on the same street
- Some neighborhoods have been hit extremely hard but not others.
- The county stopped using MLS data that came from a whistleblower, and that’s true.
- Assessments were sent out at the last minute. One family got their notice just this weekend. You should get them in May.