JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- A record number of Jackson County homeowners are appealing their property taxes.
About of 10% of all homeowners have filed some sort of appeal. More than 21,000 people filed an informal appeal. More than 9,000 people have filed a formal appeal.
Those appeals numbers will continue to grow as we inch towards Monday’s deadline.
Now, community groups are pushing for more time.
In the Westside neighborhood, there’s a predominately Hispanic community that was just nailed in property values.
Charlie Lona’s house doubled, and so did his neighbor across the street. They are the lucky ones, because doubling is the lowest we found. Some went up five times from what they were the previous year.
“It has to be a mistake, that’s what I thought,” he said. “They want us out. It’s that simple!”
Lona has lived there for decades and he’s never seen a tax bill like that.
“They are going to get our land,” he said. “They are going to try to get our land.”
He’s fighting back by knocking on doors and helping neighbors fill out formal appeals.
“We are fighting the plan, period!” he said. “It’s racist, unjust and unequal!
People around Westside mostly live paycheck to paycheck and formal appraisals are expensive.
“We don’t have the money to do that,” Lona said, regarding an appraisal. “They are picking on the communities that have the least resources to defend themselves.”
Monday is the deadline.
“We need more time,” Lona said. “Please extend the deadline. Please.”
That is a sentiment that is being echoed across Kansas City.
Hispanic groups are joining forces with African American groups and others who feel targeted in this assessment. There is concern that there are many people who are not aware that Monday is the deadline.
“We are going to stay one way or another,” Lona said. “We are going to stay!”
The feeling around Westside is that higher property taxes are simply the beginning of a land grab, with the taxes forcing people from their homes.
So far, the deadline has not been extended.
On Friday, there will be a town forum on property taxes at Metropolitan Baptist Missionary Church at 6 p.m.
Different community groups are hosting weekend forums. One will be held at the Southeast Community Center at 4201 E. 63rd St. at 2 p.m. on Saturday.