KANSAS CITY, MO. (KCTV) – Jackson County’s homeowners are likely to breathe a sigh of relief at this year’s property valuations, following a wild 2019 review criticized by experts and homeowners alike.
Two years ago, property tax bills soared for some homeowners. The changes were missing in the case of identity checks.
Following the 2019 reviews, four class action lawsuits have been filed accusing the county of targeting poorer neighborhoods. The state law has changed in the meantime. Now all changes above 15% require a physical inspection.
Our research also found that the county appeared to be hedging its bets, increasing taxes by a general 14.9% for 28% of all homeowners in the suburbs.
We went back to the data expert we spoke to in our previous reports. Preston Smith and asked him to crack this year’s number. He found a much more cautious assessment.
His research shows Jackson County needs to make significant strides before valuations reflect the market value that is the goal of any property appraisal.
Smith compared actual sales to review records that show the information is far away.
“We have valuation inaccuracies again this year, but in this case it benefits the taxpayer,” said Smith.
Smith found that 14.9% is no longer the favorite number this year.
“It’s like they avoided that number on purpose,” said Smith. “They know we watched and withdrew.”
Sixty percent of households saw an increase of less than 10%, and around a quarter saw an increase between 10 and 15%. The only major changes involved renovation and construction work. And some houses lost value.
Get ready for 2023
Jackson County’s director of valuation, Gail McCann Beatty, stated that this year’s valuations have been more cautious and the county is spending $ 18 million on contracts with an outside company to provide more accurate future valuations.
Jackson County’s legislature passed a resolution in March 2020 stating that property taxes should not be increased due to COVID and ongoing issues in the valuation department.
However, this was only a recommendation. McCann Beatty says state law wouldn’t allow her to ignore a valuation cycle, saying that home values are going up like crazy and she wants homeowners to be prepared for 2023.
“We didn’t want to freeze any values this year and what will the taxpayers do in 2023? We fear that there will also be some increases in 2023. However, the impact could be significant or significantly worse if we freeze stocks this year in a market as strong as we are currently seeing, ”said McCann Beatty.
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