Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca discusses property taxes with Radio Active Magazine regular Spencer Graves. This is a follow-on to the interviews with appraisers with The Williams Group and with Robert Sauls, who represents Eastern Independence in the Missouri state House of Representatives, which aired July 4.
Legislators Abarca and Sean Smith are asking homeowners to consider fighting this: Research your appraisal(s) and compare the appraisal(s) of your real estate with those of properties that seem to you to be comparable and file an appeal before the new deadline of July 31 if that seems appropriate, if you have not already done so. Instructions on how to do this are available in the description of the July 4 episode of Radio Active Magazine. (Don’t wait to July 31 to appeal, because Jackson County’s telephone and Internet systems are notoriously unreliable.)
In addition, Abarca and Smith are asking everyone who cares about Jackson County to write and call Jackson County, Missouri, Executive Frank White, asking him to do for residences what they’ve done for businesses: Give them a flat 15% increase while looking for some other way to improve Jackson County’s property assessment system.
email: Frank White, Jr. <[email protected]>
Phone: 816-881-3000 [general County number]
County Executive Frank White, Jr.
415 E 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Chapter 20, section 2050 of the Jackson County Code says, “The County Executive or his duly appointed deputy shall hear and determine all allegations of errors appearing on the assessment and tax records of the county and shall cause to be corrected all errors found to exist.”1 There is substantial evidence that the work of Tyler Technologies, if allowed to stand, may be worse than useless, likely doing irreparable damage to humans who live here and to the future of Jackson County as a whole. This new Tyler Technologies system may benefit some international vulture capitalists, who reportedly are plundering and wrecking America, as described in a recent book by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner.2 If this is accurate, the Jackson County Code would appear to require the County Executive to conclude that there are too many questions about the work done by Tyler Technologies to allow it to stand. In its place Executive White could treat residential real estate they same way commercial is reportedly being treated this year, receiving a flat 15% increase. In addition, Executive White could also empanel a committee of leading realtors and appraisers in the greater metro area to develop a plan with a budget for extricating Jackson County from its current crisis.
Similarly, Jeff Coleman who represents District 32, part of Jackson County, in the Missouri state House of Representatives, is asking people to call and write Governor Parson asking him to call a special session of the Missouri General Assembly to fix this problem.
Governor Mike Parson
email via a form:
Phone: (573) 751-3222
Office of Governor Michael L. Parson
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
You do not have to own property or live in Missouri to try to contact Executive White and Governor Parson.
Beyond this, Legislator Sean Smith is proposing a Homeowner’s Bill of Rights to include the following:
1. Assessed fairly.
2. Assessed transparently (Like the system currently being used in Johnson County, Kansas, where anyone can see the “comparable” properties being used to assess the value. This is very different from the current system in Jackson County, where people have reportedly filed Sunshine requests to get their “comparables” and have not gotten the results until after their appeal hearing.)
3. Predictable living costs — increases in property taxes based only on what an owner occupier paid for the home, barring major upgrades, not on the value of “comparables”. This would NOT apply to commercial or residential rentals.
4. Never FEAR an appeal.
5. Never be intimidated or coerced during an appeal: Homeowners have reportedly been told that if they don’t accept the Board of Equalization offers, their assessment could increase 500%.
The Kansas City Beacon 2023-07-18 published a report entitled, “When corporations buy KC homes, we all pay“.3 This report says that a substantial portion of the increase in property values, and therefore also in assessments, is coming from corporations and other investors. Some corporations pay net negative taxes, getting tax rebates on taxes they do not pay.4 Poor people are being forced to sell and move away or accept more modest homes, because they can’t afford to pay the increases in property taxes. And most people are being forced to pay more taxes, apparently to subsidize the wealthy.
For instructions on how to research real estate values in Jackson County, MO (and Johnson County, KS), and for more information about this topic, see “Reassessment in Jackson County, Missouri-comments by Appraisers and others“, Radio Active Magazine, 2023-07-04.
1. Jackson County Code, Chapter 20, section 2050:
2. Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner (2023) These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs―and Wrecks―America (Simon and Schuster)
3. The Kansas City Beacon, “When corporations buy KC homes, we all pay” (https://kcbeacon.org/stories/2023/07/11/corporate-home-buyers-jackson-county-property-tax/, accessed 2023-07-21).
4. Ben Werschkuhl, “These 4 Fortune 100 companies paid negative federal taxes in 2021“, Yahoo News, 2023-04-26 (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/these-4-fortune-100-companies-paid-negative-taxes-in-2021-180828715.html, accessed 2023-07-21). See also Ryan Furhmann, “How Large Corporations Avoid Paying Taxes“, Investopedia, 2023-02-07 (https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0512/how-large-corporations-get-around-paying-less-in-taxes.aspx, accessed 2023-07-21).
Copyright 2023, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 international license, Spencer Graves