Local

May 13, 2013

Jackson County acknowledges problems with some new assessments

Jackson County is sending 18,000 letters to households where recent valuations may not be accurate, and those properties will get extra scrutiny. Taxpayers also can call the county for an informal review and formally challenge their valuations with the Board of Equalization.

Jackson County Assessor Curtis Koons acknowledged Monday that new valuations on 18,000 residential properties may not be accurate and need additional review.

“They look irregular,” Koons told reporters after addressing members of the Jackson County Legislature.

The legislators have seen a flood of calls from taxpayers who are alarmed about their new property tax assessments. The county recently updated values on 68,000 residential properties, primarily in the southwest corridor and in the Center, Grandview and Hickman Mills school districts.

Jackson County has 268,000 residential parcels, and overall, those property valuations went up only about 3 percent this year.

But Koons said the county this week will send letters to 18,000 households whose new valuations seemed questionable. He explained that, with the troubled real estate market in recent years, it is often difficult to get sufficient comparable sales data to make an accurate assessment. And some of the comparable data may not have been true reflections of the market, he said.

County Legislator Crystal Williams said she had received dozens of calls in the last week, primarily from residents of Hyde Park, Coleman Highlands, other parts of midtown and the Ward Parkway corridor. One caller complained of a valuation jumping from about $267,000 to nearly $500,000.

Koons said about 1,500 people have called or filled out informal complaints about their new assessments. But he said the county will review the 18,000 and make adjustments as necessary. He said that homeowners often have independent appraisals or other information that is useful to the county, so that information is welcome.

Informal appeals can be filed until June 14 by calling 816-881-4601 or going to

JacksonGov.org/appeal. Formal appeals before the Board of Equalization can be filed through July 8.

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