JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. - Tax assessments - and their appeals - have been on the minds of Jackson County residents all summer. It's affecting people and properties from Waldo to Blue Springs, Independence to Hyde Park, and Lee's Summit to West Paseo.
On Saturday, a group of real estate agents tried to help the best way they knew how.
Rosalind O`Hora was the first person into the Keys Realty Group office Saturday afternoon.
"They said 1 to 3," she said. "I said 'I'll be there.'"
And it was easy to understand why. O'Hora was a teacher for 40 years, but the legal paperwork she had for her tax assessment appeal could've been written in Greek for all she knew.
"This legal paperwork - it's just more than I can comprehend," she said. "I had filled out my paperwork and mailed it in, but I brought a copy down here to make sure I did it correctly. Come to find out, I did not do it correctly."
So she found someone who could comprehend it. Joseph Jackson went over every piece of paper.
"A lot of people are frustrated and a lot of people will be affected if they don't take action," Tenesia Looney, head of Keys Realty Group, said.
Ever since Jackson County tax assessments hit mailboxes earlier this summer, there have been a lot of questions about the appeal process. Home owners told FOX4 that their property tax values have sky rocketed while their homes' values have remained stagnant. Now, these experts have some answers to appealing the assessments.
"We`re giving them a step by step process," Looney said. "We`re not filling out their paperwork for them... we`re going over their paperwork and telling them what parts they need to mark. We are pulling comparable sales in their area, and we`re also giving them other tips that they can add to the paperwork."
It's exactly what O'Hora needed.
"They've clarified a lot a lot of things, so I know what to write down," she said. "And what I don't know, they're right here to help me. So filling out my paperwork before I leave so then I'll write down the steps to follow through."
"I am very thankful that these people are here," she said.
Roughly 22,000 other homeowners are like her, who have filed informal appeals with the Jackson County Board of Equalization.
For O'Hora and so many like her, "it's for my family to have a foundation, and I definitely don't want to move out."
Remember, the appeal deadline was extended until July 29th.
Three other help sessions are planned for the next week. They are:
- Thursday, July 18
- 11 am
- Robert Mohart Center
- 3200 Wayne Avenue, Kansas City
- 6 pm
- Celt Realty Group
- 4435 Prospect Ave, Kansas City
- 11 am
- Saturday, July 27
- 2 pm
- Southeast Community Center
- 4201 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City
- 2 pm