KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the deadline to file a property tax appeals quickly approaching, community members are offering last-minute legal assistance around Jackson County.
Attorneys, real estate agents and council members met Tuesday at Mattie Rhodes Center in the Northeast to help homeowners fight assessment increases.
“If these incorrect values are allowed to stand, then our affordable housing crisis is going to have a bigger problem and bigger impact on our market than we originally thought," local real estate agent Stacy Johnson-Cosby said.
Crosby is one of the real estate agents volunteering time and expert advice ahead of the looming deadline.
In some cases, homeowners property values are doubling by thousands of dollars.
"We have a lady who says that if the process stays as it is now, she is going to default on her primary residence. We say do not default. Don't give up that easily. Talk to an agent and let's look at the values to see if the county was right or wrong. If they were wrong, she needs to appeal so she can stay in her family home," Johnson said.
Third District Councilman Brandon Ellington was in attendance Tuesday, stressing to neighbors the importance of appealing if they disagree.
“I think it’s a necessity that people challenge these appeals. I think it’s a necessity that people fight for their property, and I fight for the underdog. And when I see government abuse, I have no choice but to get involved," Ellington said.
As of mid-July, roughly 22,000 homeowners had filed appeals with the Jackson County Board of Equalization. The deadline to file an appeal is Sept. 3.
The final informational workshop will he held Thursday at Disabled American Veterans DAV Building off 40 Highway at 6 p.m.
The Kansas City Public Library System is also offering assistance through Legal Aid of Western Missouri. The remaining dates are: Aug. 21, 2-4 p.m., Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.; Aug. 27, 9:30 -11:30 a.m., Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St.; and Aug. 29, 2-4 p.m., Westport Branch, 118 Westport Road.