Property tax protesters want a vote on Jackson County assessment director

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Homeowners who have been fighting Jackson County's property reassessments are upset that Assessment Director Gail McCann Beatty continues in her job, despite her contract expiring at the end of December.

Some property owners want a vote on who should serve as assessor.

In July 2018, county executive Frank White appointed McCann Beatty as assessment director with a contract, approved by Jackson County legislators, through the end of 2019.

Those who claim last year's property reassessments were unfair and inequitable attended Monday's Jackson County legislature meeting to oppose a renewed contract for the McCann Beatty.

But it didn't happen.

A lawyer involved in one of the reassessment suits against Jackson County says McCann Beatty continues working as an "at will" employee, reporting to White.

Her employment cannot be reviewed or terminated by county legislators.

"I don’t think it’s right," said Joseph A. Fernandez, who protested his home's reassessment. "I think it should be like I said, voted by the people. They can’t just hand-pick them like Frank is doing."

A joint resolution has been introduced by lawmakers in Jefferson City, Mo., last month to ask voters in November, or at the next special election, to require that the county assessor become an elected position in the state of Missouri.

So far, three lawsuits have been filed against Jackson County claiming last year's reassessment is discriminatory, lacked physical inspections and fails to meet industry standards for property appraisal.

A record number, more than 21,000 homeowners, have appealed their property values.

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