Westside KC neighbors frustrated, worried about increased property value assessments

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some Jackson County neighbors are shocked by how much their assessed property values increased.

The deadline to appeal those assessments is getting closer. At the Guadalupe Centers, neighbors are getting help with the appeal process.

A combination of historically low values and a strong real estate market caused the increase in property values, according to Jackson County officials.

“They’re frustrated,” said Ximena Pecina, a community organizer with the Westside Housing Organization. “They’re showing up with a huge sigh. They don’t know what to do.”

Pecina said the process is complicated.

“We have many people who are senior citizens, who are on fixed incomes, who really don’t have access to technology, who don’t know how to use technology, and who do not speak English and cannot read in English and really can’t seem to comprehend what is happening to them,” Pecina said.

Many property owners have written to FOX4, telling us their property values more than doubled.

As of Monday, the Jackson County Director of Assessment said the office received about 5,200 appeals, which is just under 2% of the county’s parcels.

Property owners have until June 24 to file an informal review. They have until July 8 to file an appeal with the Board of Equalization, or BOE.

Charles Lona fears he and his westside neighbors won’t be able to afford their homes anymore with their current assessment values.

“It’s gonna wipe out the Mexican-American community that’s existed in the westside community for many years,” Lona said. “We call this ethnic cleansing. This is a form of government that’s hurting people.”

The Jackson County Director of Assessment said an increase in value will not necessarily mean an increase in taxes because the tax levy is different in every jurisdiction. The amount owed in tax bills won’t be determined until September.

“Total shock and then anger,” Lona said. “We’re a very loyal community. We vote for tax levies — and this is how they repay us.”

Lona and other westside neighbors plan to protest at the next Jackson County Legislature meeting.



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