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Bill introduced in Missouri House would peg assessment increases to Consumer Price Index

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 18:24:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Rep. Jeff Coleman introduced a bill Wednesday that would alter how counties assess property values.

Coleman, a Republican from Grain Valley, has proposed House Bill 1860, which clarifies how assessed values are reached and how increases are meted out.

Coleman represents District 32 in the Missouri House of Representatives, which includes Grain Valley and a large chunk of predominantly rural eastern Jackson County, where the fallout from its 2019-2020 assessment debacle has dragged into a seventh month.

The bill would require counties to assess properties at the sale price or “the same value determined at the most recent assessment,” according to Coleman’s proposal.

It also pegs the allowed percentage increase for a property assessment in subsequent assessment cycles to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index, a federally calculated measure of economic inflation, during the same period of time, unless the increase is based on new construction or property improvements.

During 2019, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.3%, a far cry from the assessed value increases seen across Jackson County, many of which were arbitrarily set at 14.9% in many cases to avoid triggering statutory requirements for a physical inspection.

Other properties saw assessed values more than double or triple from the last cycle, putting the Jackson County Assessment Department in the cross-hairs for citizen ire.

According to analysis from the Committee on Legislate Research Oversight Division, some taxing jurisdictions may not appreciate "the limitation on assessment growth," because of the likelihood it "may negatively impact revenues for school districts, counties, cities, fire districts and other local taxing jurisdictions."

The committee's fiscal analysis also posited that such restrictions on assessment increases "may create disparities and inequities over time" that shift the tax burden, because "a newer home's true market value used for assessment may increase far more than an older home or visa versa."

Counties would be free to decrease a property’s assessed penalty at will.