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Data analyst says 2023 Jackson County property assessment could be worse than 2019

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 19:39:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While Jackson County property assessments appear to favor taxpayers this year, a Kansas City-area data analyst said he's worried about 2023.

Preston Smith, a data analyst and Blue Springs representative for the Jackson County Board of Equalization, recently received the 2021 Jackson County property assessment data – after requesting it in March – and compared this year to the mess that was 2019.

"What stood out was, one, we didn't have the big increases we had two years ago," said Smith, who was critical of the assessment process in 2019. "You have only 6/10ths of all the parcels that were at 14.9%, versus 28% of the parcels two years ago at 14.9."

Many residents received a 14.9% increase or higher in 2019, causing thousands of appeals.

According to Smith's analysis, 30.4% of properties will receive a 0% to 5% increase; 24.3% of properties will receive a 5% to 10% increase; 24.9% of properties will receive a 10% to 14.8% increase; 5.5% of properties will receive a 0% percent increase; and 11.2% of properties will receive a below-zero increase.

County Assessment Director Gail McCann Beatty said her office was conservative on purpose, but that the county's properties still aren't up to true market value.

Smith said he anticipates the 2023 assessment will hit homeowners hard in an effort to bring values to where they should be.

"They still didn't keep up with market values, they're too low," Smith said. "So now to compensate two years from now, they're going to go the opposite way and go up even more to make up the ground they didn't get now."

The county contracted with Tyler Technologies, out of Ohio, for $18 million to take over the assessment process for 2023.

Tony Conant, president of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, said if the assessments are fair and not based on "drive-by" appraisals, they won't have a massive effect on the real estate market.

"Looking at real estate, it's very rarely a straight line," Conant said. "There are typically peaks and valleys. I would caution them to look at that and say, you know, this may be another peak, which may be followed by another valley,"

Smith said he plans to further analyze the data but for now, he can't see any clear indication that any area of town was hit harder than another.