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Father of 2 shares appeal process frustration as Jackson County property assessments increase

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 02, 2023

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — Blake Richardson spent about six hours Wednesday at the Jackson County Assessor's Office at 1300 Washington Street.

“The county, within a 30-minute conversation, knocked off $179,340 off my assessment value,” Richardson said.

Despite his favorable outcome, Richardson says the process was far from easy.

“There were 40-plus people there that arrived before 8 a.m. that sat there, and I wasn’t seen until 2:30,” he said.

After finally getting in and showing comparable sales in his neighborhood as well as updated pictures of his home, Richardson says he was met with a compromise.

“She said, 'Well, I feel like you are going to be in the $350,000 to $360,000 range',” Richardson said. “So we ended up agreeing at $355,000, right there in the middle.”

The 38-year-old from Grain Valley says it was worth the wait to receive answers after his property assessment caused his home value to jump from $302,000 to $536,000.

“It was a 78% increase,” Richardson said.

The increase would have cost Richardson an additional $800 each month, which he says would have been a 35% increase on his mortgage.

Navigating being short in escrow and possible lean holder increases to make up for this year in addition to increases going into a 2024 assessment, Richardson was concerned the financial burden would affect his ability to support his kids' love of sports.

“Maybe we gotta go down to one sport or not sports at all this season,” Richardson said. "So do I need to take that time away from volunteering and go get a second job to be able to cover the mortgage? These are all the questions that were racing through our minds.”

In the end, Richardson was able to negotiate his increase from 78% to 18%.

He encourages anyone — young or old — affected by the assessments to appeal by July 10.

“Let your voice be heard," Richardson said. "That's the only way you are going to get something changed."