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'It's the trickle effect': Tenants fear higher property taxes means higher monthly payments

"It's the trickle effect": Tenants fear for what's next with property tax increases.
Posted at 6:55 AM, Jul 07, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The deadline for Jackson County residents to appeal their property tax assessment is Monday, July 10. It's quickly approaching, and while KSHB 41 has talked to homeowners who are frustrated, renters are just as scared for what's to come.

"If Jackson County wants to make people homeless they’ve done a good job," said Ryan Gritters, a KC realtor and owner of a four unit apartment complex on Van Brunt Boulevard. "I don’t think that’s actually what they want, but it is the practical implications of how they’re handling this situation."

Gritters bought the building when the tax value was $80,000. Now, it's between $240,000-$250,000. That's a 335% increase. He's usually able to absorb these hikes, but he can't do this one on his own, which could mean an increase in rent for his tenants.

"Every building like this is a business," Gritters said. "Most of them are owned by people like me, and businesses have to cover their expenses, the revenue source is rents, the logical way to cover that is through rents."

For an area with low income housing, any increase could be detrimental.

"Tenants especially have recently experienced, after COVID, a decent increase in their rents just because all prices in their area went up," Gritters said. "Right now, it’s kind of the same thing as homeowners. There’s just a lot of unknowns. Is this going to happen, is it not, a lot of uncertainty built in."

"It’s really scary, you know what I’m saying, because you got people who are homeless," said Alecia McBride. She lives in an apartment off of Van Brunt and grew up in the area. "I see a lot of more people out on the streets now... no place to go."

For her, she's planning ahead, especially if this means a higher rent.

"Saving more, trying to find a better job, or possibly relocating," McBride said. "Honestly, that’s what I’m thinking about doing, possibly relocating."

Friday, July 7 is the last day the county is offering walk-in's for appeals. Doors open around 8 a.m.