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Jackson County property tax assessment spikes also shock businesses

Posted at 9:21 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 22:21:53-04

With Jackson County property tax assessment spikes causing outrage among homeowners, 41 Action News learned more about the impact to businesses Tuesday through searches of records and interviews.

More than 21,000 informal requests have been filed with the county by property owners requesting a review of their assessment increase.

In some situations, property owners have seen increases that will double or triple their tax bill, but businesses around the county are in a similar boat.

Manny’s Mexican Restaurant, which has been located in the Crossroads District for four decades, may be on the hook for thousands of dollars more in property taxes this year.

“Shock is probably the first initial reaction,” Manny’s manager David Lopez said. “Then, all of a sudden, you start to get frustrated. Then, you get angry.”

Records provided to 41 Action News by a member of the Jackson County Board of Equalization show Manny’s property taxes are scheduled to increase of 37% from 2017.

For Lopez, the big increase in property taxes could lead to tough choices ahead.

“When we have to look at something like this, it makes us think about our menu prices, our drink prices, what we do with catering and private dining,” he said. “It makes a big difference. It makes a huge difference to small businesses throughout the KCMO metro area.”

Aside from businesses along Southwest Boulevard, other areas around the metro could be hit hard by assessments.

According to the records provided from the county, parts of the Plaza will see a 151% increase in property taxes.

With many businesses impacted by the situation, groups like the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation have been fielding more calls from concerned business and property owners.

“It’s just being able to stay in the places that they’ve been in for so long,” said Hispanic EDC director Michael Carmona. “Even the smallest percentage change is impactful to them.”

Due to businesses facing more uncertainty, Carmona told 41 Action News that the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation is providing extra assistance to help them get by.

“We’re just helping to strengthen their business model and looking at changes to marketing,” he said.

Moving forward, Lopez hopes county leaders reconsider putting such a burden on business owners.

“Regardless of how this decision was made, it needs to be rethought," he said. "It needs to be reviewed and it needs to be corrected. When something like this happens, you feel taken advantage of. It’s not a good feeling.”

The Jackson County Board of Equalization extended the deadline to file formal appeals to property tax assessments by three weeks Monday to July 29.