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Judge delivers harsh criticism to Jackson County's assessment efforts, but rules against cities in lawsuit

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Posted at 10:54 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 23:54:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Judge Derek M. Spencer, a Cass County Associate Circuit Judge, issued a withering criticism of Jackson County's assessment efforts last year, but ruled against two cities who sued the county.

The ruling in the case was filed Monday in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.

The cities of Independence, Blue Springs and Lee's Summit filed the lawsuits September 22, 2023, when there was an uproar over problems with property assessments in Jackson County.

The ruling states the only claim pursued at trial was mandamus against county respondents.

A writ of mandamus writ asks a court to order, in this case, Jackson County, do what it should do.

In his ruling, the judge pointed out after a review of an exhibit it appears "Jackson County failed to adequately notify 75% of property owners who faced increases of 15% or greater their rights to request interior inspections in April 2023."

The judge's conclusion included another blast at the county's performance.

"The Court does not deny the Realtors relief as a stamp of approval for the performance of Jackson County officials with regard to the 2023 biennial reassessments," the ruling states.

In addition, the judge stated, "County Respondents have violated statutes, but a writ of mandamus is not an approprite remedy."

Judge Spencer also pointed out in his conclusion,"taxing jurisdictions deserve better public service from the officials of Jackson County."