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Missouri auditor announces ‘initial review’ of Jackson County assessment process

Jackson County Assessments.png
Posted at 4:49 PM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 18:43:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick’s office announced Friday afternoon plans to conduct an “initial review” of Jackson County’s assessment process.

In a post on a social media platform, Fitzpatrick office included a photo of a letter he sent Aug. 4 to Jackson County Executive Frank White informing him that his office had received “multiple complaints” voicing concerns of the 2023 assessment process.

“…This office is conducting an initial review to investigate the complaint to determine if it is credible,” Fitzpatrick said in the letter.

The letter, which claims the concerns were received through the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline, revolves around property owner concerns over “significantly higher assessed valuations” of property.

Also outlined in the letter is the involvement of a third-party company, Tyler Technology, that the county hired to conduct the property valuation process.

A public relations firm assisting the county in the assessment process told KSHB 41 Friday afternoon it was aware of the letter but did not have any immediate reaction.

MORE | Read Fitzpatrick’s letter

While Fitzpatrick plans an “initial review” conducting a full audit requires either the Jackson County Legislature to request one or the submission of a citizen’s petition with a number of signatures equal to 5 percent of the actual votes cast in the governor’s race in 2022.

RELATED | Here’s how to understand the property assessment process

The letter, signed by Mary Johnson, Chief of Investigations at the auditor’s office, makes a request for a collection of documents associated with the assessment process and is hopeful the county turns them over “no later than Aug. 18, 2023.”

In March, Jackson County Assessor Gail McCann Beatty told KSHB 41 reporter Megan Abundis that the average property value in the county would increase by roughly 30 percent

“I think people question how the process works because they're used to getting an appraisal when they get a loan,” Beatty said in March. “I think they assume that if property values go up, that that automatically means that their taxes are going to go up. But it is actually the taxing jurisdictions that set that tax rate and I encourage them to participate in that process and attend the meetings.”

MORE | KSHB 41 assessment coverage

The county originally set a July 10 deadline for property owners to file an appeal of their valuation, but that deadline was extended to July 31 as the county dealt with a flood of appeals.

In that March interview, Beatty predicted as many as 60,000 appeals would be filed. Earlier this week, after the final appeals deadline had passed, Beatty said her office had received 54,539