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Blue Springs votes to join Independence’s lawsuit regarding Jackson County assessments

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Sep 21, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blue Springs will join a lawsuit filed by the city of Independence over Jackson County’s contentious property value assessments.

Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross and the Blue Springs City Council voted unanimously Monday night “to move forward with joining the lawsuit against Jackson County over the 2023 property tax assessment.”

The Mayor and City Council are authorizing legal action to ensure the residents of Blue Springs receive a fair and consistent process for the assessment of real property in compliance with state law.

We feel it is necessary at this time to take action and represent the citizens of Blue Springs against these unfair assessments amid growing unresolved complaints.

The City of Blue Springs will not be commenting further at this time as this is a pending legal matter.
— Joint statement from Blue Springs City Council

Blue Springs passed a resolution in July encouraging Jackson County to leave property assessments unchanged from 2022, but the county has previously said it can’t legally skip the assessment process or impose a flat increase on all properties as some have suggested.

RELATED | Confused by Jackson County’s property-assessment process? Here’s how Missouri’s system works

There were more than 54,000 appeals filed during the 2023 assessment cycle, impacting nearly one of every five properties in Jackson County, which also came under fire for significant issues that arose during the 2019 assessment cycle.

The Jackson County Legislature voted in August to withhold future payments from Tyler Technologies, the company contracted to assist the county with the property-valuation process, until it’s satisfied that obligations under the contract have been met.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Jackson County property-value assessments

The Missouri State Auditor’s Office has signaled its willingness to perform a comprehensive audit of the assessment process, which the county is required to perform every two years under state law.

Some Jackson County residents sued over alleged missteps in the assessment process in June.

Lee’s Summit became the first city to sue the county earlier this month due to “failures” in Jackson County’s assessment process. Its lawsuit also names County Assessor Gail McCann Beatty and County Executive Frank White Jr.

"After years of Jackson County’s repeated failures to make correct real property tax assessments, the City of Lee’s Summit filed a lawsuit to get a court’s help to force the County and its officials to make accurate assessments as required by Missouri law," Lee's Summit said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

Independence announced last week that it had filed a separate lawsuit “in the wake of continuous failures by Jackson County officials to correct their inconsistent and unfair processes related to the assessment of real property."

Property values are adjusted every two years and used to determine a property owner's tax obligation after new rates are set annually by taxing jurisdictions — including school districts, libraries, city and county government, fire departments and other public entities, depending on where a property is located.