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Jackson County property tax relief goes into law without Frank White's signature

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Posted at 11:07 AM, Oct 02, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seniors and other select property taxpayers in Jackson County will be eligible for tax relief starting next year, but the new law took effect without the signature of County Executive Frank White Jr.

At a meeting in September, the legislature unanimously passed a measure that would make certain homeowners eligible for property-tax relief starting in 2024.

The measure was necessary to take advantage of a change in state law, which gives local jurisdictions the ability to freeze property taxes for qualifying seniors.

The issue drew particular attention this year as many taxpayers in Jackson County rankled at updated assessments of the value of their property. More than 50,000 property assessment appeals were filed.

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Jackson County's ordinance took effect late last week, but it became law without the customary signature of White.

KSHB 41 I-Team reporter Sarah Plake sought clarification on White’s stance regarding the law, which didn’t require his signature to take effect.

“The County Executive is supportive of providing meaningful tax relief for senior citizens,” county spokesperson Marshanna Smith said in a statement to KSHB 41 News on Friday.

Smith said that White doesn't believe the ordinance allows other jurisdictions within the county, such as school districts or the community mental health fund, to exempt themselves from participation.

“Due to his concerns and the potential for litigation, the County Executive chose not to sign the legislation nor veto it, and allowed it to go into law,” Smith said.