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Jackson County residents protest property tax increases outside KCMO City Hall

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Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 08, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Frustrations against Jackson County’s property tax assessments were seen in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday morning.

Dozens gathered outside the KCMO City Hall to protest their rates. Many of their rates doubled since last year, while some even saw percent increases in the hundreds.

“There’s a lot of arguments, speculations, emotions are flying and rightfully so,” Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca said. “Whatever we need to do to modify these things, we need to ride this momentum to get those things done now.”

The deadline to appeal property tax assessments was extended from July 1 to July 31, but Abarca says the bigger conversations on how to move forward are just beginning.

He wants the state to give counties more localized authority so that the legislature can make modification directly going forward.

“Things like changing the date of collection, making sure 12 months payment programs are there, making sure there are fixed rates within assessed value that will get us there in a cap, that’ll move us forward,” Abarca said.

He says right now, the only thing residents can really do is get their appeals in before the deadline. Other resolutions in the works will not come in time for the Dec. 1 bill.

“SB 190 is one of the proposals right? So that is a fix for the future — the next tax cycle would be frozen for seniors that qualify for that program. However, that’s the future, that's not right now,” Abarca said. “Appeal your taxes, make sure you have the information, do the informals, if you disagree with that, go to the state tax commission.”

Protestors on Saturday talked about the importance of new leadership if they want to see change.

“They need to not just sit at home and watch the TV and complain," Tina Burch said. "You know they need to get out and be proactive."

Burch and and another resident, Paul Salerno, both believe change starts at the grassroots level, specifically by showing up to the polls.

“We don’t want our houses taken from us and that’s gonna happen if we don’t start doing something and we don’t start waking up,” Salerno said. “10 percent of the people vote during these local elections. Come on.”