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Missouri auditor announces start of audit of Jackson County Assessment Department

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Posted at 11:21 AM, Sep 29, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick announced Friday his office has formally started an audit process of the Jackson County Assessment Department.

The audit, of which was requested through a vote in August by the Jackson County Legislature, stems from widespread frustration over the 2023 property assessment process.

More than 54,000 Jackson County residents filed a property tax appeal and thousands of others reported "difficulty with the appeal process," ranging from excessive phone hold times to website errors, per the resolution.

At least three cities — Independence, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs — have filed lawsuits against the county over the assessment process.

Fitzpatrick says his office started work on the audit on Sept. 25. The office launched an “initial review” of the assessment process in early August after receiving “multiple complaints” from county residents.

A formal audit wasn’t possible unless voters went through a petition process or if an audit was requested by the Jackson County Legislature.

“Our team will conduct a thorough examination of the assessment process with a focus on the red flags and serious concerns raised by homeowners throughout Jackson County,” Fitzpatrick said Friday. “We realize time is of the essence and will move as efficiently as possible to conduct our review, but it’s important for everyone to understand that a comprehensive audit is a lengthy process that will take months to complete.”

The auditor’s office requests anyone who may have information relevant to the audit to call 800-347-8597 or go online.