The blame game for sky-high Jackson County property taxes continues as locals scramble to cover costs and try to convince local, mostly renter newsies about the importance of the debate.
Even better . . .
SPECIAL THANKS TO COURTHOUSE INSIDERS FOR A GLIMPSE INTO HOW THE PROPERTY TAX CRISIS STARTED!!!
For some it's inside baseball but most locals familiar with the process know that a member of the Board of Equalization is appointed by the school board. For this current cycle of assessments what we're hearing from inside the courthouse is that new consultants to the BOE were focused on raising cash for schools and targeted neighborhoods that were undergoing gentrification. Sadly, the scattershot approach took out their wrath on a wide cross-section of residents.
Accordingly . . .
INSIDER FEAR THAT HIGHER PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS ARE PART OF POLITICAL PUSH BACK AGAINST NEW MONEY IN KANSAS CITY NEIGHBORHOODS AND LONGTIME RESIDENTS ARE MERELY ENDURING COLLATERAL DAMAGE!!!
Remember that the school board has long been one of the most "progressive" institutions in Kansas City and supporters have led the charge to challenge developer tax breaks which take cash away from schools, libraries and neighborhoods. Courthouse insiders fear that consultants suggested by the school board put this agenda into practice when configuring assessments. At the very least, the denial of an agenda regarding the property tax spikes is obfuscation at best -- There's always a motive when money is involved.
What's worse is that the response from elected officials in Jackson County has been lackluster.
According to one Courthouse Insider:
"They're sitting on their f*ing hands. They think that people are going to forget about this in 3 & 1/2 years but nothing could be further from the truth. When people's homes are at stake. The consequences of this increase puts every legislator at risk. Right now (Exec) Frank White might have bigger things to worry about but all of the legislators can expect potential opponents to capitalize on this horrible mistake."
So what should have happened? How could Jackson County have handled this better???
Another Courthouse Insider responds:
"At the very least, the Legislature should have been out there the very next day and called a special committee or offered a way to facilitate and improve the appeal process. Instead, they decided to weather the firestorm of criticism and lay low. Bad move. Toward the end of this year, when the bills come due. They're going to get a whole new wave of complaints and really heartbreaking stories about people being pushed out of their homes."
Accordingly, here's some of the ensuing coverage and a glimpse of the crisis in the making . . .
Tax Fear Hits Kansas City
When Christine Taylor-Butler opened her property tax assessment Friday, she was shocked to see the value of her Hyde Park home had been raised by $250,000, which is up around 70 percent. "If someone writes me a check for $600,000, I will sell right now," Taylor-Butler laughed.
Sticker Shock Aftermath
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Lisa Meinen was shocked when she got her property assessment. The house she owns and rents out in the Troost Plateau neighborhood off 57th Street and Forest Avenue jumped from $45,000 last year to $102,000 this year. "Do they want me to sell? Like, is that the plan here?"
No More Low Cost Kansas City
Hide Transcript Show Transcript COUNTY ARE WONDERING WHETHER VALUES ARE SO HIGH. >> ON THE BACK HERE THEY HAVE THE TAX ASSESSMENT. >> I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? >> THIS IS THIS YEAR'S MARKET VALUE. >> WHEN SHE GOT HER TAX ASSESSMENT IN THE MAIL, SHE SOUGHT AS AN EVICTION NOTICE.
Accordingly . . .
The political fallout continues but here's a sneak peek at where this controversy is going . . .
EXPECT BLAME TO SHIFT TO LOCAL EDUCATION LEADERS AS TAXPAYER OUTRAGE WORSENS AND VOTERS SEARCH FOR VULNERABLE TARGETS!!!
And so, there's a hint that advocates against upcoming KCMO Question 1 on the June 18th ballot can use this costly move to their advantage and paint education activists against developer TIF as vengeful and responsible for higher priced setbacks to local residents.
Developing . . .