Midtown reassessments being reassessed

County assessment director Curtis Koons said county is mailing notice to 18,000 homeowners that their new reassessments are being reconsidered. This comes after many in Midtown have complained that their new assessed value seemed to exceed the market value of their homes.

For some who gasped when they got their Jackson County reassessment notices, there is hope.

The county is mailing notice to 18,000 homeowners that their new reassessments are being reassessed.

Many are in the Midtown area, where residents have complained of huge increases in property values – a prelude to huge property tax increases.

Curtis Koons, county assessment director, reported the problem Monday to the Jackson County Legislature.

There were too few normal sales and that led to a shortage of sales to reliably set values, he said. The county does not count foreclosure sales or so called short sales, where a bank lender approves a sale at a loss.

“There are just not a lot of comparables,” Koons said. Some of those used involved sales that were too distant or different types of houses in different conditions, he said.

Much of Midtown was among areas where the county sent out appraisers this time to look at houses from the outside, measure them and note improvements.

The 18,000 properties being redone are among 68,000 that were inspected that way, Koons said. Not all are being looked because of increases in value; some are being reevaluated because of problems with the reassessment model.

He urged people to file informal appeals even before he completes a month-long process of reassessing the property.

Information from about 1,500 informal appeals filed so far has helped the county to gather data and learn of sales it did not know about before, he said.

He will bring in an external expert to review the new assessments, he said, and report findings back to the legislature.

If there is not enough data to reliably set new values, they are likely to stay the same, Koons said.

He and Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders noted that state funding cuts have forced the county to reduce its assessors from 36 in 2009 to 17 now, making a difficult process more difficult.

To file an informal appeal, call 816-881-4601 or go to jacksongov.org/appeal

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