Jackson County Legislature Strongly Disputes Property Tax Hikes

By Ian Ritter

Thousands of Jackson County residents received an unwanted surprise in the mail this month in the form of a county assessment letter valuing their properties. 

Since then, there have been stories of enormous assessed-value increases. In some cases, they more than doubled for homeowners, which would lead to dramatically increased tax bills and mortgage and rent payments. It was reported that the county failed to pay $2,000 to renew its MLS subscription, which is a widely-used reassessment tool before calculating valuations, as one of the roots of the problem.

As a result, more than 21,000 residents filed an appeal by the June 24 deadline, and the county will be unable to complete those reviews in a timely, according to a statement released today by the Jackson County Legislature to Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. It says that there were “numerous grave errors” in the reassessment, which the body is asking to be discarded with a “resolution to the situation.”

It also acknowledges that some properties have been undervalued for years, but “surprising current residents with such a huge increase in one year’s time is wrong. None of us argue that we should have property valued homes, but it’s not our constituents’ responsibility, in one year to fix this issue especially when many of the values are calculated wrong.”

In a statement on Twitter, White responded, saying that if he halted the reassessment process, he would be breaking state law. He claimed the legislature is hindered by a “lack of political will” and said: “Simply put, I will not break the law for anyone.”