We Need Changes at Jackson County

Assessment & Taxes

Assessment and taxes need to be evaluated. It will be hard to find anyone who has more experience in these processes than me in the last 15+ years. Even after leaving Jackson County assessment, I have continued to answer questions and give guidance to those that asked.

As someone who dealt with personal property taxes, it was difficult to see the vast amount of senior citizens that came in to contest their values because they were on a set income. We have people leaving Jackson County solely because of real estate and personal property taxes. Should those over a certain age be exempt from personal property tax? They are in some states. What about us? Is Jackson County doing anything to help this situation?

The issue at hand is the majority of this money goes toward many good things, such as our schools. I am definitely for our schools as well. Their funding is very important, but we need to look into additional ways that we can be productive in giving everyone the money they need. Taxes are all about keeping our schools and tax payers both happy.

Many feel Jackson County has turned their backs on the tax payers over the years, and that is hard to argue. Real estate values are set to likely increase again this year as a private company has been hired to handle the assessments and will undoubtedly serve as the scapegoat should anything go wrong. Side note: Tax bills usually do not go out until after election time.

Public Safety

We need to ensure we have the finances and resources in place to enforce all laws for the safety of our residents.

Several operating county buildings including the jail county jail have been a mess for many years.  When I was working at Jackson County, I often heard needed changes couldn’t be implemented in other processes because the jail situation was using all available funds.

Finally, our roads and bridges are falling apart. This is something that needs increasing attention.

Downtown Kansas City

Support Small Businesses

Help small businesses get back on track.  It’s been a rough couple of years for everyone.  Jackson County has been stricter than neighboring counties on their guidelines for attempting to prevent the spread of covid, which in turn crippled many small businesses.  With an open mind, I think we need to review what we have done and adjust for the future as we will likely face more difficulties ahead. 

Address other Inefficiencies

A precise overview of each department in Jackson County needs to be completed.  I can remember this being talked about in my years working at the county, but it was never done. What is working? What isn’t working?  I feel that learning, observing, and gathering input from both citizens and employees alike can go a long way.  Who knows more about the problems in particular county departments than the employees and the citizens who use the services provided?

Obviously there are some hot topics right now, such as taxes, but nothing should be ignored.  We need adequate staffing at all facilities to prevent extended wait times. Ensure no one is getting favoritism or being dismissed from discipline because of their connections. Jackson County’s public transit system also has flaws that should not be ignored. Homelessness is still a problem despite the county saying it’s decreased since 2019.

“It’s government” is no longer an excuse!  It’s time we work together to restore Jackson County to better times.

What do YOU think needs to be done?