Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed suit alongside the State Tax Commission against Jackson County for its failure to follow the law in assessing and levying taxes. The lawsuit alleges Jackson County caused significant economic harm to residents when it dramatically and illegally increased property owner’s assessments which resulted in undue taxes. Attorney General Bailey’s lawsuit asserts that county officials violated state law when they failed to give timely and proper notice of assessments, failed to perform the required physical inspections of certain property, and handled appeals of their property assessments in an illegal and dysfunctional manner.
“I will always fight for Missourians who are being over-taxed, especially in Joe Biden’s economy where everyone’s wallet is stretched thin,” said Attorney General Bailey. “The Missouri Constitution expressly prohibits a county from illegally taxing its residents. We will stand in the gap to protect Jackson County residents and right this egregious wrong.”
In his lawsuit, General Bailey asserts that assessment notices were delivered past the legally mandated June 15th deadline, and that required physical inspections were not performed. Article X, Section 22 of the Missouri Constitution prohibits counties from levying any tax, license or fees not authorized by law. Attorney General Bailey notes the State has an interest in ensuring the State’s tax levying and collection process is legally carried out and Missouri citizens are not harmed by the imposition of undue assessments and the associated tax burdens.
His lawsuit alleges that Jackson County’s illegal actions resulted in an average assessed value increase of at least 30 percent across the board. Some Jackson County property owners reported increases in excess of 100 percent. “As a result, Defendants have subjected Jackson County property owners to undue taxation based on illegally increased assessment values without the opportunity to take advantage of the statutorily provided administrative remedies,” the lawsuit states.
Attorney General Bailey notes that complaints from Jackson County residents have poured into the Attorney General’s Office. General Bailey said, “We’re glad Jackson County residents came forward to let us know how they were adversely affected by this illegal behavior. We encourage all Missourians to reach out when they need help. We will always have Missourians’ backs.”
The Attorney General’s Office notes that affected Jackson County residents should pay their taxes due December 31 under protest and then plan to pursue remedies available to them by law.
The lawsuit can be read here.