More Jackson Countians than usual filed a property tax return this year with the Jackson County Tax Assessor’s Office disputing the value of their property. Some 2,218 countians have challenged the value of their property this year following the rapid decline in the housing and real estate markets.
April 1 was the deadline for property owners who believe their property is overvalued to file a tax return with the tax assessors’ office to have the property re-evaluated.
Chief appraiser Cathy Johnson said Jackson County usually has 300 to 400 people file a tax return. She attributes the numbers being higher this year due to media attention given to the April 1 deadline.
“For here, this is not a normal year,” Johnson said Tuesday. “I think it is because of the news media on the TV and in print that was so much about filing a return.”
Johnson’s staff is now reviewing the tax returns as well as waiting for the governor’s decision on how these should be handled.
“We’re at a standstill until a decision is made by the governor,” she said.
Many more people filed a property tax return this year because they now know the Jackson County tax assessors office is incompetent, unfair, and routinely breaks the law.
Tax assessments have gone up while property values have gone down. Some people have their property value assessed and tax bill increased every other year, while other well connected people rarely have their property reassessed and pay far less than they should. Similar properties have widely divergent valuations. Valuable industrial and commercial land is barely taxed while working families and retirees are taxed into bankruptcy.
The entire tax board needs to be replaced and that office needs cleaned out. If the commissioners don't get this fixed fast they'll be voted out at the next election.