Residents of Christian County, Missouri feel impacted by rising property taxes

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Missouri (KY3) – It has been a busy day at the Christian County Courthouse as many have made it their business to pay their property taxes early. Some do it reluctantly, since their tax liability has increased from what they paid in 2020.

“On one property, they cost a few hundred dollars, and maybe at least a hundred dollars on the other property,” says Joyce Wyatt, a resident.

For Wyatt, finding the extra money will mean an uncertain rest of the year.

“Maybe other things are going to have to be abandoned because of having to pay taxes all at once,” Wyatt explains.

And she is far from the only one paying more. Bruce Barge’s property taxes increased by almost $ 500.

“I expected a raise, I didn’t quite expect $ 500,” says Barge.

The year 2021 is a year of reassessment in Missouri. When the Christian County Appraiser’s Office conducted value appraisals in April, most properties were appraised at a much higher value. Christian County Assessor Danny Gray said on average the increases were around 9.5%. Some were as high as 17 percent.

“(They were) based on their physical condition, based on their neighborhood adjustments. There are many factors that come into play, ”says Danny Gray, Christian County Assessor.

In April, the appraiser’s office sent change notices to everyone whose ownership changed. Residents could then appeal if they felt their assessment was incorrect.

The deadline was June 30. Gray explains that no resident has filed a formal appeal. And only three commercial companies have done so. The Ozark B&B Theater was successful, resulting in an adjustment to its valuation. It’s too late to appeal if you don’t agree with how much you owe. All you can do is file a complaint with Christian County Circuit Court.

“I have never had anybody’s file in front of the circuit court. At that point, they will have to prove that they have been overvalued by an appraisal. Then the court will look at our values, look at the taxpayer’s values, decide on fair market value, ”says Gray. “We work very hard to explain to people how we value their property, and we are careful about it. We don’t want to overtax anybody. This is not what we are here for.

“Seniors like me are hit very hard when these taxes are imposed,” Wyatt says. “I don’t know what some people are going to do if they keep going up the way they are.”

The Collector’s Office does not offer payment plans for those who are struggling to find money. Christian County collector Ted Nichols suggests using a credit card to pay, as most interest rates are lower than the late payment penalty. However, the collector’s office does add a processing fee for using a card or paying online. These fees are two and a half percent of what you owe.

The deadline for payment without penalty is December 31.

To report a correction or typo, please send an email [email protected]

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

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