Hot Tax Mess

County politics can be an adventure to say the least.

One look at the hot mess that’s taken place across the river in Clay County over the last few years tells that story all too well.

Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte has continued to fight the good fight for Clay County taxpayers and continues to be met with corrupted opposition from Commissioners Ridgeway and Owen.

This critically-thinking Newsdog wonders why they, the aforementioned Ridgeway and Owen, continue to torpedo their own boat, especially during election season.

Not content to sit on the sidelines, however, it’s almost as if, when the county crazy train gauntlet got thrown down, Jackson County laughed and said, “hold my beer!”

Hot mess number one—property tax assessments. After assessments went out in July, property owners were shell-shocked, to say the least, with assessed values skyrocketing through the roof.

The Dog spoke with one individual who was slapped with 1,700-1,900% increases on his properties.

Those two were for unimproved parcels near 43rd street and Flora Avenue, not exactly in the city’s well-heeled zip codes.

The Dog editorialized about the debacle earlier this summer but has been eclipsed, and rightfully so, by KCTV5 journalist Angie Ricono, who has blown the lid off the scandal.

Her latest report exposes thousands of emails between the high-dollar consultant and the County Assessor who, by the way, thinks the Jackson County taxpayers saddled with a tax bill the size of Montana should just get a loan or move out of the property. Seriously?

Now, hot tax mess number two— the recent independent audit of the county’s Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax (COMBAT). The results were startling, but not unexpected.

COMBAT has been turned into a slush fund for Jackson County and the recent audit shows that still to be the case.

Apparently, shelling out over $2 million for new jail doors falls under the purview of what a Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax should pay for.

Additionally, County Executive Frank White’s assistant got his county-issued Chevy truck paid for out of COMBAT funds.

Let’s not forget that MLK celebration that funneled roughly $60,000 to line the pockets of the SCLC last spring, too!

Little bit outside the COMBAT mission statement there Mr. Executive, but hey, what’s a little corruption among friends anyway.

Being the purist in the room, this Dog remembers when COMBAT funded such worthy programs as CAT and CAN police officers for Old Northeast Incorporated, the now defunct Community Development Corporation that partnered with Northeast neighborhoods on a variety of development and anti-crime projects.

The Northeast Mobile Crime Watch program, a program that was a national model for community backed anti-crime efforts and was also funded partially by COMBAT.

The drop in crime in ONE Inc. neighborhoods was measurable and appreciated by area residents whose quality of life increased drastically due to the drop in crime.

This Dog thinks it’s all about integrity in oversight, something sorely lacking in government these days.

When high-level county employees abuse the taxpayers and their hard-earned money the way Jackson and Clay Counties have recently, it’s time for systematic change starting at the top.

Note to the County Executive and the County Assessor: We’re not your serfs, you work for us, not the other way around. We’re watching.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • City council gone rogue

    August 12th, 2020

    If ever there was a reason for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department to remain under state control, your gone-rogue, […]

    And the cop hate continues

    June 30th, 2020

    This community-minded News Dog normally likes to steer clear of neighborhood politics and operations. As a former neighborhood association president, […]

    A Department Gutted

    June 10th, 2020

    Last Thursday, in a carefully orchestrated and timed bit of political theater, the Jackson County prosecutor and the Kansas City […]

    Another Blue Ribbon Commission

    May 27th, 2020

    Last Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the formation of another blue ribbon commission deployed to “study” the upward […]

    When you’re on your own, we are there with you.

    March 31st, 2020

    This week, the Dog is yielding space for a much more important message from The Missouri Press Association and the […]

    Support community journalism

    March 25th, 2020

    Over the last few weeks, this community-minded Newsdog has seen an outpouring of support on social media for local businesses […]

    I’ll take panic and hysteria for $500, Alex

    March 18th, 2020

    If anyone would have told this Newsdog a month ago that the United States would be living through what we […]

    Out of control

    March 11th, 2020

    Last week, the second fire in as many weeks broke out in a large transient encampment in the wooded areas […]

  • Journalism, the Northeast News through an intern’s eyes

    March 4th, 2020

    Kalie StrainEditorial Assistant I made the decision to major in journalism on a whim and it has been a wild […]

    Cut, cut, cut

    February 26th, 2020

    The new City budget is out and, for all intents and purposes, it should have come with a pair of […]

    Community journalism, why it matters

    February 19th, 2020

    Last week, McClatchy, the company that owns the Kansas City Star, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, transferring control of the city’s […]

    Time for change

    February 12th, 2020

    Last weekend, the Newsdog traveled to Austin, Texas to assist with the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series.  While visiting […]

    A bright light now gone

    February 5th, 2020

    Kansas City lost a bright light earlier this week when noted journalist, radio host, foodie, and author Charles Feruzza passed […]

    Prosecutorial Malfeasance

    January 29th, 2020

    Once again, to no surprise of this critically-thinking Newsdog, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has failed to keep citizens […]

    A week at the Northeast News

    January 22nd, 2020

    By Greta Serrin This last week, I spent my time as a Potter Digital Ambassador at the Northeast News. I […]

    Defining Community and Journalism

    January 15th, 2020

    The Dog has long advocated for and practiced community journalism and have often noted its difference from the mainstream media.  […]

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Remember This?

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.