Assessor wants to mend West Platte relationship

The relationship between the West Platte School District and the Platte County Assessor’s office has been rocky for the last several years. Current Assessor David Christian sought a new beginning at the Board of Education meeting last week. Platte County Assessor

Under Assessor Lisa Pope, the district was caught up in a disagreement that went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court over the assessment of the Iatan power plants. During the construction of Iatan II and the retrofit of Iatan I, the plants were locally assessed, meaning West Platte benefited from the tax monies paid during construction. Once construction was complete, the power plants are assessed by the state and the district sees far less direct benefit from taxation of the plant. Pope followed an assessment policy known as “construction work in progress” wherein Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) paid a fraction of actual assessment costs. West Platte disagreed with Pope’s policy.

In late 2010, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in Pope’s favor. In early 2011, Pope died after a long battle with cancer. Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Christian, a retired KCP&L attorney, to the Assessor’s post in May 2011.

“We want to work with you,” Christian told the West Platte Board of Education, after he was introduced by the district’s special attorney during the assessment battle, Gary Myers.

Christian assured the Board that though he knows there will not always be agreement between the two entities on every subject, that his office stands open to provide the district any information it may need.

“It’s good to see the office is truly committed to dialog,” Myers said. “I know we have had some problems with that office in the past, but we’re looking forward to a new relationship.”

To read more, pick up the Jan. 25 edition of The Platte County Citizen.