By Max Goodwin
Candidates running for the county’s 2nd District-at-Large seat will be representing residents in the northwest corner of Jackson County starting north of 77th/79th streets. Though the candidates represent a certain district, they are elected by all voters throughout the county.
Donna Peyton (D)
Donna Peyton is running for Jackson County Legislature to be a voice at the table for people that aren’t always represented. Peyton has been a single mother and was raised by a single mother and she thinks that’s a needed perspective for the legislature. She is an administrative assistant at Macedonia Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., and serves as a director on the Board of Education for the Raytown School District.
As a member of a local school board, Peyton says she understands how important property taxes are to public school district budgets. But she also said she understands the pain that the last property tax assessments caused people.
“We need quality schools if we’re going to have quality neighborhoods. It’s just a fact. But no one wants to be taxed to the point where it hurts,” Peyton said.
That point has been reached, she says. She’s seen the pain that the 2019 assessment caused as property taxes soared, putting some residents in a position where they struggled to stay in their homes. She explains that the answer is to have conversations with the state about requirements for how much counties must tax on the assessed value of a property.
Peyton would support:
- Regular town halls, public hearings and a more convenient Legislative session for the public
- A cap on the amount property tax valuations can be increased yearly
- A wider range of payment options for property taxes, such as quarterly
- Ensure COMBAT dollars are being used effectively
- Create programs that help people on limited or fixed incomes maintain their properties
John Murphy (R)
John Murphy moved to the midwest from Brooklyn, N.Y. a little over two decades ago. He spent a few years in Omaha for a job in energy that later dried up. But he liked the midwest enough to stay. He and his family settled on Kansas City as their new home.
Since arriving in Kansas City, Murphy has been active in his community as the HOA president of Armour Fields in the Brookside area. He helped lead a project to restore the tower at Tower Park on 75th and Holmes Rd a few years ago.
He has never run for political office before, but the rising cost of property tax on homeowners after the assessment in 2019 caught Murphy’s attention as residents of his neighborhood became frustrated.
He thinks the frustrations from 2019 assessments have given Republicans an opportunity in Jackson County. “I’m seeing a lot of switch over on the Democratic side,” Murphy said.
Murphy would support legislation that:
- Caps rising property taxes for seniors that locks in the rate at their retirement
- Sets a 5% increase cap on assessed property values
- Takes a zero-based budget approach
- Support fiscal responsibility of the court house