Missouri woman’s plan to pay property taxes in nickels thwarted by county officials

A Missouri woman’s plan to pay her property taxes was not worth a plugged nickel to county officials.

Neither was 1,419 rolls of the real coins. But it made sense to Cynthia Lockett.

Lockett, of Kansas City, irate with the 2019 assessment that increased her land value by 135% and her overall market value by 45%, decided to pay her tax bill in nickels, WDAF reported.

Lovett revealed her plan to the television station in November, noting that the rolls would weigh 625 pounds. She said she came up with the idea after her calls to Jackson County officials were not returned and her appeal had yet to be processed.

“It is going to be a little inconvenient to count those nickels,” Lockett said in November. “I mean, they will be rolled. I’m not trying to be a complete jerk, but it is just -- they want to ignore us, ignore us, ignore us, ignore us and I thought, ‘You are not going to be able to ignore this blue buggy when I wheel it in.’”

Lockett's plan, however, was foiled by county officials, who cited state laws in a letter.

"I wanted to make you aware of state law and county policy regarding such forms of payment prior to you attempting to make such a payment," read the letter, from the office of Whitney Miller, Jackson County's director of collections. "Missouri Revised Statute section 139.040, authorizes the collection authority to refuse any form of payment presented for the payment of taxes. As such, it has been our policy for many years that the Jackson County Department of Collection to not accept large payments made using coins. Payments of this type would require a significant amount of staff time."

Miller went on to write that if Lockett brought nickels, “The payment will not be accepted and you will be asked to either provide another form of payment or to step aside so that we can assist the next taxpayer.”

Lockett was amused by the response.

"I think it's interesting that they can find the time to respond to this, but they can't respond to the egregious bills and ridiculous assessments that they are sending us," she told WDAF.

A Jackson County spokesman said the collections and assessment department are separate, the television station reported.

Lockett said she will pay her taxes by the Dec. 31 deadline, but hinted she had another plan in mind.

"It won't be nickels, but it's not gonna be a check, either," Lockett told WDAF.

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