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Letter to the editor: Why educated assessor would be best assessor

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 12:01 am

I have spent the last seven years serving as the Wayne Township chief deputy assessor. In that time, I became a level III certified Indiana assessor-appraiser (the highest level of certification in Indiana), a certified tax representative, and I received two IAAO designations, an AAS and an RES (one of only two in the state with multiple designations and the only designee in Allen County).

I tell you this because I have worked to become as educated in property tax assessment as possible. I am the most educated and certified assessing official in northern Indiana, and I am running to become your next Allen County assessor. The taxpayers deserve to have that representation.

The assessor is responsible for the valuation of real and personal property on which property taxes are calculated. The stronger the assessor, the more accurate the values. The more accurate the values, the more fair and equitable the taxes. The property taxes go toward funding such entities as local government, schools, libraries, airport and public transportation.

Property assessment is complex and constantly changing in Indiana. In the last 10 years Allen County has seen the implementation of valuing properties every year based on neighborhood sales. We have seen the use of the income approach to valuation for residential rental properties.

We have gone through a general reassessment and are starting to plan for a cyclical reassessment in which we would visit every property on a four-year, rolling cycle. Now, we are looking at the potential of business personal property tax being eliminated or greatly reduced. We need to make sure we have the most educated, experienced and certified assessor to meet these responsibilities and any new responsibilities handed down by the state, and I am that individual.

Sam Walker, AAS, RES, Allen County assessor candidate