Property Appraiser

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  • | 12:00 p.m. March 3, 2011
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As a reader service, the Daily Record plans to present daily information about candidates on the ballot in the spring election. The information is scheduled to be published in advance of early voting, which begins March 7 in Duval County. The Daily Record sent the same questions to Property Appraiser candidates and here are their e-mailed responses. Candidates were given a word limit.

What is the top issue facing the Property Appraiser’s Office? How do you
propose to
resolve it?
Do you favor term limits for your office, and why or why not? Why should
constituents elect you?
Kurt Kraft
According to public information, there are tax inequities throughout Duval County. To be aware of the changing economic forces that may have a bearing on property owners and to appraise at fair market value. I am for term limits – eight is enough! Term limits allow other citizens to provide elected leadership. I have been a real estate appraiser in the Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office for 27 years.
Jim Overton (incumbent)
The current volatility of real estate is unprecedented in our lifetimes. Sales include a large number of foreclosures and other transactions not constrained by normal market forces. This situation creates unusually difficult appraisal assignments to keep data statistically sound and regulatorily compliant while restricting assessments at lawful levels. Related to this, a sharp rise in assessment appeals creates workloads in excess of current staffing levels. Current budget constraints preclude adding staff, so we will shift positions out of other divisions into the appraisal function. With that move, we will need to modify training and acquire new statistical programming to enhance mass appraisal techniques. We purchased a new set of aerials this winter to reduce the need for lot-by-lot physical inspections. Essentially we will resolve this with a ‘do more with less’ approach. No, I do not. This is a complex managerial and public administration position, not a representative elected office. It is wasteful to throw out talent and accrued knowledge because of an arbitrary limit. Term limits make sense only for policymaking positions. I do not oppose age restrictions like those placed on the judiciary; however, either change would require a constitutional amendment and would apply to all counties. Because our office is doing work they can be proud of. Since elected, I have instituted a program of administrative and managerial reforms for this office that have been well received by our customers, the taxpayers. We won the national award for our website and citizen outreach, we score excellent reviews for our customer service, we have instituted an internal ethics program and we receive clean audits every year.



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