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Ted Booker 55.jpg

What does a county assessor do?

Assessors strive to accurately determine the value of residential, commercial and agricultural properties. The goal is to fairly distribute the property tax burden. 

But in St. Joseph County, there is room for improvement. 

In 2020, St. Joseph County received more than 6,200 appeals —the most among counties statewide; it also had the highest ratio of appeals per total parcel count when compared to other counties, according to an analysis of data reported to the state.

So how can appeals be reduced to provide better public service?

I believe making the appeal process more transparent and easier to understand is part of the solution. The process shouldn't be confusing or intimidating, and taxpayers deserve answers to their questions.

For the majority of taxpayers, assessments should reflect what you could sell your property for on the open market. And in a seller's market, increases are often justified. But sometimes your property might be overvalued for various reasons. Maybe your assessment climbed too sharply, for example, because your home was compared to higher-value ones sold in the same neighborhood. Or maybe your property data needs to be corrected. 

As your elected official, I would take responsibility for the accuracy of assessments and work hard to make improvements. 

Here are my goals:

- Reduce number of appeals 

- Measure and improve appeal process satisfaction

- Make website more user-friendly with option to e-file appeals

- Conduct study to determine if there are major data issues to correct

- Improve accuracy and equity of assessments each year of term

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