Communication

My career has been split between real estate and communications. As Assessor, I see two-way communication as a very big part of my job. When I have spoken with assessors around the state, many of them have told me that good communication is one of the keys to reducing appeals.

One assessor told me his office has reduced appeals by about 60% since he took office, and he attributes communication for the reduction. His office has one of the better websites in the state. He sends regular press releases to the local media, and he speaks regularly at community events around his county. I will do the same. There are many counties in the state and around the country with truly great communications. Jefferson County deserves to be among them, and it will be.

If people know how their assessments are determined, and that assessments throughout Jefferson County are fair, accurate, and defensible, they will be less likely to file costly appeals.

There are hundreds of questions taxpayers may ask, such as:

  • How are mill levies set?
  • Why are commercial properties taxed at a higher rate than residential properties?
  • How does the state law that 55% of property taxes statewide be collected from the owners of business properties affect my taxes, and why did the state set that mandate?
  • Why are property taxes based on what property was worth a year or two or three ago instead of what they are worth today?
  • How do Gallagher, TABOR, and other state statutes affect my property taxes?
  • What is business personal property and why is it taxed?
  • Does everyone over 65 qualify for a senior property tax exemption?

When you Google any of those questions, and many others, you are directed to county assessor sites all over the state, but you are not directed to Jefferson County’s site. That will change when I am Assessor.

Transparency

A government truly by, for and of the people requires transparency. The governed not only have the right to know everything about their government, they should be able to find the information they want easily.

As Jefferson County Assessor, I will ensure that the people of Jeffco have all the information about the assessment process, and spell out in layperson’s terms exactly how assessments are done, and how values are arrived at.

Technology

I am committed to using the best available technology to achieve the best possible assessments, to achieve better customer service, to reduce appeals, and to save taxpayers’ money.

I have won numerous awards for my work using the best available technology to drive business results:

  • The Business Marketing Association gave Intelligent Electronics it’s Best in Class award for the ecommerce website which my team created 20 years ago.
  • I was awarded an all-expenses-paid fellowship to study Internet journalism at the University of Maryland.
  • My MSN column was featured in a Best of the Web article in The Rocky Mountain News.

Technology is never the whole answer, but in today’s world it is always a big part of the answer, and a better use of technology will drive my tenure as Assessor.