To the Editor:
It's clear to everyone involved in the assessment process in St. Clair County that change is needed in the assessor's office, but getting real and effective change requires a deep understanding of the assessment system. I have that kind of experience, and, having spent seven years fixing assessment problems for individual homeowners, I'm prepared to take the reins and begin fixing the entire system.
In my seven years as a member of the Board of Review, I have ruled on thousands of appeals. The Board of Review fixes problems homeowners encounter from unfair or inaccurate assessments. I have seen firsthand the growing number of problems property owners have faced from issues with the assessor's office, I am committed to making the changes we need and bringing integrity, professionalism and fairness to the office.
I have put forward a 10-point plan - a bill of rights for property taxpayers – that outlines the changes I will make if elected.
1. I will maintain a regular and fair schedule of reassessments, including field reviews, to keep the County up-to-date with achieving a complete reassessment every four years, as required by state law;
2. I will work to control the state multiplier by working closely with real estate professionals and real estate databases to keep close watch on areas with rapidly fluctuating property values;
3. I will assess property across the County fairly and impartially with no regard to influence, politics, or privilege;
4. I will demand the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from my staff;
5. I will require that staff members improve their skills and knowledge with continuing education;
6. I will treat property owners with the courtesy and respect they deserve;
7. I will keep taxpayers informed with clear and understandable information on their rights in the assessment process;
8. I will use the latest technology to make the Assessor's Office more efficient;
9. I will work to make sure all seniors, veterans, disabled persons, and homeowners receive the exemptions they deserve, which will reduce their property tax; and
10. I will guarantee an open-door policy in the Assessor's Office to all property taxpayers.
Jennifer Gomric-Minton, Democrat
Candidate for St. Clair County Assessor