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Who’s to be Our Next Assessor?

Assessor
As part of a private high school civics class comprised of students in the 7th through 12th grade levels, students were asked to write opinion editorials on topics of their own choosing which reflect current themes in governance and policy-making. Over the course of the next few weeks the class will be tracking the views of and commentary on their op-eds with the goal of generating as much meaningful community engagement as possible. Awards will be given to the students who most successfully generate meaningful community engagement with their op-ed. Thanks so much for partnering with us to create this experience for the children and teaching them to be actively involved in the governance of their community!

Who’s to be Our Next Assessor?

by HSC14

I am 18 years old and voting for the first time in a primary election. I am sharing what I have learned about the assessor’s job in Bonner County.

The county assessor has a very crucial role in assessing land owners property taxes. This is an elected position which takes place every 4 years on the off-cycle election (non-presidential). There is only one assessor per county. The assessor’s jobs could be broken down into 4 main sections.

1. Estimate property value – Their job is to manage the appraisers and determine the fair market value of everyone’s property so that the property owners can be taxed appropriately.

2. Administer exemptions – The assessor administers exemptions to landowners who qualify for exemptions, such as agricultural, timber, homeowner, etc. This reduces their taxes and shifts it to others to compensate for that exemption.

3. Maintain ownership records – They must maintain records and plats of the land ownership of each property to assist in the taxation process.

4. Manage DMV – They act as an agent of the state to run the Department of Motor Vehicles. The assessor must manage the DMV to run smoothly. This video was published by IDCounties on youtube. It does a great job of describing the process of determining property taxes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7pCfAdYPzUL and owners property taxes are a large portion of the government’s tax revenue.

Picture is possible breakdown of where the government gets the money.

For the specific race of Bonner County Assessor, it is crucial that people vote in the primary election (May 17th). The reason is that all three candidates are registered as Republicans. That being said, only the winner from the primary will be on the November ballot. Whoever wins the primary election will be running unopposed in November because they are all the same party affiliation. This is true for all other races in the county. Don’t forget to vote in May!

The assessor is largely a management position that needs a qualified leader to run the office. Three candidates are running for this position: Donna Gow, Jessi Webster, and Grant Dorman.

Donna Gow is finishing up her first term as the Bonner County Assessor. She has been with the Bonner County Office for 30 years. She believes that she has the attributes Bonner County needs as Assessor. She wants to continue to build better relations with Realtors, Contractors, and the public as well as changing to the new CAMA System; along with building a user-friendly web page. Campaign Website

Jessi Webster graduated from Boise State University earning her degree in English and Secondary Education. After teaching for many years she now works as the Business Operations Manager for the Board of County Commissioners and the Public Information Officer for Bonner County. She says that she wants to work on collaboration, both internally and externally. She wants to invest in technology that allows staff to perform more efficiently. Campaign Website

Grant Dorman joined the military as a teenager. After serving, he earned his Land Surveying degree, which enabled him to lead his surveying business for 20 years. This entailed managing and overseeing many employees in the office and out in the field. Grant thinks that his experience owning and running his surveying business is what makes him qualified to be the Assessor in Bonner County. He wants to respect property rights, privacy, and your rights as an individual. He understands that the Assessor works for the people. Campaign Website

I hope everybody understands that they get the government they deserve. It is necessary that you do your research and know which box to check when voting!

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