Key Issues -
End the unnecessary Litigation.
Every year, sometime in February, the Pima County Assessor sends out the notice of values to all of the property owners in Pima County. If for any reason the property owner feels that the value is incorrect or unfair they have the opportunity to go through the appeal process and contest the property valuation. The final stage of the free statutory appeal process is the Arizona State Board of Equalization. This is a board made up of real estate professionals and it is their job to determine if the value has been set fairly. If they make the determination that the value should be lowered they have the authority to do so. The tax payers of Pima County pay the members of this board with their tax dollars and their decisions should be respected by the Pima County Assessor. With the exception only of grievous factual errors, we should not move beyond their decision and sue the property owner in tax court. The current Pima County Assessor has sued numerous Pima County businesses because he did not agree with the decision made by the Board of Equalization. Not only is this an additional financial burden to the specific property owner, but it is an additional unnecessary financial burden put on the Pima County Tax payers. You, the tax payer, are responsible for paying the costs to take these property owners (most of them major employers) to court.
We will also be the ones to pay the price when they pack up and leave.
Lack of cooperation.
Pima County is made up of several offices that all work together to ensure that Pima County runs smoothly and that all the needs of the people that live in Pima County are met in the most effective and cost efficient way possible. Over the years the Assessor has become less and less cooperative with the other elected officials and county offices. Because of this Pima County has become less efficient. The other offices of Pima County have had to spend valuable county resources filling out public record requests for information that should be shared freely between county offices. The County has had to go as far as creating a new division within the county to accommodate his refusal to work together with other county departments. Example? The Pima County Assessor VS The Pima County Attorneys Office. Did you know that the Pima County Assessor employs a private attorney that he pays with your tax dollars to pursue legal actions against property owners and defend law suits brought against him?
There is no open communication.
The openness of any public office is something we should expect. After all, they are there working for us. Everything that happens down at the assessor's office is public record, paid for with our tax dollars, and done to make Pima County better for everyone. As a tax payer you should feel comfortable asking questions, and you should expect that getting the answers will be a fairly easy. The appeal process should be easy to understand and should be tax payer friendly. The web site should be easy to use and the information should be complete, accurate, and easy to understand. You should feel that at anytime you can go visit the Assessor's office and discuss your concerns and most importantly you should leave feeling like you have been heard.
All data collected and used to value properties is public information and not the private property of the Assessor. It is his obligation to make sure that all the information used to value properties is available to the public for inspection at anytime to ensure that values are being set fairly and in accordance to statute. This has become a problem for the current Pima County Assessor and once again I find myself talking about unnecessary litigation. The current Assessor is being sued under the freedom of information act for failure to perform his statutory duties.
This all costs us money!
Extra attorneys, going to court, creating new county divisions, getting sued for not sharing data... Where is all this money coming from? YOU! This needs to stop. We need a new Assessor. Over the last several years things have gotten progressively worse . The inability to get along, the lack of open communication with the public, and the unnecessary litigation that is sending the unwanted message to businesses that Pima County is not a place to build a future, is hurting Pima County.
How is it hurting Pima County? By diverting tax dollars that should be going to our roads, schools, and public services such as our Police and Fire departments and creating a hostile environment for our current and future business owners.
We need an Assessor that wants to work together with the other offices and the public to create a better Pima County. A Pima County that works for YOU!
Suzanne Droubie For Pima County Assessor
Paid for by the Suzanne Droubie For Assessor Campaign Committee.
Putting Service Back in Public Service!
Suzanne Droubie For Pima County Assessor