Welcome to the Nevada County Assessor Forum, brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County. In this forum, we will introduce the candidates running for the position of Nevada County Assessor and discuss their primary responsibilities. As a grant from Nevada County’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation, this event aims to foster community and economic resiliency by supporting local non-profit organizations. We are grateful for this funding, which enables us to bring you this informative forum. We encourage you to consider supporting the League of Women Voters by becoming a member or making a donation on our website.
Meet the Candidates
Tonight, we have two candidates vying for the position of Nevada County Assessor: Gerald Boucher and Rolf Kleinheinz. Both candidates have extensive experience and knowledge in their respective fields. The role of the assessor is crucial in identifying ownership, locating taxable property, and establishing its value for tax assessment purposes. It is a non-partisan position that serves all voters and property owners in the county.
Primary Responsibilities of the Assessor
The assessor’s office plays a vital role in the county’s tax collection process. Their primary responsibilities include:
Locating taxable property: The assessor’s office is responsible for identifying all taxable properties within the county’s jurisdiction. This includes residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
Determining ownership: The assessor verifies and maintains accurate ownership records for all properties. This ensures that the correct individuals or entities are taxed accordingly.
Establishing property value: The assessor determines the value of each property for tax assessment purposes. This evaluation is based on independent and objective market standards, and it plays a crucial role in determining the amount of taxes owed by property owners.
Collaboration with building departments: The assessor’s office works closely with the building department to ensure accurate assessments of new construction or improvements to existing properties. This collaboration helps streamline the assessment process and ensures transparency.
Streamlining the Permit Verification Process
One question raised during the forum was related to the process of verifying permits for property improvements. Currently, property owners are required to submit invoices to the assessor’s office to adjust their property taxes based on completed construction work. The question posed was whether there could be a more integrated and automated system to handle this process.
Both candidates agreed that there is room for improvement in this area. They recognized the potential for utilizing the county’s sophisticated IT department and implementing a shared database system, such as SharePoint, to facilitate greater communication and access to permit information. However, it was important to note that the value of the work done would still need to be provided separately, as it is not reflected in the permit alone.
Candidate Statements and Qualifications
During the forum, each candidate had the opportunity to deliver opening statements and highlight their qualifications for the role of Nevada County Assessor. Here are the key points from their statements:
Mr. Boucher emphasized his commitment to the community and his appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this forum. He highlighted the importance of honesty, integrity, reliability, and experience in fulfilling the responsibilities of the assessor’s office. He recognized the significance of the assessor’s role in the tax collection process and the need for independent decision-making. Mr. Boucher also emphasized his experience in construction, planning and zoning, and his understanding of building processes.
Mr. Kleinheinz highlighted the importance of a hands-on private sector experience in management, finance, and property valuation for the role of assessor. He emphasized his deep understanding of how the county functions, gained through his ten years of working for Nevada County. With a background in real estate and finance, Mr. Kleinheinz stressed his ability to provide leadership and effectively manage the responsibilities of the assessor’s office. He also mentioned his active involvement in the community through volunteering and serving in leadership positions.
Q&A Session: Primary Responsibilities and Personal Qualifications
During the forum, the candidates addressed questions from both the media panel and the audience. Here are the key points from one of the audience questions, asking the candidates to explain the primary responsibilities of the assessor and how their personal skills and abilities enable them to be effective assessors:
Gerald Boucher emphasized his broad range of experiences in the construction industry, including involvement in over 134 units of condominium construction. He also served on the planning and zoning commission for eight years, which provided him with an in-depth understanding of zoning and building intricacies. Mr. Boucher’s construction supervision experience further enhances his qualifications for the role of the assessor.
Rolf Kleinheinz highlighted his extensive education and work experience in the private sector, specifically in real estate investment and management. With two degrees, including an MBA concentrating in real estate and finance, and an active real estate broker’s license, Mr. Kleinheinz possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively assess and value properties. He also stressed his management experience, including overseeing budgets exceeding 80 million dollars, and his current role as the Sheriff’s Chief Fiscal and Administrative Officer.
The Nevada County Assessor Forum provided valuable insights into the primary responsibilities of the assessor and the qualifications of the candidates running for this important position. Both Gerald Boucher and Rolf Kleinheinz bring unique skills and experiences to the table, offering voters a choice between candidates with strong backgrounds in construction, planning and zoning, and real estate finance. As the election approaches, we encourage voters to consider the candidates’ statements and qualifications and make an informed decision. Remember, your vote has the power to shape the future of Nevada County.