The term is four years with no term limit; compensation is $85,000 plus retirement and health benefits.
Why are you the best candidate for the office?
Dana Brewer (R): I believe Albany County will profit from a new set of eyes to review policies and statutes involving property tax assessment. Technological advancements are important; however, building partnerships to demystify the process and empower the property owner are equally significant. A different attitude and approach is needed. At the end of the day, I hope we can all say, “We have been treated friendly and courteous with fairness and equality in our dealings.”
Grant C. Showacre (D): My 14 years’ experience in this office include; six years hands on experience learning all department duties and up to date technology this office uses, promoted to Deputy Assessor on merit and eight years as the Assessor. My 30 years administrative experience in both business and government has given me the ability to successfully and efficiently manage this office. I work regularly with legislators to clearly define assessor responsibilities and more importantly, advocating taxpayer rights.
Do you support renewal of the Fifth penny sales tax in Albany County? Explain.
Dana Brewer (R): A large portion of Albany County is made up of tax-exempt land and properties which no property-tax related revenue is generated. The county, its residents, and visitors benefit from the general purpose tax every day. The revenue generated from this tax is used to fund many essential services, special projects, and aid community agencies county-wide. It also brings in matching funds through state and federal grants. For these reasons, I support the Fifth penny sales tax.
Grant C. Showacre (D): Yes I support the Fifth penny sales tax, it benefits both community and government. Community programs like The Youth Crisis Center, Interfaith-Good Samaritan, Laramie Airport, and The Downtown Clinic receive much needed support. For government the Fifth-penny sales tax supports equipment and maintenance, replacement computers with the specialized software each department needs, library books and continuing education. These and many other items are funded giving the county the tools needed to better serve the public.
Are properties in Albany County reviewed for value increases or decreases often enough? Explain.
Dana Brewer (R): Yes and no. State statutes require a six-year review. The assessor needs to be very diligent in keeping field teams organized and out when weather and conditions permit. Communication is essential. Everyone must also be aware of building permit regulations which are used to follow up on changes in property for updated values. If there is a breakdown in the process, the result is long periods of time between valuations and large increases in taxes.
Grant C. Showacre (D): Yes I restructured the field office, adding a second team when I took office eight years ago. This was my first priority, as some properties had not been reviewed for up to 30 years. We have started our second complete review cycle. Laptops are now used in field vehicles. GIS technology is used to track review areas insuring completion, locate improvements and create efficient routes leaving more time for inspections and saving on fuel costs.