Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sarasota County Tax Appraiser?

Friday I attended the Sarasota Association of Realtors Quarterly Luncheon which presented a forum for both county tax appraisers to debate their qualifications and ability to affect a positive change for Sarasota County. Other county candidates (for school board, commissioner etc) were also invited to “meet and greet” the Realtors in attendance. I’m glad I came, but not only because the food and company was fabulous, because I was glad to be introduced to and learn more about so many folks who make or will make importance decisions on behalf our county and folks.

My main motivation for attending, however, was to find out what sort of freewill is allowed in the role of county tax appraiser otherwise I didn’t really understand how a change in person will make a difference in our purses and wallets. Before the luncheon, I assumed it was a position of management, accounting and networking, with the latter being the only viable way to impact change by involvement with state politics. Indeed, my assumption was partially correct except for the candidates interpret the impact of state laws and regulations for our county. Jim Todora claims these to be the law of the land to be adhered without exception and is very knowledgeable as to their specifications and even exact language, some of which he drafted. Bill Furst claims there is room for interpretation and it is the role of the tax appraiser to infer from these “guidelines” for the greatest benefit of the county and folks represented; and deal with any ramifications later. I honor and respect both approaches and generally meander through life with a bit of both, but as far as for this position I suppose I need to do a bit more research.

Which candidate will I support? Both are incredibly qualified though in different respects. Furst, a former Realtor and broker manager, has experience with the many varied aspects of real estate and Todora obviously has been our tax appraiser for the past twelve years. To learn more about each candidate, visit their websites:
www.jimtodora.com and www.furstforfairness.com.

To learn more about exemptions for your property, the appraisal process and the recorded details of your home or commercial property, visit the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s official website:

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