Know Your Candidate: Center Township Assessor

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Nov. 5 – Incumbent Democrat Sheila Pullen

Experience and Qualifications: I am a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Level III Appraiser/Appraiser in Indiana. I’ve worked with developers and industrial facilities to avoid costly Howard County appeals. I checked cuts to ensure correct reporting. I was on the Howard County team that brought in $23 million in taxpayer money to our community when our local industries went bankrupt. I also called in all the union leaders to make sure they understood that the district and the schools needed the tax money but didn’t want union jobs to be lost in the process. I learned the household process during my nine years as the first woman on the Kokomo Common Council.

What are the biggest issues/challenges the office is facing and how would you deal with them?

I see the greatest responsibility and challenge in making the reviews fair and just. With the constant changes in rules and regulations and the decisions of the tax courts, it’s hard to believe that taxpayers resident in Spain are treated fairly. There are so many companies with huge deductions and exemptions that the tax rate goes up, causing higher bills. More taxpayers hit the cap and then government units lose revenue. I understand that some of these deductions must be granted to encourage growth, but all government entities should be rewarded with the resulting growth to keep tax rates lower for all taxpayers.

The biggest problem would be keeping qualified staff. Indiana requires certifications and continuing education for elected appraisers and all employees who operate properties. I’m fortunate to have great employees who are highly skilled and respect the taxpayer. I make sure my employees maintain their certifications and undertake the necessary training. We’re always here to help taxpayers.

Republican Tanner Heady Experience and Qualifications: I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Purdue University. Since January 2020 I have been working at Bucheri McCarty & Metz as a Staff Accountant. I have gained experience working directly with customers and managing projects. I process weekly payslips, monthly accounting, quarterly payroll taxes, personal and corporate tax returns, financial statements and personal wealth tax returns. I am also the treasurer of the Howard County Republican Party, where I write checks, make deposits and file the party’s financial reports. I completed the exam to become a Level I and Level II Certified Indiana Assessor-Appraiser.

What are the biggest issues/challenges the office is facing and how would you deal with them?

I think the biggest challenge in the office is keeping abreast of legislative changes and communicating them to taxpayers. As an assessor, I have to interpret the rules and regulations and then apply them precisely to the assessments. In my current position, I also interpret changes in tax law and have to implement them in tax returns. I have experience in breaking down complicated laws and communicating them effectively to clients. I believe I have the skills to efficiently run the tax advisor’s office and to assist the taxpayer and his understanding of tax assessments.

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