Indiana News

Legislators Consider Loosening Training Requirements for Assessors

1/16/2013

Assessment officials are cautioning legislators against loosening job requirements for assessors that were tightened just five years ago.

County and township assessors are required to be certified in basics of the job before they can serve. The requirement was added in 2008 as part of broader property tax reform, amid charges that inflated assessments were contributing to skyrocketing bills.

Crawfordsville Senator Phil Boots (R) warns smaller counties may end up without anyone who's qualified to run, or will be limited to those already working in the assessor's office, thus enabling a small group to keep an indefinite hammerlock on the job. He's authored a bill to allow assessors to serve without the so-called Level Three certification, as long as someone in their office does have it.

The Department of Local Government Finance argues the training for Level Three certification covers "core competencies for the job, including determining an accurate appraisal and how to run the office. And two county assessors told a Senate committee the requirements have served taxpayers well.

The committee has put off a vote till next week while it considers alternatives, including giving newly elected assessors time to complete certification, or making the assessor an appointive office.

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