Assessor candidates say there are few issues, but they're both qualified

In a race with few issues, both candidates for Carson City assessor say it boils down to who is most qualified.

Chief Deputy Assessor Dave Dawley says after nine years in the assessor's office, he's ready to take the reigns. His challenger, Taunya Milligan, who has 25 years experience in the real estate industry, says she has the management skills to effectively run the office.

In an nutshell, the assessor is responsible for determining how much each parcel of land in Carson City is worth and applying the tax rate to it.

It's a job Dawley said is carefully crafted around state statutes, all of which he is familiar with and with which Milligan says she will become familiar with. It's a job current Assessor Kit Weaver has held for 17 years, never facing an opponent in any election.

Both Dawley and Milligan were counting on a September primary race with challenger Gene Munnings. However, he was removed from the ballot. Both Milligan and Dawley were counting on Munnings giving either of them enough of a split vote to take the election in the primary with 51 percent of the votes.

Now, they're left with plenty of time to plan for the general election, and they are guarding their strategies until closer to November.

Not that there are many issues on which to campaign, they note.

"There really isn't anything," Milligan said of assessor's issues. "Everybody has been so happy with Kit (Weaver) and his service."

But then again, she noted, 17 years of one administration begs for a change.

But, Dawley argues, the office is "running perfectly" and has few, if any, complaints about appraisal figures.

Dawley said issues are rising in the Legislature which will affect the way property is taxed, and he is prepared to "fight for fair taxation."

"I don't need to learn the office in the first four years, so I can go over (to the Legislature) and fight," he said. "I'm running because I think people should have someone who knows the job and will fight. I'm hoping (the election) is based on experience and knowledge."

Dawley said Weaver is a working assessor who doesn't just manage the office, but appraises property as well. It's a role Dawley, a certified appraiser, said he would like to continue.

Milligan, a licensed real estate broker/agent with National Best Sellers, said she sees herself more as a manager. By statute she has to become an appraiser, and after taking the class, said she can fill in for appraisers when the need arises.

She would also have to give up her broker's license, which after 24 years hurts a little, she said. She is familiar with property appraisal and said she will do whatever is needed to make the office work.

"I feel this position will allow me to use all my talents," she said. "I feel that I'm a better candidate because I have the managerial training over my opponent. (Voters) see me as a well-rounded candidate who can bring outside values and experiences to the office."

Whether he wins or not, Dawley points out as the chief deputy, he will either become the assessor or he will train Milligan in the role.

"I love my job. I love working with people," he said. "No matter what, I'll be doing the job."

The assessor's salary, which is set by the Legislature, tops out at $61,632.


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