County assessor elected today
“This year, there aren’t significant number of contested races, and that’s what brings people to he primary,” Sara Fisher, Eagle County Clerk & Recorder, said Monday.Eagle County assessorThe only contested race in Eagle County is for county assessor, who lists and values all property within the county. Taxing entities then use this information to calculate property taxes.Current County Assessor Jody Caruthers said she is running for office again because she enjoys the challenges of her job. Caruthers, who won the office in 1998 defeating incumbent Allen Black, also served as Eagle County’s assessor for a term in 1987 through 1991.Joyce Mack, who has worked for 12 years with water authorities assessing tap fees for 12 different metropolitan districts – including Arrowhead, Eagle-Vail and Edwards – said she decided to take a step forward and run for office because she felt taxes are high for working people and those with fixed incomes.Whoever wins today’s assessor’s primary will have to deal with a staff of 23 and about 34,000 taxable properties in Eagle County.Last year, the county assessor’s office processed nearly 5,000 appeals and more than 1,600 hearings before the County Board of Equalizations.This, Mack says, wasn’t cost-effective to the taxpayers or the county.”Huge increases in tax-value assessments seriously threaten homeowners and people living on fixed incomes,” she says.That number of appeals, Caruthers replies, was normal during a reappraisal year.”This year, which is not a reappraisal year, appeals are way down. We have 465 appeals at the assessor level,” she says.Reappraisals, which are done every two years, follow state statute, Caruthers says. For next year’s reappraisal, the assessor’s office will collect all real estate data for the 18 months prior to June 30, 2002.Because no other party fielded candidates for the race, today’s results will leave the winner unopposed and ready to take office in January.Other racesRepublican voters also will make choices for two other races in November:- Businessman Bob Vehar faces Boulder attorney Sandy Hume for the Republican spot on the 2nd Congressional District ticket. The winner will face Boulder Democrat Mark Udall. The winner of that race succeeds Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, as Eagle County’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.- The Democratic primary is selecting a candidate for regent of the University of Colorado. Howard Wachtel, who describes himself “as the ultimate oxymoran – a conservative CU professor,” faces Boulder attorney Jim Martin.Fisher said she expects less than 10 percent of the 19,000 registered voters in Eagle County to cast their votes today.”Political party supporters are likely to vote to show support for their respective political party,” she said.By Monday afternoon, the county had received only 575 absentee ballots of 1,500 mailed, Fisher said. Absentee ballots will be counted today.When to vote:7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. todayWhere to vote:- Red Cliff, Town Hall, 400 Pine St.- West Vail Lodge, 2211 North Frontage Rd.- Minturn Town Hall, 302 Pine Street.- Edwards Elementary School, 0122 Meile Lane.- Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway, Eagle.- Gypsum Town Hall, 0050 Lundgren Blvd.- Basalt Town Hall, 101 Midland Ave.- Eagle County Community Center, 0020 Eagle County Drive.- Burns Baptist Church, 22545 Colorado River Rd.- McCoy Community Center, 26 McCoy Rd- Vail Town Hall, 75 South Frontage Road W- Vail Mountain School, 3160 Katsos Ranch Road.- Avon Elementary School, 850 West Beaver Creek Blvd.- Eagle-Vail Pavilion, 538 Eagle Rd.- Singletree Community Center, 1010 Berry Creek Rd.- Eagle Baptist Church, 14600 U.S. Highway 6.