In My View: the Columbian Misses It On County Assessor Endorsement

by lewwaters

The Columbian has begun their slate of political endorsements as we continue getting closer to the August 17 primary election. As always, there will be agreements and disagreements over who they choose. But, their choices for the County Assessor office misses by a mile, much more than just a disagreement.

The Columbian has published, In Our View: Horowitz, Weaver, Two strong candidates emerge in primary for county assessor’s post.

Well, I guess I can agree with “candidates,” but strong? How so? How can Peter Van Nortwick not even receive consideration when he is the only candidate for the office who has issued a “Property Tax Payers Bill of Rights” and has been beating the Columbian to the punch on pointing out current problems in the County Assessor’s office?

Maybe a hint of why can be seen when they tried to marginalize Peter receiving the co-endorsement of Mayor Tim Leavitt, hinting that Leavitt may co-endorse him, but that doesn’t mean they he will vote for him.

No mention that possibly Leavitt might not vote for his old friend, David Horowitz who he also co-endorsed. Only Leavitt will know and he is the only person entitled to know how he will vote. Idle speculation as this has no place in legitimate journalism.

No mention either that Van Nortwick received the endorsements of Clark County Commissioners Tom Mielke and Marc Boldt, Battle Ground Mayor Ciraulo, Ray Garza-SW Washington Hispanic Republicans, Bill Jameson- Former Candidate Clark County Assessor, Senator Don Benton, Senator Joe Zarelli, the Washington State Farm Bureau and the Building Industry Association, to mention just a few.

David Horowitz and Daniel Weaver are no doubt decent fellows, but does that qualify them over Peter, also a decent fellow, for the office that the Columbian says, “The chief role of the Clark County assessor is not to assess or appraise property value but to manage a department that does.”

By the Columbian’s account, Horowitz, 64, is a “Real Estate Specialist and retired CPA” that said “he’s had an ongoing dispute over an assessed property value.”

Daniel Weaver, 64, although with a background in accounting, is also retired.

Neither has a background in appraisal and I find it odd that the Columbian wrote, “So it is important to have a county assessor with a solid management background and a full understanding of the duties.”

I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t want an Auto Dealer Service Manager running the Hospital, just because his shop once serviced ambulances.

Peter Van Nortwick is a “Certified General Appraiser, the highest level of appraiser and is the Managing Partner of American Commercial and Residential Appraisal. His appraisal experience includes residential, commercial, recreational and agricultural appraisals. He has experience appraising properties worth tens of millions of dollars and providing expert witness testimony. He is also an FHA appraiser, a member of the Clark County Association of Realtors and The Appraisal Institute.”

He has run an aggressive campaign not only pointing out the many problems currently beset with the County Assessor’s office, but offering solutions.

Many might be having their property under-appraised and think that is a good thing, but it isn’t. Others may be receiving over appraisals on their property, which obviously isn’t good.

None of us like taxes but realize they are a necessary evil. Therefore, they must be fair across the board. If too many are under appraised, other taxes must go up to make up the difference.

Over appraised and taxpayers end up leaving and going elsewhere, not to mention being overcharged.

Peter Van Nortwick has shown he has the qualifications and willingness to properly and fairly assess our property so the taxes levied will fair to all.

As I said, Horowitz and Weaver, both retired now, might be decent fellows, but we need new blood and fresh ideas down at the Assessors Office. By all accounts, the Assessors office is a mess currently and it will take someone with knowledge of appraising coming in from outside the department to pull the office back together.

You may watch the candidates of this race and others debate here at CVTV

I trust Peter Van Nortwick, Republican, to be who best will correct the problems at the Clark County Assessors Office.

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