Huber files for another assessor term
Brian Huber believes that experience matters, and he is hoping voters agree and elect him to another term as Crook County Assessor.
"I love the job. I love the challenge of the job," he said. "Every day is something different and new ... I enjoy the opportunity that each day brings to do better than the day before."
Huber, 49, first ascended to the assessor role in January 2013. He was appointed to the position after Tom Green retired and was later elected to a four-year term in 2014. But unlike the last election, Huber will face an opponent in the 2018 primary as Jon Soliz, a senior appraiser for the assessor's office, has filed for the position as well.
Huber notes that he comes to the position with 25 years of experience as an appraiser, 18 of which have been spent in the Crook County Assessor's Office. The last 10 of those years he served as the chief appraiser.
"I am interested in the real estate in general," he said of his initial interest in appraisal work. "I am interested in the market and what motivates people's interest to buy and sell."
Appraisal work gave way to different responsibilities since Huber took over as assessor, and he highlights several accomplishments that he believes make him the best choice to continue in the position. These include updating the assessor's office website to make it easier for residents to see the assessment process, values, ownerships and tax statement; reducing the materials and services budget by 32 percent by analyzing every line item; and improving public outreach through the use of social media and creation of a monthly newsletter.
Huber said he enjoys working with the public and helping people understand complicated tax assessment issues, particularly in an environment where Measure 50 dictates assessed values.
"It is a very complicated system we have now," he said. "It is very satisfying to be able to explain things to people while working with the taxing districts, helping them understand compression, bonds and levies."
That work recently resulted in the Assessor's Office earning the 2016 Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration, which is awarded by the International Association of Assessing Officers.
"We are the only county in Oregon, and one of only 35 jurisdictions in the entire country, that has earned the award," Huber said. "I'm proud that our internal policies and procedures are meeting and exceeding the highest standards in the industry."
Huber stressed that those policies and procedures are directed by the laws and administrative rules set forth by the Oregon Legislatures and the Department of Revenue, and should therefore never waver from one situation to the next.
"We don't have the luxury of picking and choosing which ones to follow or ignore," he said. "This office needs a strong leader, someone who can make difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions and stand behind them."