With property values dropping by the day, undermining the nation's economy and Florida's tax base, it is more important than ever to have an experienced, credible hand as Hillsborough County's property appraiser.
Republican Rob Turner, 57, has turned the office around since first winning election in 1996. He took an office weighed down by incompetence and patronage and raised its professional and ethical standards. With his background in banking and business and by installing new technology, Turner has taken some of the guesswork out of this inexact science.
Elected appraisers assess property for tax purposes. The exercise is fraught with the potential to misread the market and to play politics with taxpayers. But Turner has been fair. He worked to close the loopholes on taxing commercial property. He also has been accessible during this wild real estate market, appearing before civic groups to explain complex tax policy proposals. He is far more qualified for the job than Democrat Ken Ayers, 78, a former Tampa fire chief, and deserves to remain in office.
For Hillsborough property appraiser, the Times recommends Rob Turner.