Rob Turner was first elected in 1996 on the promise he would clean up an office that was tainted by incompetence and patronage. He has delivered; the office today is well run — efficient, transparent and fair. Turner is the Republicans' best choice for appraiser in the Aug. 26 primary.
Turner, 57, has the right credentials and the personal integrity an elected appraiser needs. His background in banking and business helped him to professionalize the appraiser's office. Turner was aggressive in closing loopholes that enabled commercial property to escape its fair share of tax. He expanded the use of technology to lessen the guesswork in the assessment process and improved customer service.
Elected appraisers do not set tax rates. Their job is to assess property fairly for tax purposes and to educate the public on market conditions and the impact of any proposals for changes in tax policy. Turner brings credibility to the table — an appraiser's most important asset. His appearances before homeowners' groups, service clubs and professional associations speak to the trust he has earned in the community.
Rob Townsend, a 49-year-old farmer, said he is running "for the purpose of lowering property taxes." His agenda is more suited for a policymaking office than a largely ministerial one.
In the Republican primary race for Hillsborough County property appraiser, the Times recommends Rob Turner.
Opportunity to reply
The Times offers candidates not recommended by the editorial board an opportunity to reply. Candidates for property appraiser should send their replies by 5 p.m. Wednesday to: Philip Gailey, Editor of Editorials, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731; by fax: (727) 893-8675; or at: www.tampabay.com/ letters. Replies are limited to 200 words.