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Property appraiser candidate announces

A longtime employee of the Hernando County Property Appraiser's Office announced Tuesday that he is the first Democratic candidate for his former boss' job.

"As evidenced by the attached information, I am very qualified to run for and hold this very important county office," Elmer D. Korbus, 43, said in a written announcement.

For the past three years, Korbus has worked as the chief of appraisals for the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office. For 10 years before that, he worked as the chief deputy appraiser for Hernando County Property Appraiser Les Samples.

He said he did not leave because he had any quarrel with Samples, but because he had a better offer in Hillsborough.

But that did not stop him from criticizing the work his former boss is doing. Samples, who has been in office since 1975, is inaccessible and has gotten into the habit of taking vacations during the busiest times of year.

"Oh yes, everybody knows that. Every time you send out TRIM notices, he disappears in his camper," Korbus said.

He also said there is property in the county that is not on the tax rolls but should be. He declined to elaborate on that Tuesday.

Samples has not yet announced whether he will run for the office, which pays $67,524. Three Republicans have announced they will run: citizen activist Joe Fox, Spring Hill builder Hal Rober and John J. Kouba, a baked goods sales representative and former real estate broker.