What property tax candidates want voters to know before election day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As voters wrap up early voting in Jacksonville and prepare for Election Day next Tuesday, three candidates are vying for the popular vote for Duval County property appraiser.

Danny Becton and Jason Fischer are the two Republican candidates, and Joyce Morgan is the Democrat.

News4JAX sat down with the candidates to learn about what they believe are their biggest challenges.

All candidates said technology is something they want to tackle.

“The local property assessment office hasn’t updated their technology in the last 20 years or so, and there’s no better qualified person to lead those technology upgrades than an electrical engineer like me,” Fisher said.

“Well, that was one of the biggest challenges that attracted me on day one of this office, actually, was that this, the real estate appraiser’s office needs a major software rollout of its main system, the camera system, that does all the appraisals,” Becton said.

“Just like anything else, it has a life cycle, and that life cycle is probably going to end very soon. So we have to reevaluate it and find the best system that will work for the Duval County Property Assessor’s Office and put it into effect,” Morgan said.

While updating technology is critical, each candidate wants voters to know the role of a property appraiser and how they want to run the office.

“We’re dealing with about 385,000 commercial properties and residential properties in Duval County, and that affects a lot,” Morgan said. “It affects our budget, like 52% of the Duval County budget comes from our property taxes, property taxes, and those are the same taxes that take care of everything that we have to do in the city of Jacksonville.”

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“It’s going to be challenging in the years to come. As our county continues to grow because the property appraiser has to assess and touch every piece of property and every parcel in this county, which is approaching 400,000 parcels,” Becton said.

“There is no one better qualified to lead that office to execute these projects in addition to executing the real estate. Appraisal work and the value adjustment board, I sat on that, Fischer said.

One of the three candidates will replace Jerry Holland, who is the outgoing property appraiser. Holland has been chosen to return to the role of head of elections.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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