Lott running to bring confidence to assessor's office
Editor's Note: The Kingman Daily Miner will print a series of stories on opposed candidates for county and statewide office prior to the Sept.
The Miner today is running the first of two stories on the two Republican candidates for county assessor: incumbent Beverly Payne and challenger Gary Lott.
The top vote-getter will automatically be elected because no Democrats filed for the position, which pays $47,500 a year.
Lott is profiled below.
The job of Mohave County assessor is important because it is the "heartthrob" of county finances, candidate Gary Lott said.
"The assessor values that are set determine a lot of factors through the entire county finances," he said.
"If these figures are incorrect, it throws out the entire system."
Lott, a 40-year Mohave Valley resident who used to work for the assessor's office, wants to be closer to the heartbeat by getting elected to the position Sept.
"I believe I can bring the confidence of the people and the trust back that has been lost," Lott said.
"I believe I can lead the office into the 21st century in a proactive manner instead of a reactive manner.
We should be leaders in the state."
Asked about shortcomings in the current leadership, Lott said, "There are to many inconsistencies in (property) evaluations, and people have been upset for too long to allow this to continue."
He believes he is qualified to serve as assessor, citing thousands of hours of field experience.
He worked as a property appraiser in the assessor's office from 1996 to 1998.
Lott's campaign literature states that he is an Arizona tax agent, registered property tax agent and a certified property appraiser; was certified by the International Association of Assessing Officers; and obtained technical training from the state Department of Revenue.
The certification came from passing an exam that covered appraisal and value concepts, economics, analysis and site valuation, and depreciation, according to the literature.
He received training in land valuations methods, personal property, and appraisals for residential and commercial property.
As a tax agent, Lott said he represents the public, residential and commercial property owners in correcting taxation and evaluation problems.
He said he won several cases in the assessor's office for incorrect valuations and errors.
"I get people refunds when I find factual errors," Lott said.
One refund exceeded $23,000 and others amounted to $10,000, he said.
Lott's said the assessor is responsible for valuating an estimated 250,000 parcels in Mohave County.
"You're also responsible for doing this for the Department of Revenue," Lott said.
"You are a deputy for doing this for the Department of Revenue and in charge of personnel for handling it."
Also under state law, the assessor's office handles the mass appraisal system, Lott said.
"You have a large block of properties in an area and you add all the property sales," he said.
"If it is a new property, data is entered into the computer, and it formulates a value with the data that is put into the computer system for the particular property."
If the appraisal is appealed, the assessor may deal with it individually, Lott said.