PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of 10 local candidates in four contested county races in this fall’s elections beginning Aug. 14. These Q&As will be published around midday on Mondays and Thursdays over the next five weeks.
Also in September, PVN will be broadcasting pre-recorded debates between the candidates in these four contested races through our new YouTube channel.
- Age: 31
- Education: B.S., Political Science, University of Virginia’s College at Wise, 2017; Page County High School, 2010.
- Work: Real Estate Assessor, Rockingham County Commissioner of Revenue’s Office.
- Family: Wife, Hannah; daughter, Lana.
- Military Service: 10 Years of service in the United States Army and the Virginia Army National Guard, 2013-present; served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Staff Officer (Support Operations).
- Community Service: Luray Ruritan Club member, Page County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Page Valley Sportsman’s Club member, American Legion member.
• Why are you running for public office?
I am running because I believe I can make a difference for our county. I have been training for the last several years to learn the functions of the Commissioner’s office, and I would like to bring my leadership and experience to our county.
• What makes you the best candidate?
I believe the reason we have constitutional officers in the first place is to be our voice in local government. I know the leadership, experience, and fire I have in my belly, to be the voice for the taxpayers, to be the Commissioner who will lead, stand up, and ask the tough questions of other leaders in local government to make sure the voices of the taxpayers are being heard.
• What is the most pressing issue facing the Commissioner of the Revenue?
The most pressing issue facing us is real estate, and personal property assessment. In our county, we have some of the highest tax rates for personal property and real estate in Virginia. Our tax rates in Page County are higher than almost every surrounding county that boarders us. Now, the tax rates are determined by the board of supervisors; however, all the assessments are determined by the commissioner’s office.
The current commissioner’s office does not look at high mileage when determining the value of used vehicles, and the current commissioner’s office does not do our own real estate reassessment. The county pays almost $600,000 for a third-party group, Wingate appraisal service, to come into our county and tell us what our real estate values will be. I believe these are both pressing issues that need to change, and I will work with the board of supervisors to make these changes under my office.
• What is one thing that you would like to change or improve about the office?
As I mentioned above, we need to implement a high-mileage factor for vehicle personal property reassessment. My plan is that citizens will be able to submit documentation from a third-party source (a state inspection receipt, service center repair or maintenance receipt) or stop by our office for visual confirmation of mileage. I believe this adjustment will save taxpayers money from having to pay higher amounts based on the surging used auto market.
I would also work with the board to hire three county appraisers and do our own real estate reassessment (staying on a five-year cycle). My plan will bring three good-paying jobs to the county, and my office will be more accurate and bring fair market value to every parcel in our county.
• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.
Throughout my 10 years in the Army, I have made many leadership decisions; however, this answer should come from the commissioner’s office. I had a property that I was doing a review on for a lady who was in the exemption program for the elderly and disabled. While looking at the property, I realized that the house was built in 2008 and had a finished basement, which I thought was odd because to me the slope of the ground wouldn’t have a basement. Well, it was a crawlspace, and this lady who was on a fixed income was paying almost $90,000 more on her homes assessment then what was fair and accurate. I made the decision to fix the wrong information and reimburse the money she had paid for the previous three years, as that is all the state allows. I was proud to help that lady, to make a difference in her life and do what was right. That’s the kind of Commissioner I will be.
Early voting starts Sept. 22
for election information visit the Page County Voter Registrar.