Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 18, 2014

Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

Mike James
The Independent

GREENUP — A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

The Democratic primary race pits incumbent Bill Clary against newcomer Bobby Hall. The winner of the May 20 primary will run in November against Republican Betty Riffe. Riffe is unopposed in the primary.

Both candidates focused on technology upgrades in interviews this week, Hall on website maintenance and Clary on new aerial imaging services.

Kentucky property valuation administrators are a key component of the state’s property tax system. They don’t set tax rates, however, but assess all the real estate in the county and assign a fair market value. That value is used to calculate the tax bill on each property.

Clary first took office in 1986, when property records were compiled and maintained on paper.

Records have long since gone digital and Clary said he is looking at another technological tool to keep the office up to date.

Clary hopes in a next term to pursue acquisition of aerial imaging services to compile clear and highly detailed pictures of the county.

The imaging system can be combined with existing mapping and GIS data, leading to more accurate valuation, he said.

The acquisition would require partnering with other agencies that also could use the services.

Clary is otherwise running on his record and said he has assembled a skilled and reliable staff and has been dependable in meeting all state requirements for his office.

He is a past legislative representative for the state PVA association’s seventh district and a past member of the FIVCO Area Development District board of directors.

Hall is a Greenup native who has never run for office before. He most recently worked as general manager for WLGC radio and left that job to run his campaign for PVA.

Hall said he wants to “bring the PVA office into the 21st century by implementing the best technology available.” That would require some upgrades because of the pace of modern technology, he said.

He said he would maintain the PVA website to assist the public with retrieving information on the state property tax system and that current working assessments and property characteristics would be posted for taxpayer use.

He said his business management experience of 20 years and his background in customer service would be a benefit to the office.

Candidates for PVA are required to take a state qualification test and Hall said he took and passed the test in November.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.