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Ray named Tama County Assessor By John Speer Central Iowa Press

June 1, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
Wesley Ray stepped into the Tama County Assessor’s job on May 7 backed by an entire career of experience in the field. He fills the post held for 10 years by Jerry Witt, Tama, who recently accepted the position of Linn County Assessor. The assessor’s position is filled by the choice of the Tama County Conference Board made up of mayors of each city, a representative of each of the three school districts which are based in the county and the board of supervisors. Ray said his transition here was easy and credits his predecessor, Jerry Witt, with having an organized system in place. He says he suggested to Jerry, who is also president of the Iowa State Association of Assessors, to provide the working details to the association members. Staff members in the Tama County office include Dixie Caloud, deputy assessor, Kerry Kucera, bookkeeper / clerk and Janine Anderson, appraiser / clerk. Ray, a native of Nevada, Iowa, got his start in a private appraisal business with his father which spanned 30 years. He began in work in a county assessor office as deputy assessor in Adams County at Corning. He went on to being named assessor in Webster and then O’Brien counties prior to taking the Tama County position. Ray holds membership in the International Association of Assessing Offices and the Iowa State Association of Assessors. The duties of assessor center on determining property value including residential, agriculture, commercial industrial and a new category - dual class. Ray explains this, for example, would be a building which houses retail on the first floor and is made up of apartments on the second floor. As all in the role of assessor are quick to point out, Ray notes his office does not set the tax rate - that is oden by levy. One area which has changed in assessor business is the availability of records online - Ray says real estate and other professionals now primarily rely on this method instead of coming to the office to obtain information. Applications for homestead, military and disabled veteran tax exemptions are made at the assessors’s office. Ray says the office also acts as an independent information source for the Board of Review in property tax appeals. Relocating to Tama County will be a good fit Ray says for his son, Liam, and himself. Liam who is both an English - English Literature and Dance and Film major at Iowa State University, Ames. Liam plans to follow up by seeking a masters degree at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

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