CLINTON — Two candidates with experience in the office are running for East Feliciana Parish assessor in the Oct. 22 primary election.
Incumbent Assessor H.T. “Bubby” Jackson is not seeking re-election, but he has endorsed his chief deputy, Jeff Gardner, in the race.
Opposing Gardner is Ricky Dawson, who worked in the office when his father-in-law, the late Carl Bunch, was assessor.
In Louisiana, assessors are required to determine the fair market value of all taxable property except public service properties that are valued by the Louisiana Tax Commission.
The assessments are the basis for computing property taxes.
The new term for the assessor will begin Jan. 1, 2013.
Gardner, 46, has been employed by the Assessor’s Office since 1999 and has been chief deputy assessor since August 2004. He is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, a certified real estate appraiser and a licensed real estate agent.
A Democrat, Gardner said he has been involved with many changes and improvements in the office, including adding additional computers for employees and obtaining a geographical information system with the latest aerial photographs.
He said he has worked to add property to the tax rolls that has increased parish assessments from $69 million 15 years ago to $135 million today.
Dawson, 60, is running without party affiliation. He also is a Southeastern Louisiana University graduate and four-year football letterman. He formerly worked in the Assessor’s Office for 12 years.
He has been involved in several business ventures and travels the country as a motivational speaker for corporate clients and high school and college sports teams.
Dawson said he would work with parish officials to promote economic growth and set up a website to give property owners better access to the office that would include land sales and information on calculating property taxes.