Know Your Candidates: Canton du Center Assessor | Local elections

Incumbent Democrat Sheila Pullen

Sheila Pullen

Professional experience and qualifications: I am a Licensed Real Estate Broker and an Indiana Level III Appraiser/Appraiser. I worked with developers and industrial facilities to avoid costly calls to Howard County. I checked the abatements to ensure the accuracy of the reports. I was a member of the Howard County team that brought $23 million in tax dollars to our community when our local industrial facilities failed. I also brought in all the union leaders so they knew the county and the schools needed taxpayer money, but didn’t want union jobs lost in the process. I learned about the budget process during my nine years as the first woman on the Kokomo Communal Council.

What are the main issues/challenges facing the office and how would you address them?

I think the biggest responsibility and the biggest challenge is to maintain fair and equitable ratings. With constant changes in rules and regulations and tax court rulings, it is hard to feel that residential taxpayers are being treated fairly. There are so many entities with huge deductions and exemptions that the tax rate goes up resulting in higher bills. More taxpayers hit the cap, then government units lose revenue. I understand that some of these deductions should be given to encourage growth, but all units of government should be rewarded with the growth that ensues to keep tax rates lower for all taxpayers.

The biggest problem would be maintaining qualified staff. Indiana requires certifications and ongoing training for elected appraisers and all staff who deal with real estate. I am fortunate to have a wonderful staff, very qualified and respectful of taxpayers. I ensure that my staff maintain their certifications and complete the required continuing education. We are always there to help taxpayers.

Republican Tanner Heady Work experience and qualifications: I graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I have been working at Bucheri McCarty & Metz as a staff accountant since January 2020. I gained experience working directly with clients and managing projects. I process weekly payroll, monthly accounting, quarterly payroll taxes, personal and business income tax returns, financial statements and property tax returns. I am also the Howard County Republican Party Treasurer, where I write checks, make deposits, and file party financial reports. I have completed testing to become an Indiana Level I and Level II Certified Appraiser.

What are the main issues/challenges facing the office and how would you address them?

I think the biggest challenge for the office is keeping abreast of legislative changes and communicating them to taxpayers. As an appraiser, I will need to interpret rules and regulations and then apply them accurately to appraisals. Similarly, in my current position, I interpret changes to tax laws and apply them to tax returns. I have experience in breaking down complicated laws and am able to communicate them effectively to clients. I believe I have the skills to effectively manage the assessor’s office and to assist the taxpayer and their understanding of assessments.

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