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Career Story: Town Tax Assessor

Town Tax Assessor

Job Title: Tax Assessor

Type of Company: I work for municipal government.

Education: AS, Business Management, Quinebaug Valley Community College (Danielson, CT) •• certificate, CCMA, University of Connecticut

Previous Experience: Document retrieval work eventually let to my latest career choice.

Job Tasks: The assessor is responsible for valuing all property within a town; this includes Real Estate (land and buildings), Motor Vehicles, and businesses or unregistered motor vehicles and equipment. A description of these items and their values make up what is referred to as a "Grand List." If you were to go to your local town clerk's office, you would find bound copies, in the vault containing land records, of grand lists dating back to the incorporation of your town.

The assessor is also responsible for applying exemptions and supplying the state with many reports. The records that the assessor maintains are used to help determine what type of state aide will be received by a town, and the Board of Finance uses them to determine a mill rate based on how much needs to be raised by taxes to support the budgets of both the town and the Board of Education. There are many daily tasks beyond I've just described, but these are the major responsibilities. Assessors visit new buildings to measure them and record building characteristics such as number of bathrooms, story height and style of home. There is always something to do in or out of the office!

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of holding this position is the fact that your job is to be fair and equitable. Everyone is treated the same, and there are no exceptions to the rule. You are also in a position to explain things to people who may not understand how or why things are valued the way they are.

The down side is that there are no exceptions to the rule. You may wish to help someone, for example, who has fallen on hard times or whose home is damaged, but there are laws that prevent you from doing so. You cannot allow your personal feelings to influence your work performance.

Job Tips:
1. Be sure to work in an assessor's office and pursue the appropriate education.

2. You want to brush up on your people skills, learn to be patient and work on clear communication.

3. Time management and organizational skills are imperative to success it this field.

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