Candidates for property appraiser

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Each candidates' party affiliation is listed on the ballot, but Jacksonville holds unitary elections, so Duval County registered voters of any party can vote for any candidate.

Duval County property appraiser

News4Jax asks each candidate for office a uniform set of questions hoping to get beyond campaign statements or media filters to help voters decide which candidate they will support. Below are the candidates' verbatim responses.

Jerry Holland 

Party affiliation: Republican

Age: 64

Candidate's family: Married wife Beverly, Son Brian, grandsons Ethan and Liam

Occupation: Duval County Property Appraiser

Education: Masters in Education, UNF, Bachelors of Technology in Transportation and Logistics, UNF, Computer Science, Jones College, Associates of Arts, FJC

Political experience: 1999-2005 Jacksonville City Council, 2002-2003 City Council President, 2005-2015 Duval County Supervisor of Elections, 2015-2019 Duval County Property Appraiser

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

Electing a candidate with proven experience voters can trust for providing an office that with treat all taxpayers with respect and fairness. Having a candidate with 38 years of Real Estate experience, and who is only 1 of 67 active Certified Florida Appraisers in the state. Who is a General Contractor, Real Estate Broker and is the current Duval County Property Appraiser managing a staff of 110 with a $10 million budget.

Having an office that will make sure all taxpayers receive the exemptions they are entitled to, but those not entitled must face the consequences. As of today more than 2100 property owners have been found in non-compliance and over $13.4 million in back, taxes, penalties and interest has been lien. In 3 1/2 years we have recovered more than twice the amount recovered in the previous 7 years.

Having the best customer service for the public by investing in our staff. We have expanded training to all departments, expanding the number of employees with professional certifications in the areas of appraising property, customer service and conflict resolutions.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
With my legislative experience on the Jacksonville City Council, I introduced and saw adopted 1999-897 legislation to give low income seniors as additional Homestead Exemption and 2003-599 legislation that established an exemption for Granny Flats, the living quarters of grandparents and parents living with their children. I am currently working today with state legislators on legislation involving property exemptions and penalties to make sure they are fair, in cases where the taxpayers are unknowingly out of compliance.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
I hope to be remembered for providing excellent customer service, with a very professional and well trained staff. Also, always being accessible to the taxpayers, knowing I am just a call a way, that is why I provide my cell number to everyone (904-318-6877). Finally, I want to leave a tract record of fair and accurate assessments for all, with a passion to leave this office far better than the day I entered into it.

Campaign website: under construction
Social media: Twitter

Kurt Kraft

Party affiliation: Democrat

Age: 59

Candidate's family: Never married. Never divorced. A true believer in a single lifestyle.

Occupation: Running for Property Appraiser

Education: High School Graduate. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA, Major, Real Estate) Kent State University. Many real estate appraisal courses.

Political experience: I have worked for four (4) elected Duval County Property Appraisers.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

Based on local printed business media, there are sales of properties that when compared to the Duval County Property Appraiser's Office assessment, it is my opinion that it appears that some properties are woefully under assessed, creating tax inequities, costing the City of Jacksonville (Duval County) millions of dollars. Based on my sample, it appears that these properties on the average of the sample, are assessed at approximately 55% of their sale price. Again, 55% of their sale price. The assessment ratio in Florida is 100%. It appears that this lost revenue to the City could have been used toward more police protection, creating more higher paying jobs, education, upgrade infrastructure, fix road pot holes, extend library hours, and provide more services for the citizens. If Kurt Kraft can see the sales, the residents of Duval County can see the sales, can the Duval County Property Appraiser's Office see the sales ? ? ? Kurt Kraft, as your next Property Appraiser, will correct all tax inequities, and make it FAIR for everybody! Fair Assessments = Fair Taxes. Kurt Kraft has over 33 years of appraisal experience.

Since my opponent, Jerry Holland, Property Appraiser, his office for about the last three (3) years, has been investigated by five (5) separate agencies. Kurt Kraft, as your next Property Appraiser, will follow the law, and restore trust and accountability to that office. Read the Full Report at KraftFairTaxes.com

It is public record, that over a 34 week period, Jerry Holland, Property Appraiser, his personal parking garage card activity print out when calculated, is approximately 24 HOURS PER WEEK average garage times. The parking garage is connected to the Property Appraiser's Office. As your next Property Appraiser, Kurt Kraft will be a FULL-TIME Property Appraiser, for which the job pays about $153,000 a year. Kurt Kraft will put in 40 hour plus work weeks, to provide leadership to get the job done.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
As your next Property Appraiser, Kurt Kraft, will correct glaring tax inequities that is UNFAIR to all taxpayers. Everybody needs to be treated fairly. The main job of a Florida Property Appraiser, is to appraise all property at fair market value. Fair Assessments = Fair Taxes.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
Kurt Kraft provided real leadership by correcting tax inequities at the Duval County Property Appraiser's Office. Kurt Kraft made the Property Appraiser's Office FAIR for everybody.  Fair Assessments = Fair Taxes.

Campaign website: KraftFairTaxes.com
Social Media: Twitter

Early voting runs from March 4 through 17 at more than a dozen locations, with all Duval County precincts open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 19. Vote-by-mail ballots are available from the Supervisor of Elections Office and must be returned by 7 p.m. March 19.