What property appraiser candidates want voters to know before Election Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As voters finish early voting in Jacksonville and prepare for Election Day next Tuesday, three candidates are vying for residents’ vote for Duval County property appraiser.

Danny Becton and Jason Fischer are the two Republican candidates, and Joyce Morgan is a Democrat.

News4JAX sat down with the candidates to learn about what they believe are their biggest challenges.

All candidates said technology is something they want to address.

“The local property appraiser’s office hasn’t updated their technology in the last 20 years or so and there is no better-qualified person to lead those technology upgrades than an electrical engineer like myself,” Fisher said.

“Well, that was one of the biggest challenges which attracted me on day one of this office was in fact that this, the property appraiser’s office needs a major software deployment of its main system, the camera system, which does all the appraisals,” Becton said.

“Just like anything else, that has a lifecycle, and that lifecycle is probably going to be coming to an end very soon. So, we’re going to have to reassess that and find the best system that’s going to work for the Duval County property appraiser’s office and put it into effect,” Morgan said.

While updating the technology is critical, each candidate wants voters to know the role of a property appraiser, and how they want to lead the office.

“We’re dealing with some 385,000 commercial and residential properties in Duval County, and it impacts a lot,” Morgan said. “It impacts our budget, like 52% of the Duval County budget comes from our ad valorem taxes, property taxes, and those are the same taxes that take care of everything we have to do in the city of Jacksonville.”

“It’s going to be challenging in future years. As our county continues to grow because the Property Appraiser has to appraise and touch every piece of real estate and every parcel in this county, which is getting close to 400,000 parcels,” Becton said.

“There’s nobody better qualified to lead that office to do those projects as well as also doing the actual property. Appraisal work and the value Adjustment board, I served on that,” Fischer said.

One of the three candidates will be replacing Jerry Holland who is the outgoing property appraiser. Holland has been elected to return to the role of Supervisor of Elections.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.