Peterson receives ‘Assessor of the Year’ award for his efforts in the county
BY BECKY GINOS
FARMINGTON—Assessing property is a time consuming task, but Davis County Assessor Dale Peterson is an expert. He’s been at it for many years and was recently named “Assessor of the Year” by the Utah Chapter of the International Association for Assessing Officers (IAAO).
“Somebody nominated me and then a selection committee voted,” said Peterson. “None of the things listed could have been accomplished by one individual. It’s a reflection on the whole office. We’re a team and we work together as a team.”
Peterson’s office is responsible for valuing all the taxable property in Davis County. “That includes homes, land, buildings, industrial buildings, etc.,” he said. “That becomes the basis for property taxes. We use a lot of statistics in valuing 100,000 parcels of property in the county.”
Property is valued each year, but done on a rotating basis to see new homes. “We have a statistical model to help derive the value based on current market value,” said Peterson. “People think we can come out and do an (individual) appraisal but that would take 10 times the staff to do every year.”
However, if someone does appeal valuation, his office will look at it on an individual basis. “Our goal is to always get it right,” said Peterson. “We want to fix it if it’s overvalued.”
Peterson has been with the county for 11 ½ years and started as an appraiser before he was elected to his current post. He has three years left on his term. For 14 years he was a self-employed appraiser and has lived in Layton for more than 25 years.
According to the nomination letter, Peterson instituted a new management program “that utilized a greater number of supervisors that had a smaller span of control. This provided the opportunity for more hands-on supervision. While this is not a new idea, Dale and staff have pulled it off close to perfection.”
Although he received this recognition, Peterson still has more he would like to accomplish. “Overall I want to get better online filing for businesses’ personal property (chairs, tables, etc.),” he said. “I want to introduce that in 2018. It should make it so much easier for taxpayers as well as for us. I also want to find ways to save money. We’ve already reduced staff and we’re looking for efficiencies by utilizing technology more in what we do. I also want to be more responsive to taxpayer questions as they come up. This office works so hard – they’re so dedicated.”