Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Montoya kicks off 2010 re-election campaign

Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya, the only woman to hold the post here, wants a second term, and on Wednesday night she hosted her first campaign event at Artichoke Cafe in Albuquerque.

In her first term, Montoya, a native New Mexican and mother of two girls, said she increased the use of technology and budgeted updates, provided hands-on assistance to taxpayers, tackled tax lightning issues, and froze property values for senior citizens, who are often on fixed incomes.

Montoya said her priorities as assessor include taxpayer equity, making sure our seniors and veterans benefit from allowable exemptions, and continuing a professional and citizen-friendly office.

Late last year, Assessor Montoya decided to act on court decisions that ruled new property owners were being taxed unfairly. Montoya decided she would help to eliminate “tax lightning” and would roll back tax property tax values. Thanks to Karen’s no-nonsense approach in Bernalillo County, policy makers at the state level have started work on crafting constitutional remedies to fix the tax lightning problem for all of New Mexico.

“If taxpayers are being unfairly taxed, I’m the first to make it right,” says Assessor Montoya.

Montoya also worked on an awareness campaign aimed at veterans and their surviving spouses to make sure they take advantage of a $4,000 allowance on the appraised value of their homes and property.

Montoya, who worked as a Senior Appraiser for the New Mexico State Tax Property Division, before being elected in 2006, told us she wants to dedicate office resources to new training programs for her 120 employees in her second term.

She is a New Mexico Certified Appraiser and served as Chair of the County Valuation Protest Board. She is currently a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers.

Assessor Montoya was also the Vice Chair of the New Mexico Association of Assessing Officer’s June 2007 to June 2009 and she is currently the Chairwomen for the Property Tax Force Committee.

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