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Chip Evans, Candidate for Washoe County Assessor (Opinion)

By ThisIsReno

Submitted by Chip Evans

I’m Chip Evans, and I’m running to work for you as your full-time, no-conflicts, Washoe County Assessor. I have good news! Washoe’s competent Assessor’s staff is doing a good job providing fair and honest property assessments. The bad news is that my opponent is poorly regarded by local elected officials, a good number of his staff and members of our state legislature.

In this time when property tax reforms are being considered in the legislature, Mr. Clark’s poor relationships, diminished stature and questionable trustworthiness are bad news for all Washoe County residents.

As your new Assessor, I will provide credible leadership and be a strong voice for Washoe County. Outcomes of the state legislature’s property-related discussions are sure to impact us differently than Clark County and Nevada’s rural communities.

In contrast, Mike Clark boasts about declining the legislature’s invitation to testify about a proposed property tax reforms. Think about that. I will be your full-time Assessor who will show up for these critical conversations.

My vision is to expand the Assessor’s office to conduct new levels of analyses and research to inform our legislature’s property tax reform discussions. I’m the straight shooter you can count on to give you the unbiased facts. I will ensure our elected officials, school boards, and you understand how any proposed changes may affect you and Washoe residents.

In contrast, the city council and mayor of Sparks (all Republicans) have publicly denounced Mike Clark for spreading false and misleading information to voters during this election. Members of the Reno City Council and our county school board have voiced similar concerns. Not surprisingly, majorities of both groups have endorsed me to replace Mr. Clark.

They are not alone. I have received support from Washoe County Commissioners, the Association of General Contractors of Nevada, Northern Nevada’s Central Labor Council, and many other community members, leaders and organizations.

My opponent would have you believe he is due credit for reducing the number of assessment appeals, but that is misleading. The fact is that the number of appeals go up in a falling market and down in a rising market. We’ve had a rising market since Mr. Clark came into office. The chair of the Board of Equalization, the group that considers property tax appeals, endorses my candidacy and does not give Clark credit for the falling number of appeals.

Clark has drawn widespread bipartisan opposition to his re-election, including from members of his own staff. They report that he’s rarely in the office. Two staff members even ran against him in the primary, one Republican and one Democrat.

Clark currently operates three real estate businesses. Washoe County voters must decide whether anyone with substantial financial interests in real estate should hold this office. Almost universally this is considered a very bad idea. It creates the appearance of impropriety and raises conflict of interest concerns. He could not be an Assessor’s receptionist in Salt Lake, Denver, Boise, Las Vegas or many other jurisdictions.

I do not operate any side businesses in real estate, which means I will not have any conflicts of interest, and I will be working for you full-time.

Like my opponent, I enter this role not as a certified Assessor. Instead, I bring real estate experience as a buyer, seller, investor, manager and developer in multiple states. I also bring years of business management and executive leadership experience. More importantly, I bring knowledge and understanding of Washoe County from my years of deep involvement in our community.

As your next Washoe County Assessor, I will be a strong voice for you. I will work hard to inform and protect our communities. I will work full-time and bring absolutely no conflicts of interest. Most of all, I will bring integrity and nonpartisanship back to the assessor’s office. I’m Chip Evans, and I appreciate your vote for Washoe County Assessor.

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