City votes to keep assessor’s office distinct from county | Government and Politics

SIOUX CITY | In a vote meant to ensure job security to future applicants for the position, the Sioux City Council unanimously chose to continue employing its own city assessor, keeping the office distinct from the county’s.

The 5-0 vote in effect declined a formal request from the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors to merge the city and county assessor’s offices once current city assessor Al Jordan retires July 1.

This marks the second time in three years the city and county have discussed consolidating the two offices to potentially save taxpayer money. The proposition has sputtered both times. 

Mayor Bob Scott on Monday cited the competence of the current city assessor’s office in avoiding equalization orders, which are issued when the state steps in and determines assessment values need to be changed, as a reason for his vote.

“We’ve got a reasonably good system because we’ve not gotten any state (equalization) orders,” Scott said. “That means the city assessor’s done a reasonably good job.” 

Discussion at the council level on a potential merger began last month when the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors sent the council a request to consider consolidating the two offices, following a 4-1 vote of the board. 

After finding that the majority of Iowa’s largest cities keep their assessor’s offices distinct from their respective county assessor’s offices, city staff had recommended the council opt to keep the status quo.

Councilman Dan Moore requested the item be put on Monday’s agenda for a vote to let future applicants know that, despite the public discussions, they would continue to have a job if they applied for the opening. 

“I do not want them to be applying for the job thinking that this can be eliminated at any time,” he told the council Monday.

Woodbury County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matthew Ung, who had…

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