Edwards: Assessing for 40 years

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Denise Edwards has spent the last 2 years as Webster Parish Assessor, but she has called that office her work home for 40 years under 3 different assessors and as chief deputy assessor under 2 of them.

During a reception at noon Tuesday, Edwards announced she will be running again for the assessor’s office in the fall in order to finish many programs that are underway and implement future plans for the assessor’s office.

Accomplishments

• Rolled out a successful awareness campaign to inform eligible citizen of the 65 special assessment level freeze.

• Provided GIS mapping free for online use where before it was a subscription based service.

• Updated the Webster Assessor’s website to be user-friendly and better accommodate the public with new tools including online Homestead signup through the website.

• Began issuing an Annual Report to keep the citizens of Webster updated and informed on the Assessor’s Office and the assessment process.

• Added an audit program to the Homestead Exemption process (this process deletes ineligible Homesteads and notifies those that could apply). Complete digitization of old maps and currently in the process of digitizing all old files dating back to 1996.

• Lowered the millage rate of the Assessment District in the first 2 years in office saving the tax payers over one million dollars in taxes and plans to lower the millage in 2023 as well.

Future Plans

• Complete the digitization process of old records and attach to our assessment program for easy reference.

• Roll out complete update on online GIS parcel data throughout the whole parish.

• New printer to be purchased to update all in-office hanging maps. Continue the Annual Reports to keep the public informed.

• Continue to be fiscally responsible and keep the millage rate as low as possible.

• Due to new legislation, we will be integrating new programming to better maintain our records in accordance with the current law.

• Broaden the tax base by doing a complete audit of cell towers and equipment in 2023.


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