WEST UNION — The Fayette County Assessor’s chair sat empty for almost eight months.
That changed on May 26 when Vicky Halstead assumed the duties as the Fayette County Assessor. Halstead comes from the Benton County Assessor’s Office where she was serving as the chief deputy assessor since 2017. She served in that office since 2001.
This past two months have given her the chance to become better acquainted with the status of property valuation matters here in the county.
As might be expected, the absence of anyone filling the position for several months left items requiring her immediate attention. Several properties in the county have had improvements done to them in that time frame. Records for these properties needed to be updated.
At present, the county has an ongoing contract with Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. of Cedar Rapids to perform onsite inspections and verification of properties throughout the county. These inspections were already underway when Halstead assumed her duties. Vanguard Appraisals has been working with the county for several years.
The 18-month appraisal-and-taxation process that the county uses can be viewed by citizens with access to the internet. The link is https://www.fayettecountyiowa.org/ASSESSOR.html.
The Iowa Department of Revenue overseas the property tax system in Iowa. The department ensures that county assessor personnel maintain educational and certification requirements.
Halstead explained that her office operates under the oversight of the Fayette County Conference Board. This board appoints members of the assessor’s office and sets the annual budget for the office.
The Assessor Office determines property valuations. The Auditor Office calculates the taxes due. And lastly, the Treasurer Office bills property owners.
Halstead replaces Ali Manson, who resigned as assessor in August of last year.
Manson took a job with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce as assistant director.