Candidate Statements for Hernando County Property Appraiser

Candidate Statements are provided by the candidate or candidate's representative.

There are two candidates in the race John Emerson, Rep, Incumbent and Jeff Huffman, Dem. Their statements are below.

John Emerson, Rep, Incumbent

John Emerson

I was raised in Hernando County and have over 40 years in the real estate appraisal field and owned a real estate appraisal office before coming to work with the Hernando County Property Appraiser's Office in 1988. I am a Florida Real Estate Broker, as well as a State Certified General Appraiser.

I have been with the Property Appraiser's Office for the past 27 years and serving as your Property Appraiser since being elected in 2012. I am on the Board of Directors of PAAF (Property Appraisers' Association of Florida) representing District 1, a member of IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers) and FCIAAO which is the Florida Chapter of IAAO.

I take great pride in the fact my office consistently meets DOR deadlines in submitting a balanced tax roll, has been successfully audited year after year and provides exceptional customer service to Hernando County residents by the thousands of phone calls received or in person at our two offices.

The Property Appraiser's Operation budget requests have declined from a high of $3,107,130 in FY08 to $2,468,391 for FY16. The office has eliminated 14 positions from 2008-2015 which included 4 management positions and reclassified two additional management positions to non-management in FY15. We have also implemented joint IT agreements with the Tax Collector and Building Department which saves tax dollars.

During my tenure, we have developed the county's Central Geographic Information System (GIS) program. As the lead agency, we support county and city departments (i.e., Sheriff's Office, E-911, Fire, City of Brooksville, City of Brooksville Public Works, Planning Department, Health & Human Services and Emergency Management). We currently have 425 available map layers of information. We created the Central GIS Training Center which provides both basic and target specific training to enhance government efficiency across all county agencies. Our office has trained 105 county employees in GIS basics and 39 county employees in GIS Advance Map Creation & Symbology. In addition to supporting county departments, we have several agreements that support the School Board, Division of Forestry and Board of Realtors. We have also trained over 200 Realtors in basic GIS to assist them and our taxpayers.

Serving in this office for the past 27 years has given me the opportunity and privilege of meeting and helping citizens of Hernando County. I will continue to look for ways to reduce costs that will incorporate mandates by the state, technology, operations management, effective use of staff and to continue, as this office's motto has always been, to serve and assess with fairness.

Jeff Huffman, Dem

Jeff Huffman

I have been a Florida resident for 42 years. I grew up in North Tampa and attended The University of South Florida. My family purchased our ranch in beautiful Hernando County in 1999. I have been married 22 years to my remarkable wife, who is also a Real Estate Appraiser, and we are raising our three wonderful children that attend Hernando County Public Schools.

I own an industry leading appraisal business and have 15 years experience as a Real Estate Appraiser. In 2007 I was recruited for a position with Wells Fargo to run their Florida Real Estate Appraisal Division. During my career I managed 90 staff appraisers and over 240 independent appraisers throughout Florida. I am a member of The National Association of Appraisers, Hernando County Association of Realtors and The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. In the community, I have been a volunteer member of The Hernando County Fair - Livestock Committee. I'm a nationally licensed soccer coach and currently coach at First Hernando Youth Soccer Club.

My goal for Hernando County is to ensure a fair, equitable, and accurate appraisal assessment for everyone in Hernando County.

Campaign statistics

John Emerson
Contributions: $11,590.07
In Kind: $868.65
Expenditures: $601.75

Jeff Huffman
Contributions: $5,549.90
In Kind: $1,300.00
Expenditures: $5,166.35

The figures above were obtained from the Supervisor of Elections Office, 11/4/2016.

Jeff Huffman