BY FREDA MIKLIN
P.K. Kaiser hopes to increase citizen outreach and satisfaction in his department.
P.K. Kaiser plans to run the county assessor’s office in a way that is “more respectful and more helpful to people.” He will “more diligently listen to taxpayers and be “more careful towards (the) public’s feelings.”
He thinks it is important that the assessor’s office be more visible so that citizens know where to go to get answers to their questions about their property tax bills. Kaiser plans to “take the assessor’s office close to taxpayers,” and increase its social media presence.
The new assessor is spending much of his time reaching out to the community by being available to citizens through county offices, state legislators, town hall meetings, and city councils to answer citizens questions about their property tax bills.
The number one question he receives from citizens is, “How does the senior citizen tax exemption work?” To qualify for the exemption, at least one owner of a home or the owner’s spouse who lives in the home must be 65 years or older as of Jan. 1 and must have occupied the home as a primary residence for at least 10 consecutive years.
Kaiser believes he brings a different philosophy to the assessor’s office because as a Democrat, he is more people-focused than the previous conservatives who occupied the office. Kaiser has made no staff changes in the assessor’s office and believes the current employees are extremely professional.
Kaiser does not have a deputy chief assessor and has not decided whether he will fill the position. He may decide that the money allocated to that job would be better spent on more appraisers or additional technology for the department. Each appraiser is responsible for 2,000 parcels of land. With 2,600 new properties added in the county between 2017 and 2018, it is important to spend budget dollars wisely.
When new assessed valuations are sent out on May 1, Arapahoe County property owners will have one month to appeal the assessor’s valuations. Kaiser’s goal is to settle each and every valuation protest received at the county assessor’s office so that none are appealed to the County Board of Equalization.
Kaiser, 52, earned a masters’ degree in economics in Pakistan, where he grew up. Dedicated to education, he got two more masters’ degrees in business and accounting from Colorado Technical University and is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in sustainable economics through a United Nations chartered university.
He has held several positions previously that helped prepare him for his role as assessor, including as a property broker for residential, commercial, and investment real estate, as a real estate specialist for postal properties and lease administrator for the federal government, as a member of the crime prevention and control commission at Community College of Denver, as a tax examiner for the Colorado Department of Revenue, and as an accounting technician and instructor at Community College of Aurora.
After previously running in six elections without success, Kaiser says, “This is a dream job. I will support the voters and my staff. I’m not trying to run for anything else, though who knows what will happen tomorrow?” Asked who his political hero is, Kaiser smiled and said, “myself.”
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