On January 7th, 2019, Wesley Davis was appointed by then Governor Rick Scott to serve as Indian River County Property Appraiser.
“I am honored to be only the 6th person to serve as Property Appraiser in Indian River history. We have made tremendous improvements in my first year in office but there is more to do, so today I filed papers with the Supervisor of Elections, to continue to serve as Indian River Property Appraiser for the next four years”, Davis announced.
“I was fortunate to follow David Nolte into this office”, said Davis. Mr. Nolte assembled a team of highly skilled professionals. I am pleased and honored that over 90% of the original team have elected to stay and work with my administration”, said Davis.
David Nolte’s service paved the way for Davis to make important changes to the Property Appraisers’ office that improves customer service, security and efficiency. In a report dated January 7th, 2020 to now Senator Scott, he outlined some of the improvements that were made possible by his appointment.
“I can look back on my first year with pride at our accomplishments. My first priority was to complete our core duties in a smooth transition with no interruption in service. Thanks to our team we accomplished the responsibilities assigned to us by statute and the Florida Department of Revenue. Our duties were completed on time and accurately earning our office a letter of congratulations from Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director, Dr. James Zingale and a clean bill of health from DOR’s audit team.” said Davis.
Other major accomplishments include:
- Passed without exception, three separate audits by the State of Florida, Indian River County and an independent, internal audit.
- Returned to the County over $220,000 in unspent budget; almost 3 times the amount of the previous year.
- The Indian River Property Appraiser made investment in technology a priority. We have improved how data is collected and stored.
- Secured Indian River County’s data storage and implemented a program designed to achieve the highest level of cyber security available.
- Established a Citizens Advisory Committee to help implement cost saving measures.
- Worked together with Indian River County on joint projects that increase efficiency and transparency between the two operations.
- Changed many personnel policies to ensure fair pay and eliminated abuses of the Florida retirement system.
- Provided a robust outreach program to help veterans, homeowners, disabled seniors and first responders receive each and every exemption they are entitled to receive.
- Increased customer service including, for the first time ever, providing a way for Indian River County citizens to apply for exemptions online.
- Engaged professionals including real estate brokers, Realtors, title companies, insurance companies, accountants, homeowners associations, etc., to make our services more user friendly and responsive to their needs, equipping them to better serve our community
In addition to these accomplishments Davis said they are nearing competition of a new and improved website. Their website will be more customer friendly and include several additional features for both the casual and professional user. You will be able to apply online for many benefits and we will improve transparency of the Property Appraisers operations.
Businesses will soon be able to submit Tangible Personal Property returns online. Real Estate professionals will be able to better estimate taxes for new homeowners. There are features that will help insurance companies and government offices access important information that will make things much easier for residents.
“I am also active with Florida’s professional Property Appraisers Associations to advocate for legislation that benefits Indian River County residents, especially veterans”, said Davis. There is a bill before the legislature this year, HJR 877, that allows some combat veterans to pass on exemption benefits to their surviving spouse. “Currently when a veteran injured in combat and receiving this special discount passes, not only has his surviving spouse lost her husband, her taxes go up. That’s not fair and I am working with other Property Appraisers to get that changed,” said Davis
Davis also joins other Property Appraisers in supporting legislation that increases portability from two to three years and another measure designed to solve a problem that some Homestead applicants face who may have received benefits from another state that they didn’t apply to receive.
“We have a problem with some states, particularly Ohio, that award benefits to people, sometimes without their knowledge. This can lead to problems being eligible for Florida benefits. Sometimes a small benefit from Ohio can cost residents a substantial amount in lost benefits here in Florida. Our staff goes out of our way to help hundreds of homestead applicants overcome this problem”, Davis said.
“Indian River County has benefited by having steady hands at the wheel here in the Property Appraisers office. As your Property Appraiser, I will continue to strive to provide the highest level of service. We will keep what works and improve what can be done better. If you have any comments or suggestions, please stop by the Property Appraisers office and be sure to tell em “Wesley sent me.”