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Rewarding jobs sometimes under-appreciated

There are many thankless jobs in the world.

Some that come to mind are bill collectors, trash haulers, and process servers.

Being a public servant sometimes falls in the “thankless” category.

Commissions, councils, and governing boards determine taxes based on the needs of their entities.

The appraiser’s office has the task of setting property values and the treasurer’s office collects those taxes.

Yes, being an employee in the county treasurer’s or county appraiser’s office can be challenging. Employees are blamed for taxes even though they had nothing to do with determining them.

These positions can be rewarding. Employees probably won’t hear anyone thanking them for setting values or collecting their money, but hopefully office staffs are helpful and accommodating.

Paying taxes is no fun but having maintained roads and adequate facilities isn’t just “fun” — it’s necessary.

One misconception the public continues to have is that the county appraiser is independent — establishing her own rules and regulations. Appraisers in every Kansas county have to follow protocol established by a Kansas taxation department. Appraisers’ offices are routinely scrutinized to make sure rules are being followed.

If rules are not being followed, the appraiser and county commission are cited for not following them.

As taxpayers, we sometimes want to have our cake and eat it, too. We want our properties to be worth a lot when we’re trying to sell them but not worth much when we’re paying taxes.

I have been one of the complainers when the last valuation notice came out and had the process explained to me — again.

The rules are complicated; the process is tedious. We have to trust that people in these decision-making positions are doing the right thing.

Most of us just want a fair shake.

Oh, yes. I have one more to add to the list of thankless jobs — newspaper editors. But that topic is for another day.

— susan berg

Last modified Sept. 2, 2009

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