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Candidate Questionnaire: Tim Haid for Natrona County Assessor

Tim Haid is running for Natrona County Assessor. (Courtesy Tim Haid)

CASPER, Wyo. — Election season is underway and Oil City News has sent a list of questions to each candidate seeking office in Natrona County who has filed to run in the primary election in August.

These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. Below, get to know Tim Haid, who is running for Natrona County Assessor:

1. Who are you? (Name, where you’re from, employment, hobbies, etc.)

Hi, my name is Tim Haid, I’ve lived in and around Casper my entire life. I’ve worked in the treasurer’s office for five years and have run two successful businesses. I absolutely love our Wyoming lifestyle and live it to its fullest. I’m an honest, open-minded individual that embraces new ideas without losing sight of the old-fashioned ethics that make me who I am. I’m optimistic when I can be and realistic when I need to be. I’ve always had the mentality that there’s nothing I can’t do and proved that to myself and others time and time again. Most things in life just take some passion, understanding and dedication to get them done. Communication is very important to me and I’m gaining a lot of support because I’ve been answering all of the questions folks are asking in detail and being completely transparent, which is what we need from our elected officials.

2. Why have you decided to run for office and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

I decided to run when my grandparents received their first proposed assessment, which had their taxes going up around 700%. I had heard about problems with skyrocketing taxes, but this really hit home and made me think of all of the senior citizens that are on a fixed income that may not be able to afford an increase that’s this substantial and could latterly be forced to sell the home that they raised their children in and that doesn’t sit well with me, so I came up with a 10-year average plan to create stability in the rates of increase in our property taxes. Also, I want to help provide tax waivers for our seniors and disabled veterans that are on a fixed income. With the newly assessed properties we add every year, this, I don’t believe, will even create a deficit in our tax revenue. Also, I’ll be pushing for the current vets exemption to be tied to the elected officials’ pay raises. If they get a raise, the vets’ exemption should get the same percentage raise. Also, there are several outdated policies in place that need attention. For instance, the tax and assessment information still legally has to be sent to the person that owned the property January 1. It should be sent to the recorded deed holder as of the day the notices are printed, which isn’t a problem at all with our computer systems we utilize in the courthouse.

3. How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?

I’ll be creating systems that automatically flag increases from one year to the next; if the increase or decrease is more than 10%, then someone will have to verify the change. This is like having a magnet while you are looking for the needles in a haystack. Most folks don’t know that computer software is what actually assesses most of the property in our county — your property is likely to only get physically assessed by a person once every six years. So, it would make sense that the software is where most of the errors are coming from. I know a lot of these problems have to be dealt with by our legislature, but my voice will be very amplified as the county assessor and I’ll be trying to get the other assessors around the state on board to help write the legislation and push it to our capitol. With enough support and media coverage, they’ll have no choice but to make some decisions and get this ball rolling. We must make sure that something gets done before the problems lose our attention! I believe that it’s an elected official’s duty to try to make the voices of the citizens that they work for heard and, if in any way possible, help provide solutions to the problems that they are facing. It may not be my job to help write legislation to solve this problem, but we’re all supposed to be on the same team, and if I think I can help I’m going to do my best to do just that! It makes sense to me that the assessors that live and breathe tax assessments and that are receiving all of the feedback from the citizens being taxed should play a role in the laws being amended.

4. What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?

Currently at Local Lawn Care, I design the most efficient irrigation systems on the market, I manage 11 employees, our vehicles and equipment, I do billing, manage customer expectations, create bids, sell our products and services, create spreadsheets to track profit, separate costs, and make billing easier. And have made lifelong customers and friends along the way. When I owned my own business remodeling homes, I also did concrete, roofing and built decks. I pushed the limits of building code with my overbuilt yet efficient and effective designs. I started utilizing caissons for decks long before they became popular because I kept replacing rotten posts on others’ older decks. I understand residential plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Due to this experience that I have with the inside and outside of residential and commercial buildings, I have a very good grasp on how much it costs to build and maintain various properties, which is a solid foundation for valuing such properties. My first job was collecting property taxes in the treasurer’s office for five years. I don’t think there are any candidates that have a broader background that deals with all aspects of running the assessor’s office.

5. Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?

Yes, mostly because I’m careful with how money is spent. If an expense doesn’t make sense and if it won’t pay for itself in some way, I most likely won’t write that check. I’m patient and don’t mind waiting for a better deal.

6. On the issue of transparency, where do you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?

I’m completely transparent and honest, sometimes to a fault. I’ll never hide behind an attorney, and I appreciate the learning opportunity when I’m proven wrong. I understand that at times you can’t solve someone’s problem, but I’m going to do my best to help every chance I get.

7. Do you believe the office or board position you seek has been open and honest with the public? If yes, how can the entity remain open and transparent when conducting public business moving forward. If no, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?

When my grandparents called about the 700% increase, they definitely did not get a real answer or explanation and unfortunately, they said it sounded like the person they talked to didn’t actually know why or what had happened. Since I started running, I’ve mostly heard about other people’s frustrations due to the lack of communication and understanding with this entire scenario. I think that better, more in-depth training with the computer software will lead to better use and understanding of the software and help create better communication to the taxpayers and less problems in the future.

8. If you were presiding over a meeting and a topic was being discussed that you didn’t fully understand, would you ask for a more detailed explanation during the meeting or would you seek the information after the meeting?

Absolutely. If I don’t understand something, then how am I to make a proper decision regarding the subject? I am definitely not too proud to ask questions and seek out answers and information before moving forward. And I believe that the more input and information we have, the better we are as a society at dealing with the problems we face.

9. Should you be elected, or reelected, do you plan on seeking any major policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If no, why not?

Major policy changes are my goals, which I have stated above. We have to solve these current problems for our friends and neighbors, and make sure that we fix the root of the problems for our children and grandchildren. 

10. Is there anything the above questions didn’t ask that you would like to comment on? 

NOTE: All primary candidates who filed to run for office in Natrona County were sent questionnaires at the same time and Oil City News will publish responses in the order they are received. Candidate responses are only edited for clarity and style.

If you are a candidate and did not see the questionnaire in your inbox, please email news@oilcity.news. Oil City News sent questionnaires to Natrona County candidates running in the primary for municipal, county office or a seat in the Wyoming Legislature based on email addresses shared by the Natrona County Clerk’s Office; if you would prefer the questionnaire sent to a different address, please let us know.