By Sarah Pridgeon
Theresa Curren has announced that she will run again for the position of Crook County Assessor. Curren is seeking a second term, she says, both to continue offering fair treatment to all members of the community and to complete the work she has done already to improve the office and its functions.
“There is so much work that we have put into this office and I don’t want to see that work go down the drain,” she says. “We’ve improved so much on assessing people’s property in Crook County that I don’t want it to go backwards.”
Until Curren took office, she says, there had never been an official policy on how to enter specific types of building into the system. Now, a nationally known valuation company called Marshall & Swift is utilized for guidance.
“If you have a restaurant, this is how your restaurant is going to be entered – and all restaurants are going to be entered the same,” she gives as an example of how this has changed things.
“It’s about fairness. It’s the same with ag land, residential and so on; I’m comparing you with what you’re supposed to be compared with.”
By using these standards, she continues, the office is able to use sale comparisons more accurately and even-handedly to determine fair market value. If Curren is re-elected, her aim will be to continue this work, which has been an ongoing task as the six-year cycle of property assessments continues.
“Even if you have four years to get something done, you only can accomplish so much,” she says.
“We’re still not where we want to be when entering because, per statute, we have to go around to every property every six years. I still have two more years to make sure that everybody is entered as they should be.”
She would also aim, she says, to continue improving the services of the office and educating the public on their property taxes.
“I want people to be treated equally – that’s the biggest thing in our office. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you’re influential or if you’re not, you’re going to be treated the same,” she says.
During her first term, Curren has also been able to eliminate a position from her office, saving the county money on that salary. Nevertheless, she says, the hard work of her staff has borne fruit.
“In my office, I expect a great work ethic and I expect you to give one hundred percent – that’s what I do myself. I’m a working assessor and I will definitely get in there and put my time in, even extra time, to get things right for this county,” she says.
Curren has been married to husband LeRoy for 14 years and the couple has two daughters, Natalie and Isabelle, and lives on a ranch north of Aladdin. She has a Bachelor of Science in business administration and has worked in the Assessor’s Office for almost eight years.
“I have over 500 hours of education from the Department of Revenue and International Association of Assessing Officers classes,” she says.
“I have been certified by the Department of Revenue as a property tax appraiser since 2012 and I’ve been setting values since then.”
With the education to back her up, Curren says she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to mass appraisal and assessments and asks for the community’s support at the upcoming elections.
(Sarah Pridgeon photo)