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Stevenson retires

By Staff | Jul 30, 2012

Wayne Stevenson has retired as director of tax equalization for Pierce County. He was appointed to be the county assessor 19 years ago. Later, city assessor was added to his job about three years later, and he has served as both ever since.

His job was to value properties in Rugby and in Pierce County. He said he was more of a supervisor of assessments, as he worked with township officers.

“I enjoyed working with the townships,” said Stevenson.

Assessing property means that the property has to be measured, its age noted, the style of a home if a home is on the property, and condition of the home. Then he looks back at comparison properties to help cement his decision.

“The most challenging part of the job is the grey areas which are left up to the assessor’s interpretation,” said Stevenson.

After awhile on the job, his experience guided his decisions.

Stevenson had to be certified and earned 190 continuing education credits in the first three years after being appointed to the job. After the initial 190 credits, he had to earn 40 credits every three years to maintain certification.

He worked with several different county commissioner boards and he enjoyed working with them all.

In mid January each year, he would assess properties and had to submit the value of homes for the upcoming tax year. It took about six weeks to complete.

In the course of his career, he submitted many statistical reports to the state. His degree in business economics from NDSU helped in this career choice.

He was farming in 1993 and was looking for a part-time job that would go with farming. The job of tax equalization director came up and he was told it would be no more than four days a week. Since, he could fit it in with farming, he decided to take the job.

Most of the time it was a part time job, but in 1996 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) added to his work load.

“There was a lot of paperwork,” said Stevenson.

He was the administrator of the Pierce County Planning and Zoning Board. He was a member of the State Board of Equalization and the ND Association of Assessing Officers. These organizations added more meetings for Stevenson so he was always kept busy.

Now, after serving to the best of his ability and with integrity, Stevenson has retired. He and his wife, Toni, who just stepped down from her interim position as librarian at the Heart of America Library, plan to try wintering in Arizona for a couple of months of the year. He also enjoys fishing and golfing and plans to do more of both. Their son, Eric, is a diesel mechanic at Caterpillar in Williston.

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