Orange County assessor Claude Parrish faces two challengers in his bid for a third term to head the office that handles assessment and tax bills for residential and commercial properties, personal aircraft and boats and professionals, as well as professional equipment and machinery.
Larry Bales, now retired, who previously worked for three decades in the appraiser’s office, and Rick Foster, a real estate broker, both hope to unseat Parrish in the June 7 primary.
Here are some details about the nominees, based on their responses to questions submitted by the Registry.
Who is he: A 79-year-old Tustin resident who ran as an assessor in several previous elections, Bales has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and worked for many years in the assessor’s office. During his previous career with the assessor’s office, Bales said he raised red flags about allegations of fraud and mismanagement (a 2002 Los Angeles Times column credits the testimony of Bales to a grand jury in the 1970s for leading to convictions of “corruption or related charges” for two successive auditors), and he helped build support to pass Prop. 13 in order to save owners money.
Why he runs: “I maintain my record of serving the people and not accepting special interest or black money.”
How he would help taxpayers if elected: Bales said he supports the repeal of Prop. 19, which limited the tax benefits of Prop. 13 in some cases when ownership is transferred between family members. He also supports increasing the homeowner’s exemption (currently $7,000) to 10% of a home’s value, and he would like higher exemptions for seniors.
Who is he: Foster, a 58-year-old Seal Beach resident, has worked in the housing industry for 40 years and worked to provide housing for veterans, he said. He was broker of record and compliance officer at Keller Williams, negotiated and arranged loans for banks, and conducted real estate research for a title company.
Why he runs: Foster said the assessor is “the cornerstone of our democracy because without fair and accurate assessments we cannot have fair taxation.”
“I believe that as the next assessor, I can help find solutions to our housing disparity while respecting property rights. I want to bring a voice and knowledge of my experience in the housing industry that will benefit everyone in Orange County.
How he would help taxpayers if elected: He said he would make sure assessors have the proper tools to do their jobs accurately, get up-to-date software for the office and step up public outreach to help resolve a backlog of tax appeals. Foster said he would work with area colleges to create a pool of future employees, and he would work with lenders to reduce homeowner loan repayments and help buyers compete with cash offers.
Who is he: Now completing his second four-year term as county assessor, Parrish (who declined to give his age) said he holds degrees in accounting and management and an assessor’s license from State. From 1998 to 2007, he served on the State Board of Equalization.
Why he runs: Parrish said he thinks voters should re-elect him because he’s already been endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, he’s one of the few assessors in the state to create a Taxpayer Advocacy Office in his department and he personally takes calls from the public.
How he would help taxpayers if elected: Parrish once helped pass a bill that allows counties to eliminate liens on property when the tax owed is less than $200, he said. Also, while on the Equalization Board, he said he supported increasing the minimum amount owed that allows a lien to be filed, and he helped change the rules so the state must try to notify taxpayers before its automated system issues a lien on the property for unpaid. taxes.
Election day is June 7, with postal voting already underway. The Orange County Assessor serves a four-year term managing an office with an annual budget of approximately $43 million and approximately 260 employees.