Outland first constitutional officer to announce

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First elected St. Johns County Property Appraiser in 1996, Sharon Outland has announced her bid for re-election next year to Historic City News — the first of five constitutional officers who might face a challenger in the Primary Election on August 28, 2012 or might face a challenger in the General Election on November 6, 2012.

In the 2008 Election, all five constitutional officers were elected without opposition — something that St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Penny Halyburton says that she doesn’t believe has happened in the last one hundred years.

Outland began her employment in the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s office following a career in banking. Her election to the office of Property Appraiser came after years of service in every component of the office. She holds many professional certifications and designations. Included in these is the Accredited Senior Appraiser designation from the American Society of Appraisers and the Certified Florida Evaluator and Certified Florida Appraiser designations deemed by the Florida Department of Revenue as the highest certifications in property appraisal. Outland has also passed the state examination offered by the Florida Department of Professional Regulation and is a State-Certified General Real Estate Appraiser (RZ0002318.)

Outland says that she has served with a philosophy of “bringing government to the people.” She cites increasing computer capabilities as one of the major accomplishments in her office. “Through access to GIS mapping on the Property Appraiser’s website, property owners may now actually look at an aerial photograph of any property in St. Johns County without ever having to leave home,” Outland said. As further evidence of her outreach into the community, Outland cites staffing by her office in the county annex branches in Julington Creek and Ponte Vedra Beach.

Outland is proud of her lobbying efforts over the past years. She worked diligently and successfully for the increase in Veteran’s Exemption benefits from $500 to $5000, the elimination of a second doctor’s certification requirement for those disabled residents applying for $500 personal exemptions and the additional homestead benefit for low-income senior citizens.

Outland stated that she also supported initiatives to eliminate the bureaucratic “red tape” by making the senior exemption and the agricultural classification automatic renewals — instead of requiring eligible applicants to reapply each year. “As elected officials, we have an obligation not only to uphold and follow the laws that govern us but also to try to represent our constituents in all issues,” Outland said. “These statutory revisions were good changes that will benefit many of the most-deserving members of our community over time.”

She continues to be a very active lobbyist for the individual taxpayer’s rights.

“My heartfelt thanks to the voters of St. Johns County for allowing me to serve as their Property Appraiser and I want them to know that I am still up to the task,” Outland was quoted in her announcement. “I look forward to serving St. Johns County.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed file photograph

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