Friday, February 04, 2011

Phil Ballard Says He Will Correct the Under Valued Property of the Chief Deputy

Last Thursday I posted this concerning the personal property of the Chief Deputy of the Knox County Property Assessor. On Friday, I received a call from the Chief Deputy, Jim Weaver requesting a correction. I requested that he submit the information that he feels needs correction. He did that on Friday. Over the weekend, I continued researching the issue. On Monday, I talked with Weaver and informed him of the additional information that I had discovered. During that interview, Weaver indicated that there is a finished room in the unfinished basement. I asked Weaver if there would be a correction on this value. He said that this is a "judgement decision" and not correctable. After additional research I have discovered that in fact this is a "correctable" error.

So, I contacted Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard this morning. The conversation produced material that will be used over many blog posts. His first defense was to make a false accusation about this blog and it's author intent. That will be discussed later.

Ballard first said he would like to know why the First TN Bank Building was appraised years ago for $38 million but sold for $64 million. I asked when that occurred, he said under his predecessors. When he states predecessors he is referring to John Whitehead and Parkey Strader. Why he would attack Parkey Strader who passed away several years ago and was a supporter of Ballard's in beyond me. Ballard then informed me that they have identified over 300 errors from the last appraisal. When asked if he wasn't the Property Assessor during the last appraisal, he said John Whitehead was the Director of reappraisal. I asked when Phil Ballard became Property Assessor? He said when I took the oath of office. Which was September 1, 2008. The reappraisal was from April 2008 until April 2009. Whitehead was Assessor from April 2008 until August 31, 2008. While Whitehead was kept on staff by Ballard until the first week of January 2009, it was Ballard that was the elected Property Assessor that performed the reappraisal. Ballard stated on this particular property of his Chief Deputy that it has not had a "human touch" since 2001. When asked about why some properties were not reappraised during the countywide reappraisal? Ballard said it was "Johnny's fault".

At the end of our interview I asked Ballard if the under valued property of his Chief Deputy would be corrected. He said "yes, it will." I asked what the timeline for the correction would be 2 weeks, 2 moths or 2 years? Ballard said soon. The Property Assessor by law is permitted to go back to when the property was improved. Ballard stated the finished room was completed prior to 2001. Will the Assessor go back? As the conversation ended I informed Ballard that he may want to walk around back, because the neighbors have informed Brian's Blog that there is a screened in back porch that is not on the property card either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he kept Whitehead on long enough to use him as a scapegoat for anything that went wrong. Shouldn't the ultimate responsibility of the reappraisal rest on the PROPERTY ASSESSOR? And wouldn't Mr. Weaver be aware of the information listed (or NOT listed) on the appraisal of his own property, since he works there?