Kay would like to improve the Douglas County Assessor / Register of Deeds office. Issues she will prioritize:
Improving property valuations to make them more fair, accurate, and up-to-date,
Public engagement and transparency,
Fiscal conservative values.
Fair, accurate, and up-to-date property valuations
Has your budget ever been surprised when your taxes go up significantly in one year after not changing for many years in a row? Mine has. Improvements need to be made to the timeliness of valuations and likely the systems used to value properties in Douglas County. The Assessor needs a valuation system that focuses more on actual comparable sales of homes and commercial buildings in Douglas County rather than the current system focused on replacement costs. The system would then use those sales to estimate a value on each property annually. Listening and learning from both the people of Douglas County and those who work in the Assessor’s office is my first step. However, I do believe re-valuing each property every year would be an important improvement that would result in smaller changes in valuations and fewer surprises for property owners. The results will also be more accurate for individual properties. I will bring honesty, fairness, and accuracy to the valuations, which result in the collection of $1.2 billion each year from Douglas County residents and businesses.
Understanding when a property owner can protest a valuation they don’t believe is fair is an important citizens’ check on our government. To help citizens better understand how this process works, along with other important programs like the Homestead exemption, I will hold town hall-style meetings in various parts of the County. Learning and knowing how things work, what the Assessor does, and how the process works is important for citizens to understand. These meetings and other steps will make it easier for property owners and improve communication between the office and the public.
Fiscal conservative values
My professional experience is in the business world, where efficiency and effectiveness are priorities for success. Working at a Big 4 accounting firm, I led teams similar to the size of the Douglas County Assessor’s office staff and worked on complex projects in the financial services sector. I have the experience to manage the Douglas County Assessor and Register of Deeds office. Beyond this management and financial experience, I share a concern with many in the State of Nebraska – the concern about high property taxes. The Assessor does not set the tax rates. But in this position, I will work behind the scenes on solutions that will both appropriately fund our important local government institutions and lower Nebraskans’ property taxes. This issue has been worked on for decades by many and will not be solved by one person. I will bring collaboration across the aisle, creative solutions, and forward-thinking to this discussion.
My name is Kay Carne and I am a third generation Nebraskan. Attending Omaha North High School, I was a good student, captain of the soccer team, drum major of the band, and a national winner of the American Express World Geography Competition. I also worked – a lot – during high school and college, including at Spaghetti Works and later M’s Pub in the Old Market.
Upon graduation from high school, I was accepted and attended Georgetown University where I studied Accounting & Economics. Moving to New York City after graduation, I worked for a Big 4 accounting firm for more than a decade. Skills from this job will translate into being a successful Douglas County Assessor / Register of Deeds.
During my career as an accountant I:
Worked on the valuation of mortgage-backed securities, which required an understanding of both real estate market values and the financing terms on hundreds of mortgages for each valuation. It was complicated, as is the work of the County Assessor’s office.
I left my accounting firm to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan with the plan of returning to do specialized consulting work. During that time I started dating a wonderful man, life took a turn and I moved home to a state I love – Nebraska. Now living just miles from where I was raised, I cherish the opportunity to raise our children in Omaha. As our family has grown I have made our children a priority, as my mother did, and decided to stay home as a full-time mother. Supporting my community during this time, I've been a volunteer at my children's schools, our church and other organizations important to our collective future.
Now I am running for Douglas County Assessor to bring my financial expertise and experience to work for YOU – the citizens of Douglas County – because I care about our way of life here. And I especially care that OUR local government officials are HONEST, hard-working, and smart. I wish to bring my experience in the business world to make this office run more efficiently and effectively and make sure that YOU have fair, accurate, and up-to-date property valuations.