Tom Garcia Jr.
POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Rio Rancho
EDUCATION: No Degree; 2.5 Years College; Graduated 1974 Denver Institute Of Technology.
OCCUPATION: Assessor Sandoval County— current; Instructor IAAO And NMSU; Chief Appraiser Sandoval County; Director Property Tax Division, N.M. Taxation & Revenue; Appraiser PTD; Chief Deputy Assessor Doña Ana County; Director Research & Development El Paso Appraisal District; Commercial Appraisal Supervisor El Paso Appraisal District; Residential Supervisor Wyandotte County, Kan.; Chief Deputy Assessor Otero County.
FAMILY: Sally Villalva-Garcia, wife; two children.
POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: (Over 30 years. See list above.)
MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: My latest professional accomplishment was being elected Sandoval County assessor and being able to turn around the relationship between the assessor’s office staff and the general taxpaying public. This promise to public has been accomplished.
MAJOR PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Seeing both of my children graduate college and showing their independence by choosing on their own where to live and make a living.
Q: What do you consider to be the top two responsibilities of the assessor and how would you fulfill them?
A: Serve Sandoval county taxpayers and residents by providing uniform and equal assessments in accordance with the New Mexico Property Tax Code; 2) Maintain proper records as required in the property tax code. This is still an ongoing project.
Q: What qualities or experiences make you a better candidate to manage the assessor’s office than your opponent?
A: In over 30 years of experience, I have served as an appraiser, deputy assessor, assessor, deputy director and director. I believe this demonstrates my extensive managerial and administrative experience. The most experience my opponent has is as an appraiser.
Q: Are you satisfied with the reappraisal process in Sandoval County? If not, what can be done to improve in that area?
A: No, I believe that as soon as the current reappraisal process is done, a long-term plan to visually inspect every property in the county at least once every five years needs to be put in place. The lack of such a review in the past left the assessor’s database in such disarray. What became of reappraisal funds during prior administrations? Those funds were obviously not used for the intended purpose.
Q: Do you believe the assessor’s office has done enough to educate the public about how property is evaluated and assessed, as well as other functions of the office? What would you propose?
A: The assessor can never do enough to educate the public. In addition to meeting with the public or addressing citizen groups at every opportunity, the assessor should have a public information policy that includes producing brochures, a website with FAQs on the Internet and use other public forums such as public information spots on radio and in local newspapers.
Q: Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Q: Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
Q: Have you ever been arrested for, or charged with, or convicted of drunken driving or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, please explain.
Questions submitted by the Rio Rancho Observer were used in this questionnaire.