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Assessor challenged in Morgan County

October 30, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS. W.Va. - Incumbent Morgan County Assessor John Allen Swaim has held the position for eight years and is being challenged by the Republican candidate Ronald B. McIntire, who has served as the county sheriff for the last eight years.

The position is a four-year term; the annual salary is $43,890.

John Allen Swaim



Age: 67

Address: 581 Mountain Run Road, Berkeley Springs.

Background: He has served two terms as Morgan County assessor and has been owner and operator of Swaim's Meat Market for 17 years.

Party: Democrat

What is the best approach to the assessment system given the current economic pressures on property values? Assessments reflect property values according to sales. If the sale of property decreases because of the economy, so will the assessments. I would like to stress the fact that the assessor must follow guidelines from the State Tax Department for the appraisal of property.

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Why should Morgan County constituents vote for you?

I would appreciate Morgan County residents to vote for me because I have kept my promise for the past eight years. That promise is to be fair and equal to every resident of Morgan County.

Ronald G. McIntire



Age: 53

Address: 20 Lady Slipper Lane, Berkeley Springs.

Background: He served two terms as Morgan County sheriff, who also serves as county tax collector. He has served the last 34 years in public service.

Party: Republican

What is the best approach to the assessment system given the current economic pressures on property values?

Concern, fairness and openness are always the best approach. To fix this problem, it is going to require new thinking, creative thinking and most of all change. Morgan County does not have a large commercial and industrial base to tax, and we cannot allow the increased tax burden to be placed only on the backs of the residents.

Why should Morgan County constituents vote for you?

I will bring a new approach to the assessment office. As sheriff I have seen firsthand the tragedy when people can't pay their taxes. The burden placed on the elderly and fixed and low-income residents is even more difficult. It is time for a change and I represent this change because I will work for the people.

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