Bill Bennett wins fifth term as Hamilton County assessor of property

Bill Bennett wins fifth term as Hamilton County assessor of property

August 3rd, 2012 by Pam Sohn in News

Bill Bennett

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Document: Hamilton County Assessor of Property

By precinct. Hamilton County Election Comm.

For the first time in 12 years, Hamilton County residents had a choice for assessor of property, and they used the opportunity to re-elect incumbent Bill Bennett to a fifth term.

Until this year, Bennett, 76, had run unopposed since the 2000 race.

In Thursday's balloting, he took nearly 70 percent of the votes cast.

"Years ago, I didn't ever dream I'd win 10 general elections [including his years on the Hamilton County Commission]," Bennett said. "I want to thank the people of Hamilton County for being good to me. Being able to win the assessor's race so many times is a tribute to the employees of the assessor's office."

The state named Bennett Assessor of the Year in 1996, and he served as president of the Tennessee Assessors Association from 1999 to 2000. Before he became assessor, he also served 14 years on the Hamilton County Commission.

The assessor, who is paid about $109,000 a year, is responsible for locating and classifying every piece of property in the county and placing a market value on it.

With that information, the County Commission sets a tax rate that is applied to all properties. The new four-year term begins Sept. 1.

Bennett's closest opponent, Jelena Butler, 56, won about 27 percent of the vote.

She is a director in the commercial division of KW Commercial.

A third candidate, Conrad Taylor, a molecular account manager for Cepheid, won less than 5 percent of the vote.

In campaigning, Bennett touted his many years of experience in assessments and reappraisals.

All vote totals, which include federally mandated provisional ballots, are unofficial until certified by the Tennessee Department of Elections.