Assessor says he'll run for second term

Douglas County Assessor Doug Sonnemann, 49, will ask voters for a second term this election.

"I enjoy the job," he said. "I've had my share of successes and the job gives me a real feeling of accomplishment. This is my professional choice."

He spoke from his office, an open, airy spot tucked in a corner of the Douglas County Administration Building on Eighth Street in Minden.

He said he loves the politics that go with the job and together with assessors from other neighboring counties, has become involved with the state's legislative process, consulting with state officials to update Nevada's administrative code.

He spent time testifying last year at the Legislature concerning the tax cap before AB489, the law that caps growth of homeowners' tax bills at 3 percent a year, was passed.

"I explained how people are impacted," Sonnemann said. "Last year, we hit a crescendo with the property tax issue and property values are still going up.

"Retired seniors on social security and a fixed income are impacted the most. When their tax bills go up 20 to 30 percent and a typical Social Security increase is 2 percent, it hurts them. You can see it in their faces," he said.

In addition to producing an assessment roll by July 1 each year, the assessor values all real property, establishes maps for assessment purposes and provides public information to assist taxpayers with questions about property ownership and assessment.

A Web site has been enhanced to keep up with that demand during Sonnemann's three-year tenure, allowing 24-hour access and answering questions that would have otherwise taken staff time, he said.

"One of the challenges of this job is keeping up with growth in Douglas County using the resources we have," he said. "We have budget issues, so we have to offset that by doing what we can to increase efficiency."

Sonnemann grew up in Sparks and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned a master's degree in Agriculture Resources and Economics.

He worked with Farmer's Home Administration and as an appraiser for Douglas County before becoming assessor in January of 2003.

When he isn't working, Sonnemann enjoys, gardening, reading and sports with his two children. Son Cole, 13, is a seventh-grader at Carson Valley Middle School and daughter Kelli, 10, is in the fourth grade at Gardnerville Elementary School.

He has been married to his wife Val for 15 years.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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