Lisa Will, recently named Becker County Assessor, brings more than 15 years of experience in three counties to her new job.
After serving as chief deputy assessor for Becker County for three years, she has been appointed by the County Board to replace Assessor Steve Carlson, who held the position since 2012. The board accepted his resignation Sept. 3, and thanked him for his service.
Will, 40, grew up and was educated in Jackson, Minn., where she graduated from high school and earned a degree in IT networking from Minnesota West Community & Technical College.
She worked in networking for several years before taking the office manager job at the Cottonwood County Assessor’s Office.
Over time, she said, “people left, I switched jobs,” and she ended up as the deputy county assessor. She served in that role for seven years before taking the deputy assessor’s job in neighboring Jackson County, where she served for several years before joining the Becker County team.
Cottonwood and Jackson counties are in farm country in the southwestern part of the state, so she said it’s been an interesting change to work in Becker County, with its lakeshore, forestlands, farmland and high- and low-population townships.
“Becker’s a very diverse area,” she said.
Lisa and her husband, Corey, live in Lakeview Township. They have two children: Caleb is a MnDOT engineer in Detroit Lakes and Chloe is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School. Corey works for the public utilities department in Lake Park.
Will’s promotion to county assessor left a vacancy in the department, and she said the plan is to backfill the chief deputy assessor position by hiring a new appraiser, officially called an “assessor technician.”
When that position is filled, the office will be at full staff with five appraisers including Will, she said.
The office also works with five local appraisers, who together assess 35 of Becker County’s 44 assessment districts, she said. Property assessments are required by state law to come in between 90% and 105% of market value, as determined by the sale of similar property. If that percentage isn’t hit, valuation adjustments have to be made by the Assessor’s Office.
Becker County has used its assessment system for four years now, and Will said she is happy with it and has no plans to change it.
All assessors in Minnesota are licensed by the State Revenue Department at various levels, such as certified specialist, or accredited Minnesota assessor. Will is a senior accredited Minnesota assessor.
Ongoing career training is required by the state, which can take the form of week-long tests. “You go to school Monday through Thursday and take the test on Friday,” she explained.
The continuing education courses also include things like professional ethics and updates on legislative changes that affect assessors, she said.
The county assessor is responsible for overseeing a stable, equitable property tax assessment system, and the department maintains assessment records on about 29,200 taxable properties and 3,339 tax-exempt properties in the county, according to the Becker County website.
“I’m just excited to work with everyone, my doors are open,” Will said. “If someone has a question, it’s just good to communicate and talk about it.”
Contact the assessor's office
- Where: Becker County Courthouse, 915 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.
- When: Open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Phone: 218-846-7300
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 218-846-7257