|Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, CFA
A Short Biography
Coming from a working class background, young Lori Nance Parrish moved to Broward County from the Midwest with her family when she was eight years old in 1956.
Lori worked as a bookkeeper, a plant store owner, and a painting and landscape contractor while raising and supporting her two young children. She volunteered her time to several civic and community groups, including the Davie/Cooper City Chamber of Commerce, PTA, HRS, Red Cross, and the Library Advisory Board, while balancing the demands of home and work.
In 1984, motivated by the desire to improve educational standards in Broward County public schools, Lori ran and was elected to a four-year term on the Broward County School Board after defeating her opposition in primary and general elections. She served as Vice Chair and Chair.
Lori’s common sense approach to government appealed to Broward’s diverse voters in 1988 when she ran and was elected to the Broward County Commission. Her straight-talking, “tell-it-like-it-is” style was one of the refreshing changes she brought to County government.
As a Commissioner, Lori championed such causes as fiscal restraint, less bureaucracy, environmental protection, the rights of domestic violence victims, public safety, economic development, mass transit and improved health services, including the need for a pediatric pathologist. Dedicated to the equal treatment of all citizens, she has won praise for her efforts to open opportunities for women and minorities, and was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame on March 15, 1997. She was elected Vice Chair of the County Commission in 1989 and 1996 and Chair in 1990,1997 and 2001 and was re-elected to four-year terms in 1992, 1996 and 2000, without opposition.
In 2004, Lori left the County Commission to run for Broward County Property Appraiser. Running on a promise to ensure a fair shake for all taxpayers, Lori was overwhelmingly elected with 61% of the vote. She was re-elected in 2008 with 97% and without opposition in 2012. Her current term as Property Appraiser runs until January 2017.
Since taking office in January 2005 as our Property Appraiser, Lori moved to rapidly modernize the antiquated office she inherited. Here are just a few examples:
- Before: The office had one secretary assigned part-time to “look into” cases of suspected homestead fraud.
Now: Lori created the office’s first professional Fraud Unit, staffed with a combination of career law enforcement officers and knowledgeable appraisers. As of the beginning of 2015, we have investigated over 90,000 cases, which resulted in over $69 million in back tax liens and penalties, and the additional of more than $5 billion in assessed value back onto our tax roll due to fraudulent and unlawful exemptions.
- Before: Despite a state law requiring physical inspections of all property in Broward at least once every five years, most properties in Broward had not been inspected in over a dozen years — and some had not been visited in more than 20 years. This serious lapse caused shopping centers, commercial properties and homes to stay off the tax roll for years and unfairly avoid property taxes — making the rest of us pay more than our fair share.
Now: All Broward properties are inspected every four years, ensuring an accurate listing of all properties.
- Before: The office only had roughly a dozen appraisers with State of Florida CFE certifications as professional property appraisers.
Now: Lori rapidly professionalized the office. Over 100 of our appraisers completed the four required IAAO courses — a total of 160 classroom hours and rigorous testing — and earned CFE accreditation from the State of Florida. Lori herself passed all the classes in 2005-06 and earned both CFE and CFA certifications. All new appraisers are required to obtain CFE status within 2 years of hire date.
- Before: The lag time between the date of recording a new deed and the date those changes would appear in our records and on our website was over six months. So-called “problem deeds” were simply piled in old filing cabinets, remaining unprocessed for years.
Now: All property record changes are posted to our system within three business days of the recording date.
- Before: The office was the worst in the state for urban counties in terms of technology, as Broward was the only large Florida county without a Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system. Office records were maintained on a failing system dependent upon the obsolete “PL1” programming language created in the 1960s.
Now: Working with in-house programmers to reduce development costs, BCPA is now in the midst of a multi-year conversion to a modern CAMA system. On completion, this will ensure even greater accuracy in the mass appraisal process.
- Before: The office poorly communicated with the public, phones often went unanswered and only a handful of employees used email.
Now: All phones are promptly answered, messages are timely returned, all employees have email to communicate with the public, and we open the office to the public on several Saturdays each year during key “crunch times” on the tax calendar to better meet the needs of working families. Lori also leads by example. During busiest times, it is not uncommon to find Lori and all the other senior staff helping customers in our lobby, taking homestead exemptions, and answering the main phone lines. Lori’s email address is posted throughout the site to ensure easy communications with our office — and anyone who has ever emailed Lori can testify that she answers all those emails herself, including on nights, weekends and holidays.
- Before: Taxpayers were stuck in their homes, unable to move because of the restrictions of the Save Our Homes law coupled with high property taxes.
Now: Lori — starting years ago when she was on the County Commission — led the fight for tax relief and Portability. When the Legislature finally placed homestead portability (Amendment 1) on the January 2008, Lori led the fight in South Florida for the successful passage of this tax relief for homeowners and small businesses.
These innovations and improvements will ensure that each Broward taxpayer will only have to pay his or her fair share. No more, no less.
Lori has successfully completed over 200 hours of International Association of Assessing Officer (IAAO) professional appraisal courses. Her IAAO coursework covered topics ranging from appraisal fundamentals to the income approach, cadastral mapping, land valuation and complex mass appraisal methodologies. She earned her Certified Florida Evaluator (CFE) and Certified Florida Appraiser (CFA) designations from the State of Florida in 2007.
Lori resides in Davie and has lived in Southwest Broward for over 40 years. Lori is married to Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen. She is also the proud grandmother of two wonderful granddaughters.
Click here to read Lori’s detailed biographical resume
Click here to download a high-resolution photo of Lori (JPG File – 1,181 kb)
|To contact Lori directly, please
call 954.357.6904 or Email Lori.