MORRIS – Dave Henderson is one of a select few who possesses a real passion for property taxes.
The current Grundy County assessor has known he wanted to be a tax assessor since he was 20 years old when he began his first part-time job as a field appraiser. But this June, after exactly 35 years serving as Grundy County’s supervisor of assessments, Henderson will retire from the business.
“I’ve loved it. It’s not felt like work at all, and I don’t consider it work,” Henderson said. “I get to talk with the taxpayers and the various industries in the community. It’s been great.”
For more than three decades, Henderson has been the man behind your tax bill, valuing some of the largest industrial plants in the state and making sure the tax burden is distributed fairly and accurately among Grundy County taxpayers.
“We take care of everything, from the nuclear power plants to the little pieces of dirt that hold the Earth together,” Henderson said.
In his time as assessor, he has worked on everything tax related, including major tax abatements, negotiations and settlements within the county.
Aside from his work with the county, Henderson served on numerous boards and was chairman of the Illinois Assessing Officers Association for two years.
In total, he has been a supervisor of assessments for 38 years. He felt it was time to retire after such a long career.
“I didn’t want to just go through the motions because that wouldn’t be fair,” he said. “So I thought before that happens, I’m healthy and I have things I want to do so I might as well take advantage of that and retire.”
When Henderson leaves June 30, the county will have roughly 60 days before it has to appoint a new assessor. Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson said the county will miss having Henderson, whom he described as being an “invaluable resource for the county.”
“I can say nothing but good things about what Dave has brought to this county,” Severson said. “His professionalism, his expertise and his willingness to share information with other people.”
The County Board must go through the Illinois Department of Revenue to find an assessor, but can have an “acting assessor” for about two months before making its final decision.
The county has not yet chosen its “acting assessor.”
In an effort to make the transition go more smoothly, Henderson said he is working on property values for next year’s tax cycle and plans to have them finished by the time he retires. The longtime Morris resident said he is looking forward to his time off.
“The only thing I want to do on July 1 is hang around the house,” he said. “It will be nice to just relax.”