ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The 2020 election is just a month away and many eyes are on the presidential race, but in Central Florida there are also other races that will have big impacts on residents.

What You Need To Know

  • Amy Mercado is running against Tim Loucks for Orange County Property Appraiser

  • She defeated incumbent Rick Singh in the Democratic primary

  • Mercado says property appraisal affects everyone 

Paying taxes might not be your favorite task, but you might be interested to know who helps decide how much you pay.

That’s the Property Appraiser.

“In my opinion, the community has lost faith, trust and respect in the institution that is the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office,” said Democratic nominee for Orange County Propery Appraiser Amy Mercado.

She unseated incumbent Rick Singh in the primary and now is going up against write-in candidate Tim Loucks.

Mercardo is spending her time trying to show voters how this race impacts everyone in the county.

She says it applies to “even folks that don’t think that our office will affect them like renters. Share the information of how we do affect you. You may not own property, but your landlord owns the property, and if the tax values are too high or too low, they’re gonna affect you one way or the other in your payment.”

But property values don’t just affect your taxes and your wallet.

“Local governments rely very heavily on property taxes to provide all the essential services that people rely on, so fair and just property evaluation affects not only the amount of money you pay in taxes, but then of course how much local governments will receive,” said University of Central Florida science Professof Aubrey Jewett.

Property Appraiser’s position is critical, she said.

Mercado believes the timing is also critical.

She expects the job to get a little more complicated because of the pandemic, but says she’s ready for it.

“We want to ensure my policy of having an open dialogue, open door so to speak, with all layers of government, with our communities, with our business folks, to understand what’s next,” said Mercado. “We have to put it together.”

Loucks declined to interview or provide comment. for this story.