Reformer Leaving Cuyahoga County Job
When Wade Steen checks out at the end of August, he’ll have plenty of hats to remove: accountant, consumer aide, and tax assessor, to name a few.
He was responsible for reforming the county’s system of assessing property taxes after County Auditor Frank Russo left office under investigation for corruption.
Russo is now in a federal prison, convicted of bribery, racketeering, and cronyism.
Steen counts cleaning up tax appraisals among his top achievements for the county.
“I think the fact that the number of Board of Revision filings has gone down…I think the fact that we’re getting less complaints from taxpayers and questions about their values, has told me that we’ve done a solid job," Steen tells ideastream. "And I can see it in the letters and the phone calls and emails that I get, that the taxpayers do have confidence and trust in the office again.”
Under Steen’s guidance, the Fiscal Office also wrapped up its sexennial reappraisal last year at a cost of $10 million, half of what it cost under Russo’s watch in 2006.
Steen will move to the Columbus-area, where he’ll start his new job as president of Public Funds Administrators, a consulting group that provides investment management services to state and local governments.
No successor has been chosen.