Supervisors face weighty decision over tax office

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, December 12, 2010

Following a proposal from current Tax Assessor-Collector NancyJordan, Lincoln County supervisors are facing a weighty decisionover whether to divide the office into two separate entities.

In large part, the decision appears to be one of office activityvolume versus the added expense of funding a second tax-relatedoffice.

In support of the first aspect, Jordan pointed out increasedresponsibilities handled by the joint office since her arrival in1984.

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Among them were the nearly quadrupled number of annual car tagsales, an almost 30 percent increase in the number of a taxableparcels and a near twofold increase in the number of mobile homes.Add to that the fact that Lincoln County’s assessed valuation isalmost $300 million above the level needed to allow division intoseparate tax assessor and tax collector offices and a case can bemade for splitting them.

On the other hand, however, is the added workload justified by anadditional $60,000 or so in salary for a second tax official? Andwhat other office-related expenses would be incurred due to thesplit?

With next year being an election year for county offices, timing ofa board decision is another consideration. However, it would seemto be not a major factor since supervisors could choose at any timeto divide the tax office into two in time for an election.

The future of the tax office is an important consideration andsupervisors deserve public input on the situation. After all, thecitizens of Lincoln County will be ones getting tax bills andpaying for operations of the tax office – whether it remains as oneor is divided into two.