Supervisors reject tax office division

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Lincoln County Tax Office will remain under the leadershipof a single elected official, county leaders decided Monday.

Lincoln County supervisors unanimously voted against dividing theoffice into separate positions for a collector and assessor, rulingagainst the split because of financial concerns and reportedprotests from the public. Lincoln County Tax Assessor/CollectorNancy Jordan proposed the split two weeks ago, saying the duties ofthe office have become too great for a single person to administerboth divisions of the office.

“It may be something we want to look at down the road, but with theeconomy being as it is, it’s not something we want to pursue rightnow,” said supervisors board president Doug Moak.

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Splitting the office into two elected positions – an electedassessor and elected collector – would have created another salaryof around $60,000, the county administrator’s officecalculated.

Both positions would start out at an annual pay of $56,000, with ahost of thousand-dollar bonuses added on for certain certificationsand qualifications. Taxes, retirement contributions and insurancecosts would have added thousands more to the salary.

Splitting the office and adding another $60,000 or more to thetaxpayers’ payroll was too much for supervisors, who reported massopposition from their constituents before taking the vote.

“The calls I’ve had were solely against it,” said District TwoSupervisor Bobby Watts. “I haven’t had the first one for it. Thisis the wrong time to make a move in that direction.”

Tax Assessor/Collector Nancy Jordan said splitting the office wouldbenefit Lincoln County. The offices workload has quadrupled in somecases in the last 25 years, and the heavy duties could be moreefficiently executed with a dedicated assessor and collector, shesaid.

“But it sounds like the people spoke, and they’re the ones who giveus our jobs,” Jordan said.