Oct. 7 reader letters

Oct 07, 2016

To the editor:
In regard to the story in Wednesday's paper titled, "Tax collector questioned," I think the key take away should be that when I took office at the end of 2014, I inherited $2.8 million in delinquent accounts. At the end of 2015 (my first full year) the delinquent balance dropped to $2.46 million.

We currently have a delinquent balance of $2.52 million, up slightly from the $2.46 million, but keep in mind we are not quite half way through the end of our fiscal year. We still have a lot of time to make up that difference and to reduce that number by even more than the previous $2.46 million.

We have managed to do this with a practically brand-new staff and maintained a current collection rate of 97+ percent for the past two years (hasn’t been that high since 2007).

My staff and I attribute these numbers to the fact we are dedicated to working with the taxpayers in order to find a way to help them bring and keep their taxes current. It is our goal to treat everyone fairly regardless of their name, status, or who their friends are.

Furthermore, the statement in the newspaper (since corrected online) that a 3-cent per $100 tax hike would be required to make up for the loss is completely untrue. I can’t guarantee that the board of commissioners will not do another tax hike. However, I can guarantee that if there is one it will not be because of the performance of the tax office.

There are always areas where we can improve and we are constantly looking for ways to become more productive and efficient. However, we refuse to do anything that does not benefit the citizens of Haywood County.

I am extremely pleased with the results of the tax office since I was elected into office. My staff and I will continue to strive to maintain the positive results we have achieved the past two years.

Mike Matthews

Haywood County Tax Collector

Comments (2)
Posted by: Ron Rookstool | Oct 08, 2016 07:47

Haywood County is the only county that allows the voters to elect Tax Collector. I am not sure why Haywood County has not changed to conform to the other counties?

Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Oct 08, 2016 09:09

And the witch hunt continues. There was never any issue with Haywood County electing the Tax Collector as long as it was someone THEY wanted winning the elections.  LOL Now the "apple cart" has been upset they still continue to wet all over themselves.  Even after their fair haired child lost the lection. THEY had the audacity to create a job for the loosing candidate.  Does anyone else small a rat?   And then virtually all of the pre election staff has walked off the job (and I say good riddance....if they were that far up his arse let them leave...there were probably special favors keeping them employed). I'm surprised the uncollected balance didn't uptick just a bit with all the new employees learning their way around the office and learning the processes.  I owed back taxes (for the landfill fees only) when Matthews took office. And contrary to Lynn Collins from the TDA  his election to office had nothing to do with my being behind and taking a while to catch up that was squarely an economy issue. But that's fodder for a future tongue lashing and call to action for that group of clowns.

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