Staff turnover high in tax collections office

By Vicki Hyatt | Feb 10, 2017

There are five individuals currently working in the tax collection department — the  tax collector, a deputy tax collector and three tax collection clerks. There is one vacant three-fourth position for an administrative assistant that has been vacant since Sept. 5.

The number of staff positions is unchanged from previous years, but a new anomaly is the high turnover rate in the office. Since December 2014 when Tax Collector Mike Matthews was sworn in, there have been two deputy tax collectors and eight tax collection clerks that filled the slots in the office.

Tax Collector Mike Matthews attributes the turnover to the low pay offered in his office.

“Why would they stay here when they can go down the hall and get $6,000 more?" Matthews asked. "I have no ability to keep them here."

Haywood County salaries are based on a salary schedule. Kathi McClure, the county's human resources director, said the tax collection clerk 1 position is county pay grade 59 with a salary range between $24,409 and $38,444.

“There are an additional 19 county positions listed in this pay grade which are spread across county departments,” McClure said in an email response. “Employees hired into pay grade 59 positions in the county are hired in at the entry level salary as standard practice.  Other employees in positions listed in this pay grade may have higher salaries but this is dependent on years of service, COLA (cost-of-living) increases and any merit increases that the employee may be eligible to receive.”

A deputy tax collector and administrative assistant II are both a pay grade 65 with a salary range of  $32,079 to $50,526.

As tax collector, Matthews earns $58,086 annually.