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Above: The Columbia County Cou square in Magnolia.


Left: State Rep. David Fielding (Dis County Tax Collector Cindy Walker. every year as time and resources h


State Rep. spends day


By Scott Perkins County Lines Editor


Editor’s note: Tis is the second in a series of articles focusing on state representatives and senators job-shadowing their respec- tive county elected officials.


time is the only time collectors are busy. “We are always working on an aspect of the tax collection


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process whether it be running statements and printing tax books or certifications or closing the books and balancing or mailing delinquent notices,” Walker said. “Another mis- conception is that some tax payers don’t realize that the vast majority of the payments we collect go to directly to fund our public schools.” State Rep. David Fielding (District 5) spent one busy Oc- tober morning job shadowing Walker. It was only days before the Oct. 15 deadline and the office was hustling and bustling as tax payers filtered in and out of the office. Te Columbia County Tax Collector’s office is designed to be very similar to a bank with several teller windows. “It was a new experience to see all that office does on a first- hand base after being on the quorum court for 20 years. I had very little knowledge of what goes on in her office; but was aware of how the tax payers’ money is issued that is collected for the county.”


ctober is a busy time for tax collectors across the state, but Cindy Walker, Columbia Coun- ty Tax Collector says the main misconception about the collector’s office is that tax payment


Fielding was appointed to the Columbia County Quorum


Court in 1989 by then-Gov. Bill Clinton. He served 20 years until he then ran for the state representative seat in district 5. “I think it is very important that our state representatives and senators know how the passage of certain laws will af- fect county government before they are implemented. Many times laws are passed without the necessary funds to support the law,” Walker said. “I think it would be a great benefit for all state senators and representatives to shadow county offi- cials to get a better understanding of the workings of county government. Tose who have experience in a county or mu- nicipal office have this understanding.” Walker is in her fourth term as tax collector and has imple- mented several new practices and protocols. Consolidating statements and receipts was one accom- plishment staffers of the office raved about. Accepting partial payments has been another benefit for tax payers while the online payments have increased efficiency as well. “We try to make it as convenient and pleasant as possible for our tax payers,” Walker said. “We greet them with a smile and have found that a little kindness goes a long way.” Fielding said he was pleased to see county records preserved on film and with the rebinding process that is ongoing in the office. “Shadowing is a good tool to use to see what all the county office has to do each day,” Fielding said. “It helps to under- stand county government more when legislative bills come before us.” Rebinding of the real estate books is a project Walker man- ages on the side of the normal operations of the office.


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2012


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