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COVER


STORY


We have always done everything together. We’re used to working together. We’ve built things together. We started with $500 and a motorcycle. We just


learned that you work and try to manage and do it together.


— Donna Jones, Dallas County Assessor, speaking about working with her husband, Jimmy Jones, Dallas County Judge.


the situation


Dallas County Assessor Donna Jones impacts her county by understanding its various needs and taking action.


By Scott Perkins County Lines Editor


but her family, the Atchleys and the Williams, were originally from the Jacinto and Ramsey communities in Dallas County. Tey often came back for vacation during her childhood and that’s where Donna and Jimmy met. She said with a smile, “I went to town one evening with my cousins and there he was.” In 1971, they were married and moved to the Ramsey Community,


H


northwest of Fordyce, where they have called home for 41 years. “We have always done everything together. We’re used to working


together,” Jones said. “We’ve built things together. We started with $500 and a motorcycle. We just learned that you work and try to manage and do it together. And we have tried to teach our children the same thing.” Jones began her professional career with Fordyce Bank & Trust where


she worked for 10 years before she served four years as the secretary at Fordyce Grammar School. She then returned to the banking industry, worked for the prosecuting attorney and also owned and operated the Fabric & Gift Shop in Fordyce for four years. Jones joined the Dallas County Assessor’s office as its chief deputy tax assessor in 1997. When the assessor’s position became vacant, she decided to run for the office and is in her second term as Dallas County Assessor. Jones said when she was young she worked with her mom who was in


real estate and would help type up legal descriptions. “I remember saying, I don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow


up, but I am not going to do anything that has to do with legal descrip- tions,” Jones said. “So, I have worked for the attorney that did deeds, worked at the bank where I did home mortgages where I dealt with


30


Donna Jones (from left), Dallas County Assessor, looks over parcel in- formation with Vanessa Peirce, deputy assessor, while Becky Miller, chief deputy assessor, answers a tax payer’s questions on the phone.


legal descriptions, had dealings with the courthouse, where I did title searches, so I learned about that and thought, ‘I think I could be helpful in that area.’ Tat’s what spurred me to want the job in the assessor’s office.” Jones said there have been days in her life that she has almost dreaded going to work, but not in the assessor’s office. “I love it, I don’t ever dread coming to work. My staff is wonderful. I


enjoy everyday and I especially enjoy helping people,” Jones said. Jones said some of the main misconceptions concerning the assessor’s office is that “timber companies don’t pay taxes on their land, which they do, and taxpayers sometimes feel that their property is valued higher than someone else’s and shouldn’t be. We work very hard along with our appraisers, to stay in compliance with the State to maintain


Continued to Next Page >>> COUNTY LINES, FALL 2012


er accomplishments and service to her community are seeded in her graceful and passionate heart for others. However, she says her greatest accomplishment is raising her two children.


Dallas County Assessor Donna Jones was born in Los Angeles, Calif.,


Assessing


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