By Alex Bridges
Warren County holds a special election Tuesday to decide the next commissioner of the revenue. The county called for the election after the unexpected death in August 2012 of longtime Commissioner of the Revenue John H. Smedley Sr.
Roy K. Boyles is running as an independent candidate for Commissioner of the Revenue. Boyles has worked in the office for nearly 20 years and as master deputy commissioner since 1994. Boyles has served on the School Board since July 29, 2004, including a four-year term as chairman.
Boyles gave answers to these questions:
Q. As commissioner, what would you do in your office to increase efficiency, improve customer service and save the county money?
A. If elected as the next Commissioner of the Revenue, I pledge to:
Improve customer service by extending office hours (employees would have staggered work schedules so that there would be no additional cost to the taxpayer). Update the Commissioner of the Revenue website so that citizens may apply for business licenses, land use, and tax relief directly on the website. (This transition will result in improved customer service and a reduction in the cost of materials we currently use to process these requests. I would also dialogue with other commissioners to determine what changes may be implemented in order to further decrease the amount of paper, ink, and time on task in the office.)
Q. What opportunities would you pursue as commissioner to bring more revenue into the county?
A. More revenue will be generated as business increases in our community. As commissioner, I will work with the Board of Supervisors to provide an effective and competitive tax rate to encourage business development in Warren County. I will work more closely with the town and their business license department to ensure that we are being notified about all businesses within town limits since these organizations are responsible for paying taxes on business personal property (equipment). I would also investigate the possibility of bringing DMV select services to the Commissioner's Office. Currently, people must register new vehicles with the DMV and with our office. If we were to obtain DMV Select Service status, the clients could come to our office and conduct all of their business in one location. We would charge a nominal fee for this service, thus creating additional revenue.
Q. What opportunities would you pursue that would give some taxpayers relief?
A. As commissioner, I will request that the Board of Supervisors of Warren County adjust the eligibility requirements for tax relief for elderly and disabled persons. There are people who currently do not qualify for the program because their income is a few hundred dollars over the limit. If elected, I will collaborate with the Board of Supervisors and Town Council and request adjustments to the program's parameters so that these people will be eligible for relief.
Q. Would you push to increase staffing in your office as the economy picks up, construction resumes and people buy more, newer vehicles?
A. At present, the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue is functioning with two vacancies (a deputy IV position and a deputy I position). Other than filling those two vacancies, I do not see a need to add staff, especially in light of the fact that we will be expanding our customer service online. What I do envision is that more of our employees will wish to pursue certification courses and other programs that will enable them to make the transition to a more technologically rich environment. I will support our excellent staff in these and other endeavors that they wish to pursue in order to better serve the public as the delivery of our services is modernized.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org