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Candidate profiles: Tax Commissioner
kieffer john
John Kieffer

John Kieffer

Family: Wife, Elizabeth; two children, Isabel and Owen
Age: 40
Occupation: Co-owner of 21 South Mini Storage
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Lifelong resident
Previous political experience (what other offices have you held and run for): None
Briefly explain why you are running for office: I have spent my professional life dealing with accounting, finance, and human resources. I am a graduate of Leadership Effingham where I became interested in local government. I served on the Board of Tax Assessors, and I was able to take numerous courses in ad valorem taxation and was able to gain a greater understanding of the valuation process and how the taxes the tax commissioner collects are derived. Serving on the Board of Tax Assessors and taking courses in taxation is what led me to want to run for the office of tax commissioner.
List your top three priorities/objectives for the next four years:
My priority as Tax Commissioner is to improve the overall collection rate on taxes. Effingham County currently has $3.2 million in uncollected taxes for 2011, $2.1 million in uncollected taxes for 2010, and $1.6 million in uncollected taxes for 2009. That totals nearly $7 million in uncollected taxes for the past three years. (Please see reports from the county finance office and go to  There are taxes owed on properties for numerous years.
2) I will explore all avenues in collecting the taxes due Effingham County and the Effingham County Board of Education. The recession that we have been experiencing over the past several years has been hard on us all; however, there are multiple avenues that citizens can utilize to keep their tax obligations current. There are numerous properties with delinquent taxes for more than five years, and owners who have made no attempt to pay them. I will work diligently to collect these past due taxes.
3) I will work to improve the services of the staff in the Tax Commissioner’s office. I will implement training for employees on customer service, telephone etiquette, and courtesy. It is important that the Tax Commissioner and the staff know they are employees of the citizens of Effingham County, and they must provide exemplary customer service.

Linda McDaniel

Family: Husband, Ronnie McDaniel; two children, six grandchildren
Occupation:  Effingham County tax commissioner
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Born in Savannah and have lived in Effingham County my entire life
Previous political experience (what other offices have you held or run for): I am in my first term of office and have no other political experience
Briefly explain why you are running for office: When I first ran for office it was to restore credibility back to the Tax Commissioner’s Office and to update the antiquated system that was in place. My platform was to improve customer service and bring in technology by offering credit card payments. All the issues have been done as promised. Software was updated and a website was created that permits the taxpayer to search a bill, print any bill, pay a bill and update address changes as well as renew a tag online. Based on numerous taxpayers’ comments, the quality of customer service has improved and is an expectation of the staff.  Collections have steadily improved, even with the downturn of the economy.  Current collections for the 2011-2012 fiscal year are $49,693,043.77 on a digest of $46,821,490.57. Out of these funds collected, $5,401,846.34 were applied to delinquent taxes as far back as 1998.  I qualified for office again to continue the tradition of improvements on technology, customer service and superior collections.          
List your top three objectives/priorities for the next four years:
1) Ensure the Tax Commissioner’s Office continues to stay on the cutting edge of technology
2) Maintain the current open-door policy by being accessible to the taxpayers
3) Continue the collection process with whatever means are necessary to minimize the amount of delinquents