Tax Commissioner Lisa E. Wright of Springfield is making a bid for re-election to serve her fourth term in office.
Wright has been a resident of Effingham County for 31 years and has 20 years of experience working in various positions in the tax commissioner’s office. She started full time in the office in 1988, became chief deputy tax commissioner in 1994 and was appointed tax commissioner in June 1995. She attends annual continuing education at the University of Georgia, sponsored by the Department of Revenue.
During her tenure, the office has expanded from two rooms at the old courthouse into four departments at the annex on Highway 119. The personnel in the department has increased from five to 13 full-time positions.
Wright said her favorite part of the job is working with and educating the citizens who are not familiar with property tax terms and exemptions for which they may qualify. She believes it’s most important to ensure that the office grows with the county and provides citizens with punctual, accurate and courteous service.
She listed as some some of her most significant accomplishments: an annual collection rate of above 95 percent; collection of delinquent taxes; creation of a payment plan option for those that are unable to pay a large sum all at once; development of the mobile home department; and implementation of the online statewide tag and title system in 1999 called GRATIS. The GRATIS computer system ties to the drivers license; child support; drug and law enforcement; insurance compliance and state sales tax collection data bases.
Two of the changes that have taken place under Wright have been moving the due date for property taxes from Dec. 20 to Nov. 15 and setting up the renewal of car tags by birthday.
Wright said she is currently working on development of a Web site to include the ability to view property tax bills online; a tax estimator tool; and an old to new directory. All of these programs will assist anyone looking for property tax files. Information about services can be viewed on the county Web site www.effinghamcounty.org by choosing departments, then Tax Commissioner.
Lisa continues her original pledge to the voters of Effingham County “I will continue to collect delinquent taxes, identify problems, listen to all sides, explore solutions and work closely with the other county officials to insure maximum productivity,” Wright said. “My goal is to help the tax Commissioner’s office become the best it can be.
“I feel that we have one of the best offices in the county. The way we accomplish this is to put the citizens first. Courtesy, compassion, educating citizens of the laws and enforcing the laws that govern taxation play a key role when an office serves both the public and the taxing entities.”
The tax commissioner’s office is the second highest revenue source for the county and distributes most of the fees collected to the state of Georgia.
Wright will qualify as a Democrat.