Republican Beth Soles is running for another term as tax commissioner, fending off a challenge from fellow Republican Pat Smith.
Because there is no Democrat in the race, the winner of the July 31 primary will serve the next four years in the office.
FAMILY: Spouse, Bill Soles; children, Brittany Soles and Brandon Soles
OCCUPATION: Tax Commissioner, Camden County
EDUCATION: 1990 graduate of Camden County High School; Carl Vinson Institute for Government, University of Georgia
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Tax Commissioner, Camden County 2007-present
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?
- Customer Service - I feel that any customer service organization must constantly monitor their efficiency. I will always maintain an open door policy were the tax-payer can feel comfortable in coming to see me with their personal needs. I am always welcome to comments and suggestions in improving the services provided by this office. With input from the citizens, myself and my staff, we can work together to improve the services available.
- Public's Prospective of the Tax Commissioners responsibilities - I believe there is some confusion of what the Tax Commissioners Role is vs the role of the Tax Assessor, and Board of County Commissioners, in the taxing process. The Tax Commissioners role is to bill, collect, and distribute monies collected to the proper governing authorities. The Tax Commissioner is not involved in determining the value of property or the millage rate. This information is determined by the Tax Assessor and the Board of County Commissioners, once this is completed the information is turned over to the Tax Commissioner for a tax bill to be generated based on the information provided.
- Economy - With State and County budget cuts you have to be creative in ways to still provide the same level of service to the citizens with less money. The financial responsibility to maintain supplies, and equipment to properly operate the motor vehicle department has shifted from the State level to the local level, putting the financial burden to carry out what is required by law on the local government. The private sector feels this burden also. Trying to keep the taxpayer in a comfortable affordable environment has become a never ending task. We can only hope for a brighter future.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?
- "I can help the voters with the knowledge and experience I have gained over the past 21 years of service with the Tax Commissioners Office of Camden County. I have dedicated myself to learning every phase of the department, including laws and procedures pertaining to mobile homes, property tax, motor vehicles, timber tax, military exemptions, homestead exemptions and accounting procedures. I know what the duties of the Tax Commissioner are and make sure those duties are followed through according to Georgia Law."
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?
- "I would hope to be remembered for the positive changes that have been made over the years, the courtesy and understanding the voters have shown me and my staff administering the tax laws of the State of Georgia during those changes and for allowing me to represent the citizens of Camden County as their Tax Commissioner."