Proud Graduates -- Eight in Tax Office Ace Rigorous State Training

Article excerpt

DeSoto Tax Collector Joey Treadway is justifiably pleased with his eight pioneering graduates.

It was the very first class in the state, he said of the rigorous, five-day Mississippi Tax Collectors Education and Certification program authorized by the last session of the state legislature to boost professionalism and service consistency in the ranks. We're proud of 'em.

Meanwhile, office duties in the Hernando main office and the branches in Southaven and Olive Branch didn't miss a beat in the busy lead-up to the end of the 2012 fiscal year and issuance of new license plates starting Oct. 1.

All eight of the senior staff members Treadway sent completed the course and passed with high marks, and one, bookkeeper Britni MacMillan, scored a perfect 100. Four attended the inaugural round in Oxford in late August; the second quartet trained in late September in Brandon. Classes on tax laws and collection procedures were taught by Jackson-based staff of the state Department of Revenue, the auditor's and the attorney general's offices, and the Mississippi Assessors and Collectors Association. The auditor's office is the training coordinator.

Our association's been trying to get an education/certification bill passed for 10 years, and we finally got one, said Treadway. We need to know across the state what the Tax Commission wants us to do and be uniform in how we do it. You can get lost in all the rules and regulations on titles, exemptions and exceptions.

I enjoyed taking the class, said Tammie Rhoda, a deputy tax collector with 19 years of experience who manages the Hernando office. It was like a refresher course for those of us who've been around awhile, and it's good to know everyone's getting on the same page as to rules and tax laws.

Bookkeeper Elizabeth Libby Riley said she appreciated actual documentation to back up statutes on matters such as military exceptions and titles. For Heather Hearn, the Hernando office assistant manager, the classes put faces on policy: Now we know who to contact to get more information.

The other graduates of Collector of Revenue I are Southaven office manager Cindy Laughter and assistant Sherry Dickerson, and Olive Branch manager Tracie Riley and assistant Amanda Jenkins.

We sent our office managers and assistant managers this year, said Treadway. Next year they'll go back for Collector of Revenue II, and we'll also be sending our other six deputies to the first- phase course. …