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Q&A with Tina Holzschuh, candidate for Erath County tax assessor/collector.


Tina Holzschuh

Q. What do you believe is the most important role of the tax assessor?


A. Leadership is probably the most important role of the Tax Assessor-Collector.


The taxes are codified for legal purposes, but the job of our Elected Tax Assessor-Collector is more than accurate calculation of taxation, it is also about Leadership. 



Leadership as a member of the Board of Directors for our County Tax Appraiser District. Leadership with regard to assisting local governments in relation to the annual tax calculations.


Leadership within the TAC office, by providing personal service and friendly relationships with the citizens I serve, with respect and a smile. 


Paying taxes hits a nerve with all of us, and being treated friendly can take a little out of the sting. I will require professional, polite, and friendly behavior from our staff. 



Q. What do you perceive to be the biggest challenge facing the Erath County Tax Assessor’s office and how do propose that challenge be addressed?

 

A. Our first challenge is, of course, no one likes paying taxes and I want to win your trust when it’s time to make that payment. But that was an easy response to the question.


A more complicated challenge facing the new TAC will be leading the office during a time of transition and a pending lawsuit. Since the incumbent is retiring and has held the top position there for several decades, our new TAC will need to hit the ground running on day one.  



That is why I have already begun the training process for TAC.


I completed several certification courses from the Young Institute of County Government and plan to complete the Tax Assessor-Collector Association of Texas - Professional County Collector Designation (PCC) within the first year of my holding office, to be followed by the County Tax Office Professional Designation (CTOP) and then the Professional County Assessor- Collector Designation (PCAC). 



Q. Do you see judicial foreclosure of tax liens as a tool of first response or last resort? Explain.


A. Judicial foreclosure of tax liens should be a last resort. 


In today’s economy many of us are struggling as the cost of living continues to rise.


The TAC has ways to help a citizen who might be behind on their property taxes. I plan to investigate the feasibility of other cost saving options that the TAC may implement, once elected.  



Q. What is your understanding of discrimination in the workplace? Does this include prohibiting employees from speaking in other languages during business hours or communicating with customers in their native language?


A. One definition of discrimination in the workplace is: unlawful employment practice because of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age. Tex. Lab Code 21.051


As for the most recent issue and cause for this question; we enjoy a diverse population in Erath County.


Our majority language may be English, but we also have many citizens who primarily speak Spanish.


In order to serve all citizens and efficiently operate the office we will need translators. Bilingual employees are an asset and operating within legitimate county employee policies should create an enjoyable and cohesive work environment for the staff.


I will provide positive leadership to our staff members and remain open to wise counsel.



Q. What educational and career experience in your background make you uniquely qualified to serve in this elected capacity?


A. I have worked two years in county government and six years in state government - the Texas Attorney General Office.


A year ago, when I saw that the Tax Office was in trouble and believing that I could help, I began to research the job of TAC.


It was then that I began taking education courses from the Tax Assessor Collector Association of Texas.



Having received credit for a few courses I knew that my skills and knowledge were perfect for the Erath County TAC which is why I chose to run for office. 


I am well on my way to achieving the Professional County Collector Designation (PCC) designation, with credits for Public Records Release Management and Retention, Ethics for County Tax Assessor -Collectors, Motor Vehicle Sales Tax and Fee Collections, Voter Registration and Chapter 19 Funds, New County Tax Assessor, Budget Planning, Accounting in the County Tax Offices and I’m not in office yet. 



 

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