Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tax commissioner candidates face run-off

Irvin Johnson and Susannah Scott speak at candidate forum

Irvin Johnson won yesterday’s election for DeKalb County tax commissioner by a plurality of 39 percent. Mr. Johnson currently serves as the tax commissioner.  Contract attorney Susannah Scott came in second and will face Mr. Johnson in a run-off election on July 26. Both candidates were running in the special election to fill a vacancy created in the final year of prior commissioner Claudia Lawson’s four-year term and in the Democratic primary to become the sole nominee for the upcoming term, which will start next year. Ms. Scott won 36 percent in the special election and 34 percent in the Democratic primary. Former county commissioner Stan Watson finished third in both contests and will not be listed on run-off ballots.

During the campaign so far, Mr. Johnson has highlighted his experience and accomplishments in the tax commissioner’s office, while Ms. Scott has highlighted her legal background and says she would like to explore expanded hours of operation for the commissioner’s office. Duties of tax commissioners include preparation of digests, diligent collection of taxes, and issuance of liens for delinquent taxes.  The DeKalb County tax commissioner collects property taxes in unincorporated DeKalb and in DeKalb's cities.  The City of Decatur collects its own real and personal property taxes, but relies on DeKalb for services such as digest preparation and motor vehicle tax transfers.

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