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New office set for 2008

A Revenue Commissioner will be coming to Butler County in the near future.

During last Tuesday’s

primary Butler County voters responded with a vote of 2,317 to 1,161 in favor of adding the position.

The concept or Revenue Commissioner had received a lot of discussion and prompted a few questions.

The creation of the position would eliminate the jobs of the tax collector and tax assessor putting them into one position.

Most every county in Alabama had already made the transition to a revenue commissioner.

Butler County Tax Assessor Carolyn Middleton said the new office would not be created until the next election in 2008. That means that the commissioner will not take office until 2009.

&uot;We will finish out our term in office and the change will come with the next election in 2008,&uot; said Middleton. &uot;At that time it will just be one official takeover. They will take the job of collector, assessor and appraiser.&uot;

There had been questions as to how the revenue commissioner would be established. Would they be elected like the other commissioners

or appointed?

Commission Chair Jesse McWilliams said the revenue commissioner would be elected just like the rest.

&uot;They will be elected,&uot; said McWilliams. &uot;They will run and be elected. There will be a new office and election in 2008.&uot;

McWilliams said in the mean time if either Middleton or Tax Collector Belle Peavy chose to retire early the other would assume the duties that would come with the job of Revenue Commissioner.

&uot;If anything happened between now and then the other would assume responsibilities,&uot; said McWilliams. &uot;They would continue to do what they had been doing and help out with the other.&uot;

The move to incorporate the Revenue Commissioner is expected to come quickly. The new Revenue Commissioner will assume their duties all at once, rather than over a period of time.

The move in Butler County is expected to be very similar to the recent move by Conecuh County.

Conecuh County warranted their move to revenue commissioner as a way to conserve revenue and promote the public convenience in the county by consolidating the offices of tax collector and assessor into one.

Conecuh County also had a plan to abolish the offices of tax collector and tax assessor on the last day of their term.

Conecuh County set the salary for the revenue commissioner by resolution prior to his taking office.

Because there is so much time before the change takes place there will be a lot more work and thought put into the transition.

A lot remains to be seen about how the changes will come about. Conecuh County has given the Butler County Commission a model to work with.

Now they must simply find the most suitable way to ease themselves into the change.

Because measures are being taken so far in advance, the transition should be smooth when the time comes.