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Retirement near, Peavy reflects on time in office

She’s worked in three different offices, seen manual work replaced by computerization, and made many, many friends during her tenure.

She’s the lady in charge of tax collection in the county.

And come September 30, Belle Peavy, revenue commissioner for Butler County, will be retiring.

She says she is going to miss seeing the citizens of the county visiting her office at the courthouse.

“Of course, no one likes to pay taxes,” Peavy says with a smile. “Sometimes they come in with questions about the amount of their taxes. And we have been able to check on things and perhaps, find an exemption they were not even aware of.”

Offering assistance to the taypayers of Butler County has brought intangible rewards. “When you can help people, that makes them and you happy. We’ve been blessed with a lot of nice people to deal with over the years.”

Peavy started working in what was then the Tax Collector’s Office in 1991.

“We were in that little corner office for several years. Then we asked to move to the front office to make space for the computers,” she recalls.

“Finally, we had to move to our present location to make room for the records and all the equipment.”

Equipment that helped modernize and streamline their duties, Peavy says.

“When I first took office, everything was still done manually – abstracts, receipt books, you name it. Now we can pull it up on the computer. It really has been a dramatic change,” she says.

An increase in businesses and industry in the county over the last 18 years has caused a significant change in land values and tax amounts, too.

Changes have also streamlined some tasks for local taxpayers during Peavy’s tenure.

“We used to handle car tags. We loved it when that process was moved and consolidated into the Probate Office. And folks weren’t having to go to three different places to get their plates, so they liked it, too,” Peavy says.

Dorothy Brown and Abigail Hawkins, who work in the Appraisals section of the Peavy’s office, say Peavy has been a “pleasure and so pleasant” to work with since their offices were combined two years ago.

“Belle has a great personality and she is a really a good boss to work for,” Brown said.

“I hate to see her go, but I am also happy for her as she is looking forward to that retirement.”

Hawkins agreed. “I really like working with her and I am going to miss her.”

Peavy, who became the county’s first revenue commissioner following the retirement of Tax Assessor Carolyn Middleton in 2007, says she feels blessed when she looks back on her time in office.

“I’m not going to miss getting up and going to work every day, but I will miss the office staff and the people we serve,” she says.

“The people of Butler County have been good to me.”

Peavy will be honored with a retirement reception on Wednesday, September 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Chef’s Table in downtown Greenville.