Recent article about our current Tax Assessor/Collector Monte Shaw10/16/2016 reprinted by permission of the Bridgeport Index
The following description is provided by Texas Association of Counties and describes that position:
• Calculates property tax rates for the county.
• Collects property taxes for the county.
• May collect taxes for cities, schools and other local taxing entities.
• Processes motor vehicle title transfers.
• Issues motor vehicle registration and licenses.
• May process boat titles and registrations.
• Collects various other fees for the state and county
“Well, the tax assessor/collector is an elected office. It is a four year term. The TAC (tax assessor/collector) is a constitutional office. The office is directed to assess all ad-valorem tax accounts as identified and valued by the Wise Central Appraisal District. Ad-valorem means real property like land, personal property that is associated with business, vehicles (such as in a trucking business), office equipment such as computers, so it would be real property/personal property. We don’t determine the value. To assess means we actually apply a tax rate and exemptions to the values furnished by the appraisal district. The resulting tax statement that people receive is the actual tax assessment,” explained Mr. Shaw.
“Our office’s average collection since I have been in office has been between $25 and $30 million per year between taxes and auto registration and title fees. A portion of auto registration goes to the state, but not for tax collections. The taxes collected stay in the county. We also collect for a couple of water districts, the City of Alvord taxes and for Weatherford College and disbursement is daily. There is a nominal fee for the collections outside the county taxes which Weatherford College falls under. Each entity pays a small collection fee annually,” stated Mr. Shaw.
Monte Shaw has been tax assessor/collector since 2005. He is in his third term. He is fifth generation in Wise County. He was born and raised here and graduated from high school in 1977 and left here and went to Texas Tech and graduated from Tech in 1982. Before being elected to office his career was in real estate. He has been married since 2007 and they do not have children.
“I try to stay active in as many local community service type organizations as is possible. I am a member of Lions (former Lion’s Club president) and the chambers. I always participate in the reading of the constitution with Daughters of the American Revolution. I serve on the Wise Appraisal District board; I am an ex officio which is a non-voting member and have been on that board since I took office. I am a member of the Texas Association of Assessing Officers (TAAO). I’m also a member of the Texas Assessor/Collector Association (TACA). I’ve served on various committees and currently serving my fourth year as a board member for TACA. I especially try to stay active in the organizations that will help me be the best I can be at my job.”
There are 11 employees in the tax assessor/collector office; they are all cross trained to be able to work in either department within the office. Mr. Shaw stated,”Courtesy and efficiency are the main requirements of this office and I have an outstanding staff.”
There are three locations in the county; Boyd, Bridgeport and Decatur. You can pay taxes or do auto registration at any of the locations. Each location is full service.
One accomplishment that Mr. Shaw talked about was combining the tax statements for more efficiency. Instead of getting a separate statement for each piece of property you can now get up to three on one statement. It streamlined the process for the department and for people receiving their statements. It has cut down on expense for property statements especially since postage, etc. has gone up. “That has been a good accomplishment that we have been able to do,” stated Mr. Shaw.
“You can’t get creative with this job. We are covered by the requirements from the state for our auto registration and governed by the state how we collect and procedures. I wish we could send out electronic statements to everyone in the county, but we are not there yet.”
“I think our office is very efficient. We value people’s time and we know that they wanted to be waited on quickly and courteously; this is not on the top of their ‘to do’ list and they expect us to be knowledgeable about what we are doing. We do a lot of webinars for continuing education each year and I have to have a minimum of 20 hours a year.”
“I enjoy numbers. I like being around people. I don’t enjoy being in the public eye, but I do enjoy people. I enjoy meeting new people and like helping people. I want people to feel like I am approachable. That they can come to me and ask me questions. I want to help if I can. This position got me involved in the community and I enjoy being involved in the community. I think local government is about giving back to your local community,” responded Mr. Shaw when asked about his position.
“We have some land and horses and cows. I like being out in the country. I really like to be around my livestock. I can pretty much watch anything to do with a horse, what they can do is just amazing. I don’t ride, I just enjoy having them. I do play golf some.”
“We just started collections for this year, statements just went out on October 1, but in previous years the county collections have been great. We collect anywhere from 98% to 99% of the taxes every year, which is excellent. People in Wise County are very good about paying their taxes. The outlook for the county is so hard to predict, of course you realize we have been in an economic decline for the last few years because oil/gas affects the tax revenue.”
In an article in the Taxing News, Tarrant County Tax Assessor/Collector, Ron Wright made this statement about Monte Shaw, “Monte Shaw, my counterpart in Wise County, is one of the most highly respected tax assessor/collectors in the state of Texas. He is one of the tax assessors that other tax assessors seek out when they need help or advice, including those of us in large, urban counties. In our organization, when Wise County speaks, the rest of Texas listens.” Mr. Wright also pointed out that tax assessor/collectors achieve a certification that nobody else in the county has: Professional County Collector.