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‘Baptism by fire’
County treasurer recounts first year in office
new_deh_county commission james jordan mug.jpg
Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan started his first term as Barton County treasurer on Oct. 10, 2017. It was the eve of the annual county tax sale, one of the most hectic times of year for the office.

“That was baptism by fire,” he told the County Commission Tuesday morning. Since that time, “it has been an interesting year.”

Jordan and his staff have worked together with several county officials in making operational improvements. He outlined these in a report to the commissioners.

The office has:

•  Changed home banks saving the county approximately $30,000 in banking fees. 

•  Collected over $51,000.00 in insufficient checks dating back to 2014. 

•  Over the last year, collected $1,976,887.00 in delinquent taxes.

• Set folks up on payment plans that have back taxes. They started out with 86 on payments, 50 are real estate, 19 personal property and 15 have been paid in full with two in default.

•  Put what the office call stops on people who owe back personal property taxes in Barton county, which means if they live in the state of Kansas and own a vehicle, they can’t renew their tags until Barton County gets paid.

•  Put garnishments on most all delinquent oil taxes – the oil producer holds their royalties or working interest money and once a month the producers sends a checks directly to Barton County for outstanding oil taxes. 

•  In order to assist the public better, the office is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on the first and last week of the month and from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. the second and third weeks. 

•  Implemented scanners to scan the  bar codes which takes out the human error of putting the wrong taxes onto another tax payers taxes, this also improves productivity. Tax statements have always had a barcode printed on the stub, but county software from (CIC) Computer Information Concepts has the ability to read that bar code. 

•  Crossed trained all staff in the motor vehicle area, and all motor vehicle clerks can do commercial tags. They have also implemented the ability for commercial folks to call and make an appointment for their commercial tags.

•   Will be working on an escrow account later in the year, so tax payers will have an option of paying into an account to apply to their taxes instead of trying to come up with all of the tax money at once. “I believe this will be a big help in budgeting for their taxes.” 

•  Tax statements for gas, state assessed utilities, personal property and 16/20m trucks have been sent. Real estate and oil statements will be mailed on Nov. 16. 

“I want to let everyone know that all of these improvements couldn’t happen without the great staff that we have in the Treasurer's Office,” Jordan said. “Keep in mind we’re still new and have a lot to learn but we’re trying hard to get to the point of better efficiency and great customer service.”