A county tax collector is someone who collects taxes on behalf of a county. Counties are units of local government which typically encompass an area containing several cities while being smaller than provinces or states. The taxes collected are used to fund a variety of activities, including maintaining county roads, supporting county schools, funding county police and fire services, and running county courts.
In small counties, it is not uncommon to see the county treasurer, tax collector, and assessor working out of the same office. Sometimes one person performs two or all three of these jobs, and may be known as the “treasurer and tax collector” or “tax collector and assessor.” In all cases, support personnel assist with keeping records, issuing correspondence, and other tasks which are designed to assist with the process of collecting taxes and confirming that citizens are paying appropriate taxes.
The county tax collector can collect property taxes and any other types of taxes the county has established. Typically people are issued tax statements which they are expected to pay unless the statement is erroneous, in which it can be appealed by the citizen. If a citizen does not pay county taxes as required, the county tax collector can begin collection activities, which can include ultimate sale of assets in order to satisfy tax debts. Tax collectors can work with personnel such as assessors and country sheriffs to do their jobs.
Some county tax collectors are appointed or hired, while others are elected by voters. Generally these government employees have accounting and tax experience, and may in fact have worked in the county tax collector's office learning the ropes of the job before taking the head position in the office. County tax collectors, in addition to collecting current and past due taxes, also maintain archives which may be used by researchers who are interested in community history and use tax records to learn more about the area.
People can obtain information about their tax liability from the country tax collector at any time. Many tax collectors maintain online records which citizens can use to check on their tax accounts and make tax payments when they are due. In addition, people can request historic tax records although some information may be redacted for privacy or security. The county tax collector may also maintain a list of assets which are scheduled for auction so that people can determine whether or not they want to attend a tax auction to bid on assets being sold to cover tax debts.