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2020 general election: Sandoval County treasurer

Jennifer Taylor, Democrat 

Jennifer Taylor

Community of residence: Rio Rancho

Education: Certified Treasury and Public Official NMSU-NM EDGE

Professional and political experience: The current Deputy Treasurer of Sandoval County. A credentialed professional in County Treasury administration to include Investments, Distribution of County Funds, County Bond Payments and Property Tax Collections. Certified aptitudes in Cash Management as required by the Association of Financial Professionals. Business Operations and Management background. A Licensed Private Investigator.

Have you ever been charged with a felony or DWI? No.

How can people reach you if they have questions? jennietaylorforsandovalcounty@outlook.com

1. How would you ensure the public understood the role the county treasurer’s office plays and what property owners need to do to fulfill their tax responsibilities?

Provide current and updated property tax information through the County Website.

Utilization of the social media platforms offered through the County.

Deploy email updates to all Taxpayers who wish to sign up for paperless communications.

Rural outreach efforts by visiting Taxpayers in their local communities to collect property taxes.

2. What are the top issues facing the county treasurer’s office and how would you address them?

Cleaning up the Tax Roll. Due to Covid, there was no State Auction held this year and we must advocate for it in 2021. This gives Sandoval County the opportunity to reinvest recovered funds that would have been otherwise forfeited. The State Auction is critical to liquidate and collect upon delinquent properties.

Practicing safe investments. With the market at such low interest rates, we must invest with the highest yields and return on Investment so the County can fully capitalize on the rise in Markets. During these unprecedented times our investments must meet critical portfolio diversification. This is accomplished with systematic collaboration with our Investment Portfolio Manager.

Transitioning to a traceable and more efficient ACH file transfer process for the monthly distribution.

3. What is the county treasurer’s most important duty, and how would you fulfill it?

I’ve been trained and prepared to fulfill the following obligations as Treasurer.

Collect-to provide accurate data analytics to the Taxpayer. Moreover, the Treasurer must deploy modern and convenient methods to accept tax payments from our Residents. Also, ensuring that delinquent taxes are collected on past due amounts or, if not paid after 3 years, by means of a State Auction to recoup lost revenue.

Protect-to maintain a security posture that will safeguard the investments of public funds to mitigate loss. Making prudent depository and investment decisions, in concert with our Portfolio Manager will ensure compliance to the provisions of Section 6-8-10 NMSA.

Invest-to strategically direct money in interest bearing accounts while investing in AAA Investments. The Treasurer must collateralize accounts so that in the event of another pandemic or national emergency the money is still protected.

Distribute-to make certain that the collection of property taxes are distributed to the proper authorities, to include First Responders, Schools, Municipalities and Libraries.

Report-to provide transparency.

 

Benay Ward, Republican 

Benay Ward

Community of residence: Rio Rancho

Education: Master’s in Business Administration

Professional and political experience: 15+ years San Juan County Assessor’s Office, Appraiser, Quality Assurance Supervisor, and as Deputy Assessor worked closely with Commissioners and county administrators.

Have you ever been charged with a felony or DWI? No

How can people reach you if they have questions? Ward2Win.com

1. How would you ensure the public understood the role the county treasurer’s office plays and what property owners need to do to fulfill their tax responsibilities?

I would create an outreach and education program to assist property owners. In my experience, an effective outreach program is the best way to educate and benefit property owners to the many tax saving benefits, and payment options available. Many owners do not know that they exist, or they are informed too late to take advantage of them. This information must be timely and provide the highest benefit to property owners. Social media and the internet are excellent resources that allow us to stay socially distant and still assist property owners. The Treasurer should work with property owners, and not disregard them.

2. What are the top issues facing the county treasurer’s office and how would you address them?

COVID19 has impacted all our lives. In these unprecedented times, property owners need every opportunity to pay their taxes. I will work with owners ensuring all options are available, so taxes are collected in a way that benefits the owner and the county and not from the forced sale of their home.

Vacancies and turnover rates are always a concern. With over 12 years of supervisory and mentoring experience, I will promote a positive work environment where employees are engaged and encouraged. Acting with the highest standard of professionalism and courtesy, I will ensure opportunities are given and talents are recognized that benefit the Treasurer’s Office and the citizens of Sandoval County.

3. What is the county treasurer’s most important duty, and how would you fulfill it?

Being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. In this economic climate, the investment plan for Sandoval County, must achieve the highest and safest returns possible according to the law. Working cooperatively, with the Board of Commissioners, sitting as the County Board of Finance, and with the services of a financial adviser, we will develop an investment strategy that tailors investments to meet the goals and expectations of the county. I will always be accountable for the integrity and accuracy of the office. Utilizing open communication and with clearly stated goals, the county will have safe, liquid, high yield investments. Taxes keep our critical local programs functioning, such as schools, colleges, police and fire departments, community programs and the judicial systems. I will earnestly pursue the productivity, accountability, and distribution of taxpayer dollars ensuring adequate funding is established, and vital services are available.



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