COVINGTON - Democrat Nicholas P. Day is running for tax commissioner on a platform built largely on securing more exemptions for citizens and providing them with better information about exemptions that are already in place.
Though the tax commissioner does not have any authority to enact exemptions, Day said he believes he should be a voice for the people by pushing tax relief.
Day previously ran for tax commissioner in 2000. He has lived in Newton County for more than 30 years. Now retired, he previously worked for Henry County as assistant director of solid waste and manager of occupational tax and manager of alcohol licenses and taxes in the tax commissioner's office there.
What, if any, changes would you make to improve service at the Tax Commissioners Office?
"I'd have to look at what is in existence now," Day said, adding that he would like to research whether credit card payments would be a good option, considering the fees that will be passed on to customers.
Do you think a satellite office is needed, and if so, how would that be funded?
"The ability to pay online would eliminate the need for satellite office," Day said. But he added that he would be open to pursuing that in the future, noting that it might have to wait due to the current economic strain.
Your have said you will push for more homestead exemptions for residents, particularly seniors. Should the tax commissioner really take on an advocacy role, given that he/she is only charged with billing and collection of taxes?
Day said he's aware of the tax commissioner's job description, but believes that if elected, he will be in a position to advocate for more tax exemptions. He said he will push for a referendum to totally exempt school property taxes for seniors age 65 and older. He also wants to investigate whether more homestead exemptions could be available to Newton residents and help them take advantage of available exemptions. He proposes a computer program that would allow residents to type in data and would automatically show them eligible exemptions.
If elected, what are your immediate goals?
Day said first and foremost on his list of priorities is to get the homestead exemption for seniors passed. Secondly, he said he will work to make sure all citizens are informed of any and all homestead exemptions that may be available and determine whether they are getting the correct homestead exemption based on their financial situation and value of their homes.
"I'd like to better inform the public of preexisting exemptions currently in place to see if they are taking advantage of the current ones," he said. "When you go (to the tax commissioner's office) you take it for granted that you are getting the best exemptions available to you."
SideBar: The Day File
Nicholas P. Day
· Age: 63
· Party: Democrat
· Occupation: Retired; previously in charge of the occupational tax and alcoholic beverage division of the Henry County Tax Commissioners Office
· Education: High school graduate; management and computer science courses
· Political and community experience: Volunteer work with Meals on Wheels; previously ran for tax commissioner in 2000
· Family: Wife Gay Weldon
· E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org