Candidates for Southampton Commissioner of Revenue
Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Two women are seeking the office of Commissioner of Revenue in Southampton County. The Tidewater News asked them the following questions: 1. Their name and position they are seeking. 2. What qualities and experience do you possess that make you a good candidate for Commissioner of Revenue? 3. What are the most pressing issues facing the Commissioner of Revenue, and what would you propose to specifically address those issues? 4. What do you see as the greatest strengths of the current department, and what would you specifically propose to expand upon those strengths?
1. Amy Burgess Carr – Commissioner of the Revenue
2. I have served as the commissioner of revenue for Southampton County for the past 12 years, since being elected in 2007. Before being elected, I worked in the commissioner’s office in the positions of clerk, deputy and then chief deputy. In November 2013, I achieved state certification as a Master Commissioner of the Revenue and have met all requirements each year to maintain certification. After working in the office these past years, I know our communities and I know our people. I love Southampton County and have a heart for its people.
3. This is a difficult question to answer because there are not too many issues that the commissioner of revenue has the authority to change. Our duties are dictated by the Code of Virginia and the Southampton County Board of Supervisors. Due to this, I would have to say the most pressing issue facing the office is the challenge of administering the numerous and various laws while remaining accountable to the citizens I serve. Commissioners of revenue do not make the laws, but we work hard to implement the laws fairly. To address this issue, I will consistently continue to administer the programs and policies as to not violate the intent of the law and to spread the tax burden equitably and fairly.
4. The greatest opportunity presented in the commissioner of revenue office is to serve the people. We are the face of local government, and many times, state government. We are on the front line, responsible and directly accountable to our citizens. It is a wonderful opportunity to have a part in bringing our government close to the people. This is achieved by having records that are available and open to the public, which guarantees transparency. I am blessed to have a staff that provides courteous and professional customer service, and we all truly enjoy working with our citizens. Any new opportunities for Southampton County that your Board of Supervisors puts into action, I will embrace and administer fairly. Thank you for the privilege of serving you these past years and I would be honored and grateful for your continued support.
1. Jennifer Updike Cuthbertson for Southampton County Commissioner of the Revenue
2. I graduated summa cum laude from NC State University with degrees in accounting, economics and business, and earned my MBA while working full-time. I have been a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified in Financial Management for over 20 years. I also passed the Certified Internal Auditor exam.
Since I am a Master Tax Advisor and have been preparing individual and business income tax returns for over 20 years, I have experience researching federal and Virginia tax regulations. We have to abide by the regulations and apply them fairly to everyone. While working at Southern States Cooperative, I was responsible for the budgeting process. Each department for the county needs to create a budget that is fiscally responsible since the money spent is coming from our county’s citizens. Throughout my career, I have had experience with finance, valuations, systems design, auditing and management. I believe that I can use those experiences to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to this position. I have a strong work ethic. I am a hard-worker and a quick learner so I feel the learning curve will be short if I am elected.
I enjoy working with people. When I am not working with someone on their tax issues or working in customer service, I like to work with 4-H’ers, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or people at church. I am the treasurer for the Newsoms United Methodist Church.
3. The biggest problem facing the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office right now is a lack of trust. I believe that we need to focus on transparency and communication. I am willing to work with other departments, the board of supervisors and our county’s citizens to help avoid some of the issues we experienced last year. I will outline proper procedures for processes that are not done very often so they will be completed in a timely manner.
By leveraging the resources that we have, I believe there will be ways to help reduce our overall expenses. With the county facing large expenditures in the near future, we need to make sure we utilize our personnel optimally and cut unnecessary expenses without eliminating positions.
4. The Virginia legislature will be considering several proposed items that will affect the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office in the near future. I will help the county implement these items if passed. I will work diligently to find ways to increase efficiency in the office and implement best practices from other areas. In order to bring more businesses into the county and to help our county thrive, we need to keep our taxes as low as possible. I will work with the board of supervisors, the county manager and the economic development staff to find options for our future.