MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Treasurer Sandra Mizer brought some concerns to her budget hearing with the Knox County Commissioners on Monday.
She said she would accept the 20 percent cut in her budget, but was concerned about limiting the seasonal staff for her office and how the budget cuts will affect things with SmartBill, the company that prints the forms and bills and mails them out to residents in the county.
“Last year I had three seasonal staff — one full time and two for mail as needed. My only problem is the mail will not be worked in a timely fashion,” Mizer said.
Commissioner Allen Stockberger offered to share staff members in an effort to get the mail sorted through in a timely manner.
“We’ve made every effort to have a live person answer the phones here [in the commissioner’s office]. In tough times, if the call goes to voice mail, I’m sure the public would understand,” Stockberger said.
Mizer’s other concern included SmartBill, which prints the forms and bills for real estate and manufactured home taxes. The company sends out those bills three times a year; the treasurer’s office pays $23,000 for that service. Mizer said SmartBill sent out 40,044 bills in the first half of 2009 for real estate taxes and another 971 for manufactured home taxes. It sent 28,279 and 679, respectively, for the second half, then sent another 2,648 for those delinquent on their bill.
Mizer noted one thing that would help her meet her proposed budget of $158,689.60 would be if the first payment of $7,200 to SmartBill for 2010 is sent by December 2009. That would get her 2010 budget within $15,000 of the commissioner’s proposal.
The commissioners requested she look at supplies and advertising/printing classifications for more money to be cut, since Mizer had not revised the numbers on her budget to meet the proposed total. She said she will run the numbers and turn them in by Thursday.