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Tax commissioner will not seek 4th term
5. Townley not running mug

Dawson County's longtime tax commissioner announced on Monday that she will not seek re-election.

"It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Dawson County for the past 11 years as tax commissioner," Linda Townley said. "However, the role that I treasure most is that of mother, grandmother, friend and volunteer."

The decision, she said, followed much prayer and deliberation.

"I have decided not to seek a fourth term as your tax commissioner, choosing instead to focus on the people and projects that maintaining a full time work schedule often preclude," she said.

Townley has held the position since January 2005, a time when the office looked unquestionably different than that of today.

"I have a lot more technology now. We have less people than we did when I took office because of that," she said, adding that the tax commissioner's office has seen several state mandated changes in her time.

Among her most proud accomplishments has been and continues to be Dawson County's tax collection rate, one of the highest of surrounding communities.

"In 2015, this last year that just ended, we're at about a 94 percent collection rate. In 2014, we were at 99 percent," she said.

Collecting those tax payments, according to Townley, "saves everybody money in the long run."

"Having the high percent rate keeps the millage rate from going up, because if you can bring the money in that the county and the school system need...if the money is there, they don't have to up the millage rate to get the money the county needs," she said.

She is also proud that the citizens of Dawson continued to have confidence in her to hold the office.

"I sincerely appreciate all of the prayers, votes, support and encouragement that have always been so generously offered to me as a public servant," she said.

As for retirement, Townley said she's looking forward to having more time to spend with her family.

"I have young grandchildren, so I'm assuming I'm going to be helping do things with them. That's going to keep me busy part of the time," she said. "There's lots of different things that I haven't had time to put a lot of effort in to in the last couple of years, at least."

While no one has made an official pledge to seek the office, the race for tax commissioner is expected to draw several candidates for the upcoming election.

Qualifying for the May 24 primary election will be held March 7-11.