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Townley announces re-election campaign
Second to enter tax commissioner race
Townley mug

Dawson County's tax commissioner has announced she will seek re-election in the July 31 primary.

Linda Townley is the second candidate to say she'll campaign for the seat. In April, political newcomer Karin McKee said she would run.

Qualifying is set for May 23-25.

Townley, who is finishing her second term, cites her business degree from North Georgia College & State University and more than 40 years in the accounting field as the experience needed to run the office.

"I do my job well and my collection rate shows it," she said. "Consistently, my collection rate is over the state average and one of the best in the region.

"For the citizens of Dawson County, this means that everyone is paying their taxes. It also means when the taxes are collected in a timely manner, the millage rate does not have to be increased to compensate for the delinquencies."

Prior to serving as the tax commissioner, Townley worked for 35 years at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. Her duties included preparing budgets, cash-flow forecasting and reporting to the government on multimillion dollar contracts.

"In today's economy it is imperative that the taxes be collected for the county government to perform its necessary functions," she said. "I have also taken steps to assist those experiencing financial difficulties by setting contracts for monthly payments. This keeps money coming in to the county and the property owner from facing a tax sale."

While there have been cutbacks in county government, Townley said her office has overcome the challenge of serving more residents with fewer employees.

"My staff and I have successfully handled this challenge by increasing our efficiency through all possible means, including technology," she said.

"At my direction, a Web site was created that can be accessed easily and used to renew your tags, pay your taxes, print bills and receipts and find many answers to tax questions."

A Dawson County native, Townley believes it's important to work hard and give back to the community.

"Dawson County has always been my home, and it is where I chose to raise my family," she said. "I have exemplified this over my lifetime by serving on the Dawson County School Board for 10 years, and on the Etowah Water and Sewer Board of Directors for 25 years."

She is also a member of Kiwanis, active at Harmony Baptist Church and a volunteer at the Hightower Baptist Association Food Bank.

"That is why eight years ago, when I decided to retire from Lockheed Martin, I offered my professional experience to the county," she said.