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Feature
‹‹ V.17 No.44 | October 30 - November 5, 2008

Feature

Bernalillo County Treasurer

Job Description: Acts as the property tax collector for Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Public Schools, the State of New Mexico and other taxing agencies in Bernalillo County.

Term: Four years (maximum of two terms)

Salary: $56,956

Patrick Padilla, Democrat (Incumbent)

Website: patrickpadilla.com

1) What experience makes you qualified for this position?

I am the CEO of Padilla and Company, a successful Accounting and Tax Preparation Business started in 1973.

I served the people of Bernalillo County as:

• Current Bernalillo County Treasurer

• Two-Term Bernalillo County Treasurer, 1990-1993

• Bernalillo County Commissioner, 1981-1984, two years as Chairman

• Twice-elected president of the National Association of Hispanic County Elected Officials

• State Director of the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers

• Twice-elected president of New Mexico Association of Counties

2) Do you believe the County Treasurer’s Office is as efficient as it could be? If not, what would you do to increase efficiency?

Efficiency improvements are needed in every government agency.

When re-elected, I will continue to improve customer service, maximize efficiency and minimize taxpayer frustration by working with the Assessor’s Office. I’m implementing new software for my staff and continuing to improve interfaces with other county agencies and departments. These strategies will improve computer efficiency and customer service. I am improving investment efficiency by being current on innovative investment practices used throughout New Mexico that adhere to the Prudent Person Rule; Safety, Liquidity, and Yield. I will make every effort possible to continue to earn the highest return on investments in county history.

3) Do you believe the County Treasurer’s Office has enough oversight?

The Treasurer’s Office serves as the bank for all of county government and is responsible for investments, with oversight by the county’s Board of Finance.

I accomplished these oversight improvements: Implemented and documented processes compliant with the county’s Investment Policy, including formation of the Investment Committee, whose purpose and responsibility is to advise the treasurer in establishing, maintaining and administering the county’s Investment Policy.

These oversight enhancements earned: One of the highest investment returns in county history; the first AAA bond rating in county history; a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, 2005-2007.

4) What gaps in service exist in the County Treasurer’s Office, and what would you do to fill them?

Every government agency needs service improvements. Some service improvements I’ve made:

• Additional ways to pay property taxes: online, drop boxes, payments at local banks and credit unions, payments by mail, and in-person.

• New Mexico’s law authorizing equal monthly property tax payments. New Mexico is one of eight states offering this service.

• A simplified yet comprehensive tax bill.

• An online tax calculator for estimating property taxes based on purchase price of the home.

• Campaigning the New Mexico Legislature to enact a law giving property taxpayers who resided 15 years at the same home a 5 percent/year tax credit on the 16th year of residence with a 25 percent cap.

Harold Davis, Republican

Website: none

Did not respond to questionnaire.