Collecting taxes is not a job that attracts many – at least not in Madison County — but Karen Lane is prepared to do it for another four years simply because she likes helping people.
She moved to Madison County in 2007 to be closer to family and begin work as chief deputy in the tax assessor-collector’s office.
Following the March 1 primarily and general election in November, Lane will begin her second four-year term as tax assessor-collector. Her office is responsible for collecting property taxes for Madisonville, Madisonville CISD, Madison County, North Zulch ISD, part of Normangee and part of Normangee ISD. They also handle titles and registration for vehicles and boats, licensing for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and solid waste stickers for county transportation vehicles.
“I really enjoy interacting with people,” Lane said. “I have fun. There are times of high stress but I love what I do. I treat each day as a new challenge.”
Occasionally customers become upset because they believe their bill is too high.
“There’s not a whole lot I can do about that,” Lane said. “The Appraisal District sets the value and the [County] Commission sets the tax rate. I get complaints and arguments, but I just explain to them where the numbers come from.”
She is, however, up to the challenge of solving problems and helping people work out a plan to pay their taxes.
“If you want to pay in installments, I’m the girl to help you,” she said. “We work with people the best we can to get their taxes paid.”