Polk set for new tag office in September

Published 10:00pm Monday, July 14, 2014


Polk County is on track to have its own license plate office for the first time in many years.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met July 7 and approved a budget to operate its own tag office. The plan is to relocate the tax office, currently located in the Womack building, to the early college (formerly the library), located on Walker Street, to house both the tag and tax offices. The state also plans to relocate its drivers license mobile unit to the same building. The mobile unit is parked now near the Columbus Post Office, where residents wait outside for drivers license needs.

The county has restructured descriptions in the tax office to allow for tag office operations.

The budget, which was approved unanimously by commissioners, includes a total of $65,664 for the first year.

Interim county manager Marche Pittman gave details of the proposed budget during his manager’s report last week, saying Polk looked at Yancey County’s tag office to determine possible revenues.

Pittman said the first year will include one-time expenses for the relocation, but it is expected the tag office will bring in $52,198 in revenues.

Expenses to operate the tag office include $42,408 in salaries and benefits, $2,200 in utilities, $2,250 in contract services and $18,806 in capital for the first year.

Revenues for the first year include $52,198 for tag office operations with the county taking $13,466 from its contingency fund to make up the first-year difference.

Commissioner Tom Pack said if the county took out the one-time expenses the tag office should be profitable.

Pack also asked if employees can do both tax and tag duties. Pittman said they can do both.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson complimented county tax administrator Melissa Bowlin for cross training employees to do both duties.

Polk County received state approval earlier this year to run its own license plate office.

Polk commissioner Keith Holbert is credited with getting a tag office located in Polk County and announced in June the new office will open on Sept. 3, 2014.

The county plans for the tag office to be operated under the manager’s department.

Holbert has said he thinks Polk having its own tag office will be much easier on residents, especially the older population.

Polk residents currently travel to other counties, mainly Henderson and Rutherford, for license plate needs.

Holbert encourages Polk residents to use the new tag office instead of ordering new registrations online, which will shift money from the state to Polk County.

Holbert said currently the state keeps 2.5 percent for online transactions, money that would come directly to Polk County if transactions are done in the local office.

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