• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Camden County Commission orders audit of County Collector’s Office

ByChad J. Johnson

Oct 13, 2022

CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) – The Camden County Commission has ordered an audit of the Camden County Collector’s Office.

The order followed questions about the money going to different entities.

“Over the past year, the City of Osage Beach and the District of Horseshoe Bend Road have asked questions about the amount of revenue they collect. It didn’t seem like the right amount. In fact, it looked like it had gone down a lot. And no one really understands why,” Commissioner Don Williams said.

The Commission will ask an outside company to carry out the verification.

“Whenever there is a question about anything to do with the office of government. I’ve always thought it was a good idea to get some unbiased outside experts to take a look. So that’s what we’re going to do in this situation,” Commissioner Williams said.

It could cost the county a pretty penny.

“I expect it to be around $100-150,000,” Commissioner Williams said.

It was a unanimous vote between Commissioner Williams, Commissioner Greg Hasty and Commissioner James Gohagan.

“The three commissioners agreed to do it. Yeah, we all thought that was a good idea,” Commissioner Williams said.

KY3’s Marina Silva asked Camden County Collector Teresa Murray to do an interview. She declined, but sent this full statement.

“It has come to our attention that two of Camden County’s Roads and Bridges Departments are not showing receipt of the eleven cent property tax at the same level as in previous years. After reviewing levy amounts awarded by the county clerk over the past three years, the collector’s office shows that the overall growth in road and bridge taxes owed increased year over year from 2019 to 2021. The sum of taxes due for roads and bridges for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 were respectively $2,941,024.28, $2,991,472.52 and $3,046,048.21. This represented a tax increase of 1.72% for 2020 and 1.82% for 2021. Money collected from these owed taxes is remitted to the county treasurer for disbursement to individual road and bridge entities. Additionally, monthly collection reports are certified by the county clerk and distributed to the county auditor and county treasurer who confirm and verify receipt of these funds from the office of the collector to the county treasurer.

Questions regarding the setting of tax rates and allocation to entities should be directed to the county clerk. Questions regarding the distribution of these funds, including the 20% allowance for county administration, the allocation of city roads and bridges, and other deductions from taxes collected, should be directed to the Treasurer of the county. The Camden County Collector does not set levy rates, amounts of taxes due, allocations of monies collected, or withhold any funds associated with taxes paid. The role of the departmental tax collector is solely the activity of collecting the taxes due which are distributed the month following their collection.

In the coming days, the Camden County Collector’s Office will post an overview of taxes due and associated payments received for road and bridge levies over this three-year period on its website, in addition to reports. certified monthly showing all taxes collected for Camden County and their distributions to the county treasurer, school districts and the State of Missouri. Additionally, questions regarding annual tax returns to be filed with the state could not be addressed due to the loss of fiscal year-end data files for 2019 and 2020 during the 2020 Ransomware attack. against Camden County’s technology infrastructure that are needed for year-over-year comparisons. The processing of information for the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons is currently being completed through a manual reconciliation process due to this lost data to be submitted to the state.

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