C.L. Raffety for Treasurer-Tax Collector

Sometimes, in choosing a political candidate to vote for, it’s really as simple as voting for the one most qualified for the position. In the race for Treasurer-Tax Collector, it is obvious that it is C.L. Raffety.

In the position since 1985, Raffety obviously has the experience necessary for the job. In her first term, she doubled interest earnings from $3 million to $6 million.

And while other California counties struggled with bad investments, Raffety helped El Dorado County keep safe investments that produced positive results.

“We protected the portfolio,” Raffety said. “There were lots of muli-million dollar losses in other counties. It is important to have a safe investment portfolio.”

Those investments led to extra money available for El Dorado County roads, schools, fire departments and more.

Raffety also cut the secured delinquency rate from 9 percent to 2 percent.

Raffety’s successes aren’t just a thing of the distant past, either. In her last term, she took the tax collecting process to new efficiencies online, developing the Website for convenience to individual taxpayers. Taxpayers can now pay online, and view or print their tax bills from the Website. One useful feature implemented is the ability to check for licensed businesses online. That information makes it handy to check if that contractor you want to do work on your home next week is legitimate.

“We used to get calls every day about contractors,” Raffety said. “We put that (information) online so people could see who has active and inactive business licenses.”

“One of the things I hope not to do is sell off the tax roll,” Raffety said of not selling delinquent taxes to a third party. “We get interest on receivables, and we up-front the money to schools (and other county programs).”

She explained that selling off the tax roll could cost $2 million a year on top of lawyer fees and other fees on top of the lost interest revenue, which will hurt the county financially. It’s essentially passing off delinquent taxes to a debt collector, rather than the county handling the collection, and benefits that come with it.

She also doesn’t want the treasurer-tax collector position to become an appointed one.

“That takes away the taxpayers’ right to vote,” she said.

While the Charter Commission makes that determination, support from the acting treasurer-tax collector would be important to that decision. An appointed position would then be decided by the Board of Supervisors and the chief administrative officer of the county.

“Democracy is messy, and there should be reasoned debate,” Raffety said. “I feel I can speak up. It would be difficult if the board was my boss.”

Raffety is a Certified Public Accountant with a master’s degree and more than 20 years of experience in the position. She is a past president of the Statewide Treasurer and Tax Collectors Association and was elected to two terms as a community college trustee for the Los Rios Community College District. She even teaches a class for new treasurer-tax collectors who need training statewide.

The right fit for the position is C.L. Raffety. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Editor’s note: Interviews for this editorial endorsement, and the decision itself, were conducted without Group Editor Mike Raffety, to avoid a conflict of interest.

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Posted by on May 14 2014.
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