On Tuesday, I strongly encourage my fellow Bristol, Virginians to wisely reelect and retain Cloe Eva Barker as our outstanding commissioner of revenue.
Cloe is a Bristol, Virginia native who lives in the western part of the city. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Emory & Henry College and attained Master Deputy Commissioner through the University of Virginia.
For 32 years, she worked in this office under three different commissioners, the last 16 of those years as chief deputy commissioner, prior to her election in 2017.
The duties and demands of this vital constitutional office are complex and ever-changing. There are some misconceptions about what exactly the office does and does not do (especially by her two opponents and some of their supporters).
The commissioner and her staff DO NOT appraise real estate (that’s done by certified appraisers, based on current market values per statute). And they DO NOT establish the annual tax rate we pay (that’s decided entirely by our City Council).
What this office DOES DO: assesses (calculates) real estate and other taxes owed (again, based on what council decides); registers personal property for taxation; administers a number of taxes, including lodging, prepared meals and business taxes; oversees the real estate reassessment process every four years and the Citizen Board of Equalization; facilitates real estate tax relief for the elderly and handicapped; and helps residents and businesses with their Virginia income tax returns.
This office is certainly not for anyone without the education, skills and experience required. And it should never be sought just to land a much-needed job or to use as some political stepping stone. Cloe’s proven results certainly speak louder than her opponents’ empty campaign promises.
Please join me in giving Mrs. Barker a well-deserved vote of confidence and appreciation.