2016 Tax Collector of the Year Award Recipient:
Ronnie Antry, Tax Administrator – Craven County

Durham, NC – June 28th, 2016. Posted by Amanda Dillon.

Intro: During the North Carolina Tax Collectors’ Association (NCTCA) 2016 Spring Conference in New Bern, Ronnie Antry of Craven County was awarded Tax Collector of the Year. Antry joined the Craven County Tax Office over 41 years ago, beginning his career as a mapper in the assessor’s office – charged with maintaining property ownership records.

The Tax Collector of the Year award is given on the basis of individual leadership in county or municipal government, as evidenced by outstanding performance of duties and responsibility of office and performance of services of value to other counties or municipalities.1

Farragut spoke with Antry to gain his perspective on this recognition and hear his advice on what it takes to be successful in the local gov tax industry.

What inspired you to seek a position in the local government tax industry?

“I was encouraged to apply for a job in the tax office by the wife of the then County Assessor who was a co-worker of mine many years ago. I saw an opportunity to work in local government doing a job that interested me. I started this journey with a “job” which later became a profession by choice and grew into a career.”

What do you feel are your biggest accomplishments as Tax Administrator?

“Improving the tax collection percentage was a major accomplishment. The first year that we collected more than 99% of the tax levy was a cause for celebration. Shortly after that, we began encouraging the eight municipalities in Craven County to consolidate their collection activity with ours. It took more than fifteen years, but eventually we now bill and collect for all of them.”

What do you enjoy most about your career in local government?

“Aside from the wonderful folks that I am privileged to call my co-workers, I most value that I am providing an important and valuable service to all of the citizens of Craven County. While tax collectors throughout history have never enjoyed popular appreciation for their efforts, what we do provides the funds needed to provide the services that the legislature has mandated.”

Over the last 10 years, Craven County has consistently been in the top 20 NC counties to collect the highest tax percentages per year. What do you feel are Craven County’s best practices in regards to keeping its collection rate so high?

“The debt setoff collection provision enacted some years ago has produced good results for us. As soon as a tax becomes delinquent, we send a notice that we will enforce the collection of the tax and we try to carry out that enforcement in a timely manner. We usually begin bank attachments in February of each year and submit parcels to our attorney to foreclose the lien for taxes after six months delinquency.”

How did it feel to be recognized by your peers for your dedication and hard work and be awarded the 2016 Tax Collector of the Year Award?

“It was humbling and gratifying to be chosen for this award. As I said at the podium, my co-workers are the ones who have produced the most effort and it is because of their dedication to their jobs that we have been able to accomplish what we have.”

What advice do you have for your peers who are looking to achieve similar success by also leading and providing high value to their jurisdictions as well?

“It is one thing to achieve a worthy goal; however, I find that you must constantly challenge yourself to improve and build upon your previous successes.”

  1. http://nctca.org/~nctca/content/outstanding-tax-collector-year-award