Hershey seeks new term as treasurer

February 21, 1998


Staff Writer

Washington County Treasurer Todd L. Hershey said people should look at his record when deciding whether to re-elect him this year.

In the past 10 years, spending by the treasurer's office has increased by less than 1 percent per year.

General fund spending by the county government as a whole has risen a total of 87 percent over the same period, according to figures provided by Hershey.

Hershey, said he's been able to hold the line by using technology to make the office more efficient. Hershey said that when he first was elected treasurer in 1986, the office kept all its records written in books. If someone called in asking if they owed taxes, it took five minutes to find out, he said.


Using a computer database, Hershey can now do that same search in five seconds.

Hershey said that the office no longer needs to hire lots of temporary workers in the summer to process taxes. Also, the tax forms people fill out have been redesigned. Instead of a five-part tax form that cost $5,000 a year to purchase, the county now has a form that is a standard laser-printed sheet of paper and costs the county $600 a year to reproduce.

County residents also can easily access tax information at a public computer terminal, Hershey said.

Hershey said more efficiencies could be on the way. Hershey said his office could handle the tax collections for all of the municipalities in Washington County with one person.

"Why have eight or nine people doing the job that one person could do?" he asked.

Hershey said he'd also like to establish his office as the centralized payment processing center for all county government transactions. Hershey said that bills and checks often go through several departments, wasting time and money.

Hershey said he also would like to make tax information available on the Internet to save people from having to make a trip to his office.

Other changes instituted in the past several years include semiannual payment plans, accelerated collection of taxes and return envelopes provided with the tax bill.

"I think I've done well. I hope I won't get thrown out on a 'throw out the rascals' mentality," Hershey said.

Hershey, 38, is a graduate of Williamsport High School. He has a bachelor's degree in sociology and economics at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., and a master's degree in management and administration from Hood College in Frederick, Md. He lives in Keedysville with his wife Katie and four children.

The job pays about $41,500 a year, with annual 2.5 percent pay raises, Hershey said.

He's running as a Democrat and is the only one who has filed for the position.

The primary election is Sept. 15 and the general election is Nov. 3.

The Herald-Mail Articles