Tax Commissioner Deal Retiring, Leslie Akins Announces Candidacy
After serving nearly three decades, Bulloch County Tax Commissioner James Deal has made the very difficult decision to retire. During his tenure, Deal has led the Tax Commissioners office through the construction of a new office and modernization of the office. For the past 19 years, Deal’s daughter Leslie Deal Akins, has become a prominent fixture in the office. Deal credits her as a key component not only to his success, but to many of the improvements, including modernizing the tax office. He feels she is tremendously well positioned to lead the office. With that, he endorsed her candidacy and hopes the citizens of Bulloch county will join him in supporting her as the next Tax Commissioner for Bulloch County.
Leslie Deal Akins Steps Up
Even though she happens to be the daughter of the commissioner, he has not made the road easy for her. Sensitive to the fact that Leslie is his daughter, Commissioner Deal has always raised the bar and expectations higher for her. He wanted to make sure she was not only capable of continuing his work, but he also wanted to make sure she had the respect and support of the entire team in the Tax Commissioners office. For nearly two decades, she has done both.
“I pray my work in the Tax Commissioners office will speak for itself and I will not be simply labeled as James’s daughter,” said Leslie Deal Akins. “I am proud to be his daughter, but I am equally proud of the work we have done together in building this office as one that is the envy of the state. I hope the citizens of Bulloch County will agree and support me in continuing his work, his integrity and his legacy in this office.”
19 Years of Work
In her 19 years of service, Leslie has worked in every area of the Commissioners office. She has served as an administrative assistant, tax/tag clerk and also has served as the bookkeeper. Since 2013, she has served as Delinquent Tax Administrator.
Leslie carries out procedures to collect delinquent real estate taxes, personal property taxes and other fees in accordance with state codes, laws, standards and procedures. She notifies taxpayers of issues as required by law and prepares all of the county tax liens for both filing and cancelling. She enforces tax sale guidelines and assists in tax sale procedures. On a daily basis, she performs customer service in the areas of inquiries from taxpayers/debtors, attorneys, trustees, mortgage companies and bankruptcy court employees. Utilizing government systems and various databases, she assists in property investigation and problem resolution of all types.
“I truly enjoy people. I consider myself a people person. Working primarily with people who have fallen on difficult times can be challenging and I strive daily to handle that with a lot of grace and patience. I try to be as reassuring as I can to people and ease their worries, while also having to enforce deadlines that can sometimes be daunting. It is a daily balance of caring about people, while also having a job to do and rules to enforce. While the job can be difficult at times, it is also very rewarding, especially when you see people succeed in taking care of their responsibilities as property owners and getting debts paid” said Leslie Akins.
We work hard in our office to practice compassion and to educate the taxpayers of this county on the importance of keeping their taxes current and the options that are available to them in the form of payment arrangements and deadlines that must be met. Providing good customer service is a personal priority for me and I enjoy all of the wonderful people that I come in contact with each day whether it be in the office, on the phone or just through email.”
Leslie Akins Background
Akins resides in Statesboro with her husband, Stan, and their children, Hope, Skylar, Sara and Liam. She is a 1995 graduate of Statesboro High School and a 1999 graduate of Georgia Southern University. She is a lifelong Bulloch County resident and is proud of our wonderful community. She is a member of the Statesboro Service League and participates in various other volunteer missions here in Bulloch County. She serves as Treasurer on the Dayspring Walk to Emmaus board. Akins is a member of Connection Church, where she serves each week in the children’s ministry, guest services team and also is a small group leader.
Leslie stated, “I am excited for the opportunity to bring my 19 years of experience to a new level of service for the citizens of Bulloch County. If elected, I promise to use that experience to effectively carry out the job duties of Tax Commissioner. I feel qualified to hold this position and will work hard for the citizens of this wonderful community that has loved and supported me for my entire life. I would appreciate your support over the next few months and your vote on May 19. I look forward to continuing to serve each of you.”