Knox Election 2017: Diane Champion for tax collector

Diane Champion

KNOX — Diane Champion, a Democrat endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats, is running for tax collector in Knox. Champion has been the town’s tax collector for the last six years, and is running for her fourth two-year term.

Champion, 69, has lived in Knox for 47 years. She grew up in Averill Park, and moved to Knox when she married her husband, Donald. Champion attended Albany Business College for two years, after which she worked in banking, and then for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for 31 years, which she retired from.

“I like to work for the people,” Champion said, of her role as tax collector. She said she also likes to work with numbers. Her work involves verifying the tax rates for Albany County, mailing and sending tax bills, answering questions from real-estate companies and banks year-round, totalling the town’s bank statements every day, and working with taxpayers during tax season.

During tax season, Champion is at the town hall to work with people on Saturdays from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m., Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., and the last day of January, February, and March from 5 to 8 p.m.

Champion said she works only from the town hall, as this is where records and other information are on hand for reference.

When residents are angry about their taxes, Champion said she will try to talk to them one-on-one, and help them understand that she is not responsible for the amount of the bill.

“I just collect the taxes … ,” she said. “But I listen to their stories, to try to help them out.”

Champion said that an idea to split the tax bills so that residents are charged in increments throughout the year is an excellent idea, and would help people with large tax bills and low incomes.

She said she is happy to be endorsed by both the Democrats and the Republicans in town.

“I was glad that both parties thought I’ve done my job well,” she said. “They both wouldn’t have endorsed me if I hadn’t done my job well.

 

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