Diane Champion, Knox tax collector candidate

Diane Champion

KNOX — Democrat Diane Champion, 65, is running for a second two-year term as the town’s tax collector, a continuation of her career and desire for working with people. She has Democratic and Independence Party endorsement.

“I would look at an income-tax return and see if the tax was correct, or, if it was incorrect, I would make adjustments to it and correspond back and forth with the taxpayers,” Champion said of her 31 years as an auditor with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Prior to her work with the state, Champion operated wire transfers of money for National Commercial Bank and Trust, now KeyBank. She said she looks forward to learning more about the job of a tax collector, to answer residents’ questions.

“A lot of people feel that I deal with school taxes and I lead them to the correct school districts they could go to and give them information from there,” said Champion. She went on about the state’s School TAx Relief program, “With the STAR program, people call me and ask me how does it affect them.”

After the first week in January, Champion holds office hours from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday of the month and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday of the month. Champion said she would like to hold office hours on the last day of January, from 5 to 8 p.m., for people to avoid penalties.

“All you have to do is call me and I will meet you at the town hall and I will make arrangements to meet you to help you out with the taxes to be paid,” said Champion.

Originally from Averill Park in Rensselaer County, Champion moved to Knox 43 years ago when she married her husband, Donald Champion. She was a local election inspector until she won her first term as tax collector in 2011.

Champion graduated from the Albany Business College with a degree in accounting and has been treasurer for the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the fire department in Knox for more than 20 years. She is a member of the New York State Association of Tax Receivers and Collectors.