West out as Haywood tax collector

The state of North Carolina’s only elected tax collector and one of Haywood County's few elected Democrats will lose his seat after being defeated by his Republican challenger.

At least two elected officials need to go

As election fatigue sets in, keep this in mind: it’s the local races that will most affect each of us. The decisions voters make at the lowest levels of government will have the most impact on our lives here in Western North Carolina. 

The over-the-top television commercials, the misleading mailings, the signs, the newspaper stories and ads, the forums and Q&As, candidate hopefuls out on the stump — all of it adds up. By this point, the overload starts overwhelming one’s senses. What did we do with our time prior to this election, and how did we fill our pages?

Tough fight expected in Haywood tax collector’s race

Incumbent Republican Tax Collector Mike Matthews is seeking re-election to an office many people don’t even think should be elected at all. In fact, Haywood County is home to the state’s only remaining elected tax collector. 

The real problem in Haywood’s tax office

Haywood County GOP leaders last week took the podium at a public meeting and proceeded to act as shills for Tax Collector Mike Matthews, trying to make the argument that Matthews suffers more from county commissioners and the media criticizing him than from his own ineptitude.

It was a curious — albeit flawed and completely wrong — argument, one that mistook facts for opinions and also included an unsavory dose of the increasingly popular attack on the media as an entity not caring about whether their reporting is accurate.

Haywood County tax office fiasco continues

Recent uproar over dozens of tax payments improperly waived by Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews seemed to be quieted with his announcement that he’d personally cover more than $1,200 of the $4,100 he’d waived.

Haywood Tax Collector will pay for own mistakes

A slew of county tax penalties waived by Tax Collector Mike Matthews’ office will have to be re-added to some tax bills because they were improperly released.

Passion, politics intertwine for Haywood tax collector candidates

Outside the Haywood County Justice Center in downtown Waynesville, Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews stands with a slim manila folder in his hands while an attorney nearby reads off a boilerplate legal notice required when the county offers a foreclosed property at auction. 

Haywood considers investigation into leaked docs

The strange saga of Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews isn’t over, but for the moment the spotlight is back on the Haywood County Board of County Commissioners.

Haywood Commissioners decide on tax collector issue

The rift between Haywood County commissioners and the last remaining elected tax collector in North Carolina — Mike Matthews — got a little deeper Feb. 20 when commissioners passed a resolution calling for an end to the practice of electing the position.

In front of the lens: Tax collector faces uncertain fate

Haywood County Commissioners are locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with elected Tax Collector Mike Matthews over his job performance and work habits, and there doesn’t appear to be any easy resolution to the festering dispute.

• Unfair collection practices in tax collector’s office?
• Comparing tax collections under Francis, Matthews
• Public comment session at next commission meeting

Matthews, a Republican who has been a lightning rod of controversy since taking office in December 2014, is the only elected tax collector in North Carolina. 

Page 1 of 3
Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.