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.

Political or not, Haywood tax collector issue won’t go away

More than a year after a contentious public comment session during which the Haywood County Board of Commissioners weighed the pros and cons of having the state’s only elected tax collector, there’s no sign any change is coming despite the dispute still smoldering.

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. 

Kirkpatrick: ‘It feels like we have no representation’

Tensions between Haywood County and a state legislator are on the rise as commissioners called her out at a recent meeting for yet again obstructing a request for legislation that has overwhelming local bipartisan support. 

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.

Tax collector likely too easy on too many

We reported last week that Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews may have been showing favoritism to some local Republican leaders who were behind in their taxes. As it turns out, we were likely too narrow in that assessment. It seems Matthews may very well just not be enforcing strong and even-handed collection measures for a lot of people, not just GOP leaders.

Matthews’ job performance has been questioned since he won the tax collector election in 2014. He couldn’t get bonded, had no experience in the field, and had his own record of nonpayment of taxes. County officials who depend on those taxes were worried and immediately took steps to try and help Matthews succeed. And taxpayers who pay on time had to be worried that there taxes might have to be raised.

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.

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