Decision 2023/Commissioner of the Revenue ~ Q&A with Rebecca Smith

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Rebecca "Becky" Smith

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of 10 local candidates in four contested county races in this fall’s elections beginning Aug. 14. These Q&As will be published around midday on Mondays and Thursdays over the next five weeks.

Also in September, PVN will be broadcasting pre-recorded debates between the candidates in these four contested races through our new YouTube channel.

Rebecca Smith

  • Age: 56
  • Education: University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Certified Master Commissioner of the Revenue, 2018; Certified Master Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue, 1999; Page County High School, Honor Graduate, 1985.
  • Work: Commissioner of the Revenue, Page County, 2016-present; staff member in Commissioner of the Revenue Office, Page County, 1987-2015.
  • Family: Husband, Eric; son, Ethan and daughter-in-law Megan; grandson, Parker.
  • Elected office: Commissioner of the Revenue, Page County, January 1, 2016 to present [elected in 2015 and 2019].
  • Professional organizations: Commissioner of the Revenue Association, member; West Central Commissioners of the Revenue Association, Treasurer; Bright & Associates/COR Users Group, member; Virginia Association of Assessor Officers, member; Virginia Association of Local Elected Constitutional Officers, member.
  • Community Involvement: Page County Chamber of Commerce; Page County 4-H volunteer; Page County TRIAD; Page County City Elders; Page Alliance for Community Action; Page County Farmers Association; Page County High School Prom Committee; supporter of Shenandoah, Stanley and Luray Little Leagues; supporter of Shenandoah, Stanley and Luray Volunteer Fire Departments; supporter of Page County 4H.

Why are you running for public office?

From the time I was young, I have enjoyed helping others. In school, I assisted others with their schoolwork. I have been baking cakes for bake sales since I was a teenager, for people I know and for people I do not know. The concept of service to others seems to be ingrained in me.

My life-long desire is to serve others. I feel that God has put me where he wants me, so that I am in a position to help as many people as I can. I have always maintained high standards in my office. I have served with honesty, integrity, and commitment, and I wish to continue to do so.

What makes you the best candidate?

I have 35 years of in-house experience. I was trained by former Commissioner [Charlie] Campbell in each department within the office; as soon as I became proficient at one duty, he would move me to another one. He said, “This will benefit you one day,” and indeed it has. I know basically all there is to know about each job performed within the Commissioner of the Revenue Office. Also, my staff and I regularly take classes to further our knowledge regarding changes that may affect the office. I was awarded the title of Certified Master Commissioner from University of Virginia in 2018.

In addition to my qualifications, I believe that I am the best candidate because of the kind of person I am. I am honest, friendly, kind, generous, and I put the needs of others ahead of my own. I have a strong faith in the Lord, and I live each day trying to bring glory to Him.

I have been blessed with the ability to easily understand all of the workings that go on inside an office such as mine, and I am able to explain it to people when they have questions. In short, I am the candidate who will be able to help you if you have an issue.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Commissioner of the Revenue?

The Commissioner’s office always needs to keep abreast of any changes in tax laws or other legislative changes; as such, we need to be well-informed about any new legislation coming out of the General Assembly each year.

An important event coming up for my office is the implementation of new real estate software. Our current company has been working with the county for 20 years, but they have merged with a larger company. The implementation process, which will take around five to six months, will commence in December of 2023. The new software will be of great benefit to our taxpayers, Realtors, attorneys, and appraisers.

What is one thing that you would like to change or improve about the office?

I am always striving to improve my office, or update anything that can better serve my taxpayers. Again, we have the new software to be implemented in December. I recommended the new software to the Board of Supervisors for approval, as these new updates were extremely important to better serve our county.

• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.

I have implemented cross-training for each employee. When operating a small office, difficult situations arise. The one goal is to always have an employee that can assist a taxpayer in any situation. For example, I now have employees that who had worked business license for their entire employment, but now they are trained to do personal property. At any time a taxpayer walks into the Commissioner’s office, he or she will be assisted by a knowledgeable, courteous, and well-trained staff member.

I also worked with the County Administrator and the Board of Supervisors regarding the changes in the values of vehicles due to economic change throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. I brought to their attention the dramatic increase in used vehicle values; with the information I provided them, and with the passage of an executive order signed by Governor Youngkin, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to lower the tax rate for all vehicles for that year.

I began preparing to be Commissioner when I was Mr. Campbell’s Chief Deputy. He often let me play a role in the decision-making process. He allowed me to assist with special projects such as the adoption of the 1996 Business License, the proration of personal property, and when the Meals Tax was adopted in 2000. In
2008, our office chose to allow high-mileage reduction on used vehicles, a program that has saved taxpayers a great deal in its 15 years of existence. Also, after extensive study and comparison to areas similar to Page County in population and economy, we decided to continue contracting out our reassessments. Doing so is the most fair and equitable way to serve the taxpayers. It is also, by far, the most cost-effective when all factors are considered.

Early voting starts Sept. 22


for election information visit the Page County Voter Registrar.



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1 Comment

  1. Please explain why you have made no updates to the tax relief program for the elderly, not updated for more than a decade? What do you have to say to our elderly who are barely getting by?

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