Webster Tax Assessor announces $1 million in savings for taxpayers

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Webster Parish Tax Assessor Morris Guin made a big announcement Tuesday that some say is an unprecedented savings to the parish’s taxpayers.

“Today, I am happy to announce that I have continued streamlining our operations and I will be able to save another $500,000 for Webster Parish citizens,” Guin said in a news release. “When I took office in January 2013, one of my top goals was to reduce the property taxes that were dedicated to the assessor’s office. I believed if I would adopt modern techniques and expect the most from myself and my very capable office personnel, that goal could be met. Thanks to the dedication and work of the people working in our office, we have passed my expectations.”

In his first year of office, Guin reduced the amount of total taxes by $500,000 by cutting costs within the assessor’s office. He says he also did away with the charges to municipalities and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office to help them save money as well.

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office is the tax collector for the parish.

“Since I’ve been in office, we’ve tried to think outside the box,” Guin said during a press conference Tuesday. “One goal was to save tax dollars by maximizing the efficiency of the assessor’s office and passing on those savings to the taxpayers. I truly believe the hard working taxpayers of Webster Parish deserve to keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible.”

The second reduction of $500,000 makes $1 million the assessor’s office has saved the taxpayers of Webster Parish, and this will happen this year, he says.

James Madden, a retired businessman, says he’s proud of the work the assessor’s office has done to help taxpayers.

“What that amounts to is that we as taxpayers are enjoying this year $1 million in savings on our taxes,” he said. “It is an historic event; it is something that is important. And I asked Morris this question, ‘Do you anticipate, do you think that you will be able to continue this program?’ Morris’ words were, ‘I’m danged sure going to try.’ Thank you Morris for being the man you are.”

Webster Parish Police Jury President Jim Bonsall says he knows how hard it is to pay bills every month, and the police jury struggles to do what they need to do with the money they have.

“We try to keep from asking anybody for more money,” he said. “To give some back is unprecedented. I really appreciate it, and I know the people of the parish appreciate it.”

Joseph Jefferson, a retired teacher who taught Guin’s children, says he’s proud of the work Guin has done.

“I want to commend he and his staff for what they’ve done and what I see here today,” he said. “I’m very pleased at the kind of support you have given and the kind of feedback he’s given us in terms of the return of the taxes and things of that nature. We want to ask you to continue your support and we want to ask him to continue the work he’s done. And perhaps we’ll all reach that pinnacle that we look for in life.”

“We want to continue to be good stewards of the trust that has been placed in me and my office,” Guin said. “We will keep improving and doing the best job possible for Webster Parish. Serving our citizens with efficiency and courtesy is and always will be our number one goal.”

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