Meet the Candidates

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Michael P. Steininger

Michael P. Steininger

Age: 60

Occupation: Special director, New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration

Education: BA in accounting; hold certifications as treasury official, municipal official, public manager, procurement official; certifications pending: county commissioner, advocate public ethics

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running to be the next county treasurer?

“I have been involved with New Mexico government finance for approximately 16 years. I started my government career as Valencia County’s finance director. Working for the state, I have assisted counties and municipalities all over the state and now is the time to apply my skills to my own county.”

2. What can the treasurer’s office do to educate the public of why it’s critical to pay property taxes on time?

“In many counties, almost 50 percent of their operating cash comes from property taxes. Also, school districts and other governmental entities rely heavily on property taxes. Monthly, the treasurer should attend commission meetings to present current collection and distribution statistics. Public outreach though the newspaper and social media could be implemented.”

3. Once delinquent property tax bills have been turned over to the state, how will you work with the property tax division to ensure Valencia County receives what it is due quickly?

“Unfortunately, by the time delinquent accounts are turned over to the state, the county has already lost to the state all the penalty and interest the delinquent account has accumulated. The best approach is to have good records and documentation so the state can get the property to auction quickly.”

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Deseri Ann Sichler (I)

Deseri Ann Sichler (I)

Age: 47

Occupation: Valencia County Treasurer

Education: Trade School and some college

Previous elected political offices: Valencia County Treasurer

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running to be the next county treasurer?

“To continue helping the taxpayers of Valencia County with property tax issues such as the best way to get current with their taxes, understanding their bill and their rights within the law and to continue working with state property tax division on collections.”

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2. What can the treasurer’s office do to educate the public of why it’s critical to pay property taxes on time?

“I will continue to send information to them in their annual billing, as well as the informational letter we send to delinquent taxpayers and continue with published information in the newspaper and on our website.”

3. Once delinquent property tax bills have been turned over to the state, how will you work with the property tax division to ensure Valencia County receives what it is due quickly?

“I will continue working with property tax division by assisting with sending demand letters, title researching properties that are turned over to state for collections to ensure the best return on collections and assist taxpayers with their payment plan needs.”

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