Manassas Park City Commissioner, Debra Wood Says Relationship with Community will Help at Polls
– October 15, 2013 12:07 pm
Debra D. Wood
- Age: 58
- Political Party: Republican
- Running for: Commissioner of Revenue (Incumbent)
- District: Manassas Park City
- Opponent: Patricia Trimble
- Profession: Manassas Park City
- Title: Commissioner of Revenue (1999 to present)
- Deputy Commissioner (1996 to 1999)
- Administrative clerk (1991 to 1996)
- Education: University of Virginia
- Certification as commissioner of revenue (2000)
- Family: Husband: Frank; Two children: Nicole and Jeremy; 3 grandchildren
- Member, Manassas Baptist Church
- Breast cancer survivor, 5 years
- Member of Commissioner of the Revenue’s Association of Virginia
- Member of Virginia Association of Assessing Officers
- Member of Virginia Association of Local Executive Constitutional Officers
- Member of Virginia Association of Local Tax Auditors
- Attend yearly personal property assessment classes since 1991
- Attend yearly Income tax classes on legislative changes conducted by the Department of Taxation, since 1991
- Attend yearly classes conducted by the City’s computer software programmers
- Attend yearly training classes by the Department of Taxation & the Division of Motor Vehicles in order to utilize their databases
Debra Wood, (R) is the current Commissioner of Revenue for Manassas Park City. Her job requires providing taxpayers a variety of services, including: assessing the value of property and taxes, issuing business licenses and processing state income tax returns. She has lived in the city for over 35 years and has spent 22 of those in the Commissioner of Revenue’s office.
This year she is being challenged by Patricia Trimble, an independent nominee. Wood says her experience and workmanship make her a qualified candidate in the November general election.
“My years of experience and knowledge of the duties of commissioner surpass that of any candidate,” she says. “I attend yearly training sessions on income taxes, auditing, personal property assessment, computer training, legislative changes, as well as numerous commissioners association training to ensure that I stay abreast of any changes in the law.”
Wood has accomplished many things during her tenure as the Commissioner of Revenue for Manassas City. She is proud to say that she was able to help more people qualify for tax relief by seeking City Council’s approval to expand limits on the city’s tax relief program for the elderly.
Further, Wood played an integral part in the transition to the city’s permanent vehicle decal ordinance approved by the Manassas Park City Council for the 2012 budget. According to Wood, this option is an advantage for both the city and the citizens.
“I worked with treasures office and a member of the police department to come up with the permanent decals that we now have in Manassas Park,” she says. The decal remains valid as long as the vehicle is owned by the purchaser. Prior to the permanent label, residents were required to pay $25 a year to obtain new decals each year.”
“It gives us a chance to make sure the vehicles are being taxed as well as gives the taxpayers the relief from having to scrape of the decal every year and replace it with a new one.”
Wood’s role as commissioner affects many areas of the city budget. She says that of all the taxes that are imposed, a good amount of the revenue is used to help fund services that are important to the citizens.
“We make sure we generate the taxes that come into the city. I try very hard to make sure all the vehicles and businesses are taxed in a fair and equitable manner,” she says.
“The city council gives a percentage of the uncommitted revenue to the schools. So, the more that is brought in, the more that is given to the schools and the services that Manassas Park provides.”
In a few instances, Wood says that citizens will come to the office because the Department of Taxation may not have a record of their payment, thus denying an income tax refund. In that situation, Wood says that they always keep a receipt of income tax payments in order to ensure that the citizens and the city government remain accountable and fair with one another.
“If the payments are processed and taken to the treasures office, the tax payer can come back and get a receipt,” she says, “We’ve had that happen four or five times over the past few years, so we have been able to provide that service to our citizens.”
Wood has run both opposed and unopposed since she first took office in 1999. She says the community aspect of her business will be important to voters when they head to the polls in November.
“We’re such a small city that a lot of us know each other by name or by face,” she says.
“I enjoy working with the people here in the office and I enjoy working with the citizens of Manassas Park.”