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Former Mineral County commissioner to help county collect taxes

By Liz Beavers
[email protected]
Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER, W.Va. – A former Mineral County resident will be retained to help the county collect its delinquent taxes.

Mineral County coordinator Drew Brubaker said recently that Stephen Sluss, an attorney from Scott Depot, West Virginia, “is ready to represent Mineral County” in pursuing unpaid taxes.

Sluss, who is originally from the Frankfort District and served on the county commission prior to taking a job with the Putnam County assessor’s office, currently has a private practice in the areas of elder law, estate planning and county government consulting.

According to commission president Richard Lechliter, Mineral County “has a good amount” of delinquent taxes, and having someone to take the lead in collecting them would “take the burden off the sheriff.“
West Virginia state law places the burden of serving as the county’s chief tax collector on the position of sheriff.

Lechliter explained that Sluss will be paid for his services out of the taxes collected.

“It doesn’t cost us anything,” he said, adding that 10 percent of the total amount collected goes to Sluss – if the property owner pays up in the first round of collection, which consists of a letter being sent to the owner.

If a lawsuit has to be filed, Sluss will receive 15 percent, and if the case goes to trial, the payment is 20 percent.

Once the attorney is paid and the case is closed, the remaining funds are distributed to the county and board of education.

“Steve’s done this for other counties,” Lechliter said, “and it’s worked out well.”

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