Where they stand Q&A: Debra Carnes


Why are you running for office?

I want to utilize my experience and knowledge in government finance to be an advocate for all of the Hancock County residents. The efficiency of work that is provided from the county auditor’s office is crucial for the disbursement of funds to all taxing units. I seek to manage the auditor’s office much like I ran the recorder’s office — successfully, efficiently and with controls that protect our tax dollars.

What makes you a qualified candidate for the position?

My combined experience of over 25 years in the corporate world, real estate and county government has provided me with the necessary skills to be your next county auditor. I have developed and implemented internal controls, prepared financial reports, including cost analysis and maintained government budgets. My knowledge with government finance, claims, reconciliation, tax sale deeds, land transfers and tax deductions are a few of the skills that make me a qualified candidate. These skills combined with my strategic management style and my dedication to continue to be a proactive public servant make me the more qualified candidate.

What are your top three goals for the position?

1. To expand the research and collection process for the Homestead Compliance Fund through cross training and utilization of current staffing levels.

2. I will launch a disabled veterans research project aimed at identifying disabled veterans eligible for a property tax deduction.

3. Implement additional online deduction services at no cost to the county and shifting the vetting of submitter’s liability to the vendor.

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Name: Debra Carnes

Age: 50

Party: Republican

Office sought: Hancock County auditor

Occupation: Hancock County recorder

Political experience: Elected 2 terms as the Hancock County Recorder and a four-time Republican State Delegate.

Family: Husband Jerry, two children