WARRENSBURG — Johnson County Collector Ruthane Small has announced that she will retire effective March 2, 2020, after 28 years.

The collector’s year end report Feb. 28 and an annual settlement is certified to the County Commission on the first Monday in March each year.

Small was elected to a seventh term in November 2018 with the term ending March 2023.

When a vacancy occurs in the middle of an elected official’s term, the governor will make an appointment to fill the position until the next general election.

In this instance, the collector’s seat will appear on the August 2020 primary and November 2020 presidential ballots

“I have always campaigned and believed in two basic principles: doing a good job and doing the right thing,” Small said. “I hope that is how I will be remembered. I have given my all to Johnson County, serving the citizens in a responsible and respectful way by proving courteous, efficient, progressive and accountable service. I strive for not just getting by but always getting better. I have continued to make improvements in the office each year.”

Over the last 28 years, there have been many changes in the County Collector’s Office and duties of the collector.

The collector’s 1992 annual report included $9 million in collections.

The 2018 annual report stated more than $48 million in collections.

In 1999, Small was one of the first county collectors in Missouri to send paid tax information to the Department of Revenue to allow all license bureaus in the state access to review Johnson County paid tax information for vehicle licensing purposes.

Small served as president of the Missouri County Collector’s Association from 2000 to 2001.

She also served four years on the Local Record’s Board for the Secretary of State’s office.

During that time, she updated the County Collector’s Retentions Manual.

In 2003, Small designed and implemented tax bills to print on laser printers.

Her design is currently being used by approximately 20 other counties in the state.

And in 2007, she led the way by creating a cover sheet that itemizes and adds the total of multiple bills included in a mailing.

In 2009, Small created the Johnson County Collector’s website.

In addition to being able to pay taxes online and reprint tax receipts, the website includes general information regarding taxes including definitions and how taxes are determined and calculated.

Rather than hiring someone to design the website, Small used a simple program to create and maintain the website herself in order to update information frequently at no additional expense.

In 2017, Small moved the collector’s office from the Courthouse to the Johnson County South Annex, 1310 S. Maguire St.

The current location offers parking, ground-level entry and three drive-thru lanes for tax payments.

“I am humbled and honored to have served as Johnson County Collector,” Small said. “I never took my job for granted and want to thank the voters for keeping me in office. I have often heard that you will know when it is time to retire. Well, it is time. It is time to put family first instead of juggling to make it all work. I look forward to retirement.”

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