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Margaret Garza, business manager since 2001, will take over temporarily when Rich Hobernicht retires Jan. 24 after more than 14 years.

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY - Margaret Garza will lead Washington County's Department of Assessment and Taxation on an interim basis after Rich Hobernicht retires Jan. 24. She has been its business manager since 2001.Margaret Garza, a veteran of Washington County government, will be the interim director of the Department of Assessment and Taxation starting Jan. 25.

County Administrator Robert Davis, in one of his final actions before his own retirement Dec. 31, named Garza to succeed Rich Hobernicht. Hobernicht retires Jan. 24 after more than 14 years in the position, which he was named to following a 25-year career with the Army Corps of Engineers. Davis, Hobernicht and retiring Board Clark Barbara Hejtmanek were honored Dec. 17.

Garza has been the department's business manager since 2001.

"Margaret is widely respected throughout the county organization and she will do a great job guiding the department during this interim period," Davis said in a statement.

A nationwide search is on to fill the position.

As business manager, Garza helps prepare and administer the department's $15.3 million annual budget, designs the department's performance measures and serves on the steering committee to implement improved technology for property tax collection. Prior to that, Garza worked at the Washington County Fair Complex for five years, three of which was as chief executive officer.

Early in her career, Garza worked as a business consultant, a revenue officer with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and as a police dispatcher and administrative assistant with the City of Hillsboro.

Garza earned two undergraduate degrees from Lewis & Clark College, one in Spanish literature and another in business administration.

Washington County's Department of Assessment and Taxation is responsible for property tax appraisals and collection on behalf of 57 taxing districts within the county. The department, staffed with 118 full-time equivalent positions, is also charged with conducting elections and issuing and recording official documents.

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