Every day hundreds of people work behind the scenes to keep Prince Edward County running. We are profiling a few of the people that are ‘here for our community.’
We continue the series by talking with Karie Baldwin, Tax and Revenue Services Administrator.
Can you start by giving an overview of your job?
Basically, my job is education. I educate property owners on all of the things that go into a tax bill. From how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) completes all assessments, to the classification of their property, to all the different programs, to the ultimate outcome of the annual tax bill. I am able to take all of those different factors and say, “this is why you owe this amount.”
As soon as council sets the rates and we have the school board rates from the province, we print the bills and send them out. We make the address changes, answer follow-up questions, set up payment plans, send information to the mortgage companies, etc. Basically, anything property-tax related, that’s what we do.
What do you like most about the job and working for the County?
Very often I am perceived as a “tax collector.” But I am really not. The best part of my job is education. It’s taking this jumbled mess and going: “this is how and this is why and this is what it comes out to.” The responses I get when I do that are often, “that makes more sense.”
How long have you worked with the County?
I have been with the County for just over six years. I started as the revenue service representative. I worked the front counter, taking the payments for the property taxes and water bills. And then this position opened up and I applied, and I have been happily here ever since.
I was interested in this position because I like to learn. I own property and I wanted to understand my tax bill. So this was the perfect opportunity for me to understand and translate that into regular terms to help people. I really enjoy the customer service aspect of the position.
How has COVID-19 impacted your work?
COVID put property taxes on hold for a time, as council deferred the issuing of the tax bills and the province placed all collection processes and assessment changes on hold. While this somewhat shifted my workload for a couple months, the increase of phone calls and emails kept me busy along with assisting with other duties in the office.
What do you enjoy most about the County?
I am a “multi-generation import.” My mom’s family has owned the same piece of property on Big Island since 1864. My dad’s family has been in Northport for many generations as well. My dad was a conservation officer so we moved away from the County before I was born, and I didn’t move back to the County with my family until Grade 8.
The best part, and I hear this a lot, is the relaxed pace of living. It’s not “go, go, go.” It’s more like, “we’ll get this done, let’s relax, take a step back, and let’s do it right and do it calmly.”
You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to live. Nature-wise, we’re surrounded water and the variety of beaches, from rock to sand to slate, is cool.
And it’s a really good community. When I went to high school at PECI I always wondered how my mom knew where I was and what I was doing. Now as a parent I understand. People are always looking out for you and your family.
Read more Here for our Community Profiles: