Phyllis Adams, Yadkin County tax administrator, was presented the prestigious award of The Order of The Long Leaf Pine. This is the most prestigious award conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. It is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the state of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina. Among the honors and awards the Governor of North Carolina can bestow, none is more valued than The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
Adams was presented the award on behalf of Governor Roy Cooper by North Carolina House of Representative from Yadkin County, attorney Lee Zachary, at her retirement reception on Oct. 19. Adams has given 38 years of service to the citizens of Yadkin County as the tax assessor and 17 years as the tax collector. She holds the title of the longest serving tax assessor in the state. She was awarded the prestigious Assessor of the Year Award in 2016. She has served on many boards for the county and in many state positions with the North Carolina Tax Collector Association and with the North Carolina Association of Assessing Officers, serving as the president of the association in 2007-2008.
As the tax assessor and tax collector for Yadkin County, she has seen many changes over the years. She has also been an encourager to the boards of commissioners she has served in new and better ways to serve the public. Just a few of the changes and projects she was involved in are:
• Introduced computerization to the county tax office and subsequent other county departments of the county beginning in 1980.
• Introduced bulk mailing and the outsourcing of the listing and billing processing and mailing to save cost for the citizens of Yadkin County.
• Instrumental in encouraging the county commissioners to contract with a company to fly the county for a county mapping project in 1981. The county now has GIS which is used by departments of county government, including the sheriff’s office, EMS, health department, building inspections, tax department, planning department, all towns of Yadkin County, surveyors, Realtors, attorneys, Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce, other businesses and individuals.
• Introduced the concept of doing in-house revaluations to the commissioners that would save the citizens of Yadkin County thousands of dollars and would also be done by employees of the tax office which would take the stigma of an outside company placing values on Yadkin County properties. The county has now successfully conducted four in house revaluations.
• Also encouraged the board of commissioners to appoint a separate Board of Equalization and Review to hear value appeals.
• Encouraged the county commissioners to apply for the contract with the Department of Motor Vehicles to open the local License Plate Agency when the one in Yadkin County closed due to the retirement of the contractor. She felt the county citizens deserved to have a tag office in the county so they would not have to travel to surrounding counties for this service. The county commissioners agreed to allow the tax office to make application for the tag office. The tag office contract was awarded and opened for business in June 2014.
Phyllis Adams retired Nov. 1. She has served 17 boards of commissioners and worked with 10 managers over her 38-year career.