Franklin County Collector of Revenue Linda Emmons violated state law each time she adjusted property values or abated taxes for certain taxpayers, Assessor Tom Copeland alleged in a news release issued today.

“I have in my possession documents and reports which clearly show that Mrs. Emmons adjusted or abated the taxes of certain taxpayers,” Copeland stated.

Moreover, Copeland alleged that there were a few instances that stood out including Emmons allegedly abating all the taxes owed by a family member on a motor vehicle; and allegedly not forcing a former employer of Emmons’ husband to pay taxes on a 2007 Cadillac Escalade.

In the news release, Copeland also responds to statements Emmons made in a Wednesday article in The Missourian regarding the draft findings of an outside audit.

The draft findings of the audit found that tax abatements in the collector’s office have been occurring without following the proper approval process.

Emmons acknowledged that real estate tax bills have been adjusted through her office. But she said she was told by an official in the assessor’s office before Copeland took office that she had the statutory authority to issue taxpayer refunds if the assessor’s office had overcharged someone.

In the news release Copeland said, “I submit that improper conduct engaged in by Mrs. Emmons was ongoing before I took office. No one from the assessor’s office under my watch ever told Mrs. Emmons that she had the authority to change property values or taxes.”

Emmons said people were sent tax bills with huge valuation changes of 40 percent to 6,000 percent prior to Copeland taking office.

She said she was trying to help the taxpayers who were “screwed over” by the assessor’s office.