Opinion No. 1989-016

H.G. Foster

Attorney General of Arkansas — Opinion
May 2, 1989

STEVE CLARK, Attorney General

The Honorable H.G. Foster Prosecuting Attorney P.O. Box 341 Marshall, AR 72650

Dear Mr. Foster:

This is in response to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John C. Aldworth’s request for an opinion regarding the office of Sheriff and ex-officio Collector of Taxes. The following specific question has been posed in this regard:

Whether the office of Sheriff and ex-officio Collector of taxes of Van Buren County can be separated, pursuant to Amendment 55 of the Arkansas Constitution and the County Government Code on Alternative Organizations (14-14-601, et seq.), so that the Collector’s office is a separate, independent office; and if so can it be either an elective office or an appointive office (under 14-14-608)?

It is my opinion that the answer to the first part of this question is “yes”; the office of Collector of Taxes may, pursuant to Amendment 55 to the Constitution of Arkansas, be created as a separate, independent office.

The answer to the second part of this question is a qualified “yes.” A review of various statutory provisions indicates that the office of Collector of Taxes is ordinarily an elective office. See, e.g., A.C.A. 14-14-1301(a)(6); 14-14-603(b)(2). It is therefore my opinion that procedures governing alternative county government organization proposals under A.C.A. 14-14-601, et seq. must be followed in order to establish the Collector of Taxes as an appointive office. These procedures include approval by the electors at a general election. A.C.A. 14-14-605.

The foregoing opinion, which I hereby approve, was prepared by Assistant Attorney General Elisabeth A. Walker.

cc: John C. Aldworth Deputy Prosecuting Attorney