Interim Appointment for Assessment and Taxation

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 22, 2021

Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Joe Nelson named interim director of Assessment and Taxation Department


Joe Nelson
County Administrator Tanya Ange appointed Joe Nelson this week to serve as interim director of the Assessment and Taxation Department beginning January 25. The appointment comes after Margaret Garza, the current director, announced her plan to officially retire and serve for a limited period as the department’s assistant director. 
Nelson, who is currently the manager of the department’s Appraisal Division, has served Washington County for nearly 30 years, beginning as an appraiser in 1992. Nelson recently worked as project manager for the department’s migration to its Orion computer system for managing appraisal and taxation data for over 200,000 accounts. Nelson earned a
bachelor’s degree in finance from Arizona State University. 
Margaret Garza
Garza’s retirement announcement comes after serving 25 years with the Washington County organization, including her role over the last 12 months as the director of Assessment and Taxation. Prior to her work with the Assessment and Taxation Department, Garza worked for five years at the Washington County Fair Complex (now Westside Commons), three of those years as chief executive officer.  

“Joe is widely respected in his department and field of work here in Oregon and I am grateful for his willingness to take this important interim assignment,” said Ange. “I’m also grateful for Margaret’s outstanding service for more than two decades, including her willingness to continue for 12 more months to help with the leadership transition in Assessment and Taxation.”

Washington County plans to initiate a recruitment for the director’s position soon.

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 is also charged with conducting elections and issuing and recording official documents. The department has an annual budget of $15.3 million and is staffed with 117 full-time equivalent positions.

Media Contact:

Philip Bransford, Communications Officer