County Treasurer: ‘We are busy all the time’

LeFlore County Treasurer April Caughern speaks to members of the Poteau Kiwanis Club during the local civic organization’s weekly meeting Thursday afternoon at Western Sizzlin. PDN photo by David Seeley
David Seeley
PDN Editor

LeFlore County Treasurer April Caughern indeed deals with money and finances, but a lot of people may not know just in what ways. She explained all that to the Poteau Kiwanis Club at the local civic organization’s meeting Thursday afternoon at Western Sizzlin.
“Primarily, most people think we collect taxes, and that is the biggest thing we do,” Caughern said. “What brings in the most revenue in Poteau is your tax collections. That’s the biggest thing people know we do is we take your money for taxes.”
Caughern, who has been county treasurer since 2016 and has worked in the LeFlore County Treasurer’s office since 2002, said a lot of people believe their taxes help go toward road repairs. Not so.
“Of all the money that comes in, none of it goes to your roads,” she said. “We get so many people come in and say, ‘I hate paying these taxes because my road has potholes.’ That’s not me (LeFlore County Treasurer’s office). You need to call your (County) Commissioner.”
Caughern said her staff can almost call themselves bankers.
“I work, basically, like a single row of bankers to the whole county, all the entities — the (LeFlore) County Commissioners, your courts, when you pay fines, when there’s drug seizures,” Caughern said. “For instance, the DA’s (District Attorney’s) office brings us all their money, and we hold it. We balance it — every single month to the penny. It’s a lot of money we handle.”
There’s also sales taxes Caughern’s office collect, which currently in LeFlore County is two cents. The Solid Waste Department, the jail bond and Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center each receive a half-cent of the two cents. The remaining half cent is split between the jail fund and rural fire departments — with each getting a quarter-cent of the two-cents sales tax.