County office up for live chats

Treasurer's new feature offers taxpayers help online

By Emma Pettit
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Kathy Smith spent most of an hour chatting online with a bankrupt silver duck.

In fact, she spends most work days in the Pulaski County tax collector's office swapping messages with silver ducks, pink penguins and the occasional orange jellyfish.

Colors, animals and inanimate objects make up the screen names assigned to anyone who uses the office's live chat service. The program debuted a week before Oct. 16, this year's tax payment deadline.

On the county treasurer's home page, in the bottom left corner, is a red, circular button. Click it and a chat window pops up that resembles Facebook messenger.

On the receiving end is an agent in Debra Buckner's office. Buckner is Pulaski County's treasurer and the tax collector.

Chat users type in their tax-related queries and county officials, like Smith, a community liaison, answer them. It's available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, although people can leave messages at any hour. Read more.

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