Travis County’s Bruce Elfant was named the 2017 Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year by the Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas. The state’s 254 tax assessor-collectors recognized Elfant contributions to his county, state and nation.
“It is said his success is validated by strong leadership, community participation, compassion and the upholding of public values,” said the association’s vice president, Linda Bridge of Bee County, as she announced the winner of the Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year during a luncheon Tuesday in the San Marcos Convention Center. “He embodies the spirit of excellence in public stewardship and consistently demonstrates a deep devotion to public interest, civic duty and social justice.”
Elfant, who became Travis County’s tax assessor-collector in 2012, served on several of the association’s committees, including the one that works to further the group’s legislative agenda. “He has tirelessly represented our association during the past two legislative years…a constant presence at the capitol testifying and representing our legislative platform,” Bridge said.
The association also recognized him as an innovative leader, being the first to use the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, which allows commercial businesses and nonprofit groups to secure low-cost, long-term financing for energy conservation projects, and for his vision at instituting an online mapping service that shows what county areas have the least registered voters. He was also lauded as being the first county to fully pilot WebDealer, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ online titling and registration service for auto dealers.
Prior to becoming the tax assessor-collector, Elfant worked as a Travis County constable where he was one of the driving forces behind “Veterans Court,” which allows military veterans, many suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries, to receive treatment instead of county jail time for certain offenses.
Elfant believes it is important to give back to the community where he lives. He has volunteered to serve on numerous committees, many of them dedicated to stopping family violence and helping victims of domestic abuse, including leadership roles on the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force, U.S. Census Complete Count Committee and Community Action Network Community Council.
His many achievements include awards for Elected Official of the Year and the Public Innovation Award from the Central Texas Society of Professional Administrators; Constable of the Year by the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas; Best Practice Award for exceptional delivery of services by the Texas Association of Counties; Person of the Year by the Women’s Advocacy Project; the Partnership Award from the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities; and the Trailblazer Award from the Indian-American Coalition of Texas.
However, Elfant said being the recipient of the Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year Award is a special honor.
“In this age of political rancor and divisiveness, the state’s tax assessor-collectors, who are elected Democrats and Republicans, are a shining example of how people from different parties can work together,” Elfant said. “We can engage in healthy debate on issues that impact our offices, but we respect each other and are always unified under a singular goal to deliver exceptional customer service to the people we serve in our counties.”
Elfant’s name was placed into nomination for the award by Larry Gaddes, the Williamson County tax assessor-collector.
“I am humbled, grateful, proud and thankful to the state’s tax assessor-collectors for naming me the 2017 Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year,” Elfant said.
View news release (PDF).