New tax collector brings years of experience

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – With the retirement of longtime South Orange tax collector Aderonke Zaccheus on Tuesday, Nov. 30, the village has a new one in Irma Weir. A veteran of the department, Weir also worked in Maplewood before coming to South Orange in 2013.

“During that time, I served first as a principal tax clerk and then as a deputy tax collector before being appointed as the current tax collector. Prior to working for South Orange, I worked in the township of Maplewood tax office for several years,” Weir said in an email to the News-Record on Monday, Dec. 6. “Prior to entering local government, I was employed within the federal government for 17 years, for a total of 27 years of public service thus far.”

Weir has been on the job officially for only a week, but she’s been preparing for a while. Having worked in the department throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to take over the position while things aren’t quite back to normal yet.

“Taking over in the middle of the COVID pandemic has presented its challenges,” Weir said. “Thankfully, I have been able to rise to the occasion. With that said, I must give credit to a small group of my current peers and fellow department heads that have provided advice and technical support along the way. If these last two years haven’t taught me anything else, they have taught me that it is always important to show appreciation to those who extend their time and help to you, no matter the degree.”

Tax collectors handle all aspects of property taxes: billing, collecting, recording and enforcement.
“So if someone asks if I can waive interest on any given delinquent amount, I must always refer individuals to the standing New Jersey statutes, which clearly affirm that a municipal tax collector has no authority to reduce a tax or waive interest charges,” Weir said.

Weir said there isn’t anything she is planning on changing in the way the tax office in South Orange works, but she does encourage more residents to sign up for alerts and tax bill reminders. Communication is one of the things that makes her want to work in South Orange in the first place.

“From my very first day here, I can say that what struck me most was the level of communication that occurs amongst the employees across departments,” she said. “It makes the utmost sense that a well-informed staff that can share knowledge and effectively communicate with each other will have the ability to do the same for the residents of the community that they serve. Also, I appreciate the fact that my daily commute decreased substantially when I began working in the SOMA area.”