About Tax Collectors
Tax Collectors in Florida are independent constitutional officers duly elected by their fellow citizens and taxpayers in their counties of residence. Tax Collectors deal with a variety of duties and responsibilities and provide a myriad of important public services that allow them to exercise valuable leadership roles in government. They direct, plan, organize, budget, set and implement policies which affect not only their local government, but also reach the state level as well.
Along with their own local involvement in personnel and financial management matters, Tax Collectors participate in the management of the executive branch of state government that include the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of Health, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is the Tax Collector who views all these departments as a whole and accordingly is able to coordinate and analyze their collective impact on their home county.
When drafting tax legislation and establishing rules and regulations for carrying out laws regarding the collection of taxes, staff members from the various state departments along with state legislators draw heavily on the Tax Collectors' broad knowledge base.
Tax Collectors are the only locally elected officials who come into contact with almost every citizen. You can find your tax collector's information and website here.
Provisions and Terms of Office
The 1885 Florida State Constitution established the elected county office of Tax Collector. It was based on the ideal that local taxes could best be collected at the local level and, by being an elected officer, the Tax Collector would be more responsible to the needs of the community in which he was elected. In most counties, the Tax Collector is responsible for the collection of Ad Valorem Taxes, the single largest tax collected in Florida; as well as the collection of other local taxes, such as taxes imposed by special levying districts and taxes imposed by state agencies. Tax Collectors are elected for four-year terms at the general election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and every four years thereafter.
Budget and Salary
In most counties, the Tax Collector is a fee officer and the office budget is reviewed and approved through the Department of Revenue. Increases must be justified, and the Tax Collector must budget within the confines of the commissions and fees the office receives for the various services performed. In this way, the office is a business, which must operate as efficiently as possible while still providing each citizen with the service he or she deserves. At the end of the year, surplus fees not required for operating expenses are returned to the County Commission, and other taxing authorities.
An elected constitutional Tax Collector’s salary is set forth by the Florida Statutes and is based primarily on the population of the County.