The Florida House and Senate showed strong bipartisan support of Tax Collectors with the passage of HB185. In fact, there was not a nay vote on this legislation at any point during the 2018 Legislative Session! The Florida Tax Collectors Association (“FTCA”) was honored to have two bright, hard-working, energetic and incredibly effective sponsors.
Representative Mariano showed an eagerness to understand the importance of this bill given that Tax Collectors lose money in providing driver license services. This loss is attributable to the fact that the state of Florida transitioned the provision of DL services to Florida’s Tax Collectors, but the Legislature has not fully updated the law to ensure that Tax Collectors receive the funds necessary to cover the cost of the various services. HB185 rectifies this disparity in the area of DL testing and reinstatement services. Accordingly to the House staff analysis of HB185, this proposal will generate approximately $4.9 million for Tax Collectors across the state. These funds are much needed across the state to ensure excellence in customer service provision. Importantly, these redirects come out of existing funds so that HB185 had no adverse impact on Florida’s citizens or upon the state General Revenue Fund.
Sharon Jordan, President of FTCA stated: “we are thankful to our sponsors and to the Florida Legislature for making HB185 a priority this year.” Michael Corrigan, Chairman of the FTCA Legislative Committee thanked: “the entire legislative team and the hard work of our amazing sponsors and their respective staffs. What an honor to work with the Florida legislature on such meaningful legislation that will help Tax Collectors continue to serve our citizens.”
Senator Book never waivered in working SB322 through the Senate process. The Senator has risen quickly to become a champion of the Florida Senate. Senator Book said: “I love working with Tax Collectors and was thrilled to carry this bill which provides much needed resources for the provision of state services at the local level. Tax Collectors serve our citizens well with a paramount focus on excellence in customer service. These funds are much needed to ensure the continuation of these high levels of service.”
Representative Mariano said that she is:
Proud to have worked on this legislation that, at no cost to the consumer or impact on General Revenue, will provide lasting, high quality services to Floridians across the state. This bill will help citizens in the state of Florida by ensuring that Tax Collectors have the resources they need to provide driver license testing services. Tax Collectors take pride in delivering state services at the local level and are committed to serving the citizens with a prime focus on outstanding customer service.
House Bill 185 amends s. 322.12(1), F.S., to provide that when the Tax Collector administers a subsequent knowledge test, the Tax Collector retains the $10 fee minus the general revenue surcharge (which is currently 8 percent). Additionally, the bill amends s. 322.12(1), F.S., to provide that for a subsequent skills test administered by the tax collector, the Tax Collector retains the $20 fee minus the general revenue surcharge.
The bill also amends s. 322.21(8), F.S., to provide that when the Tax Collector processes the $45 fee received from a licensee for reinstatement of a driver license following a suspension, the Tax Collector retains $15 (minus the general revenue surcharge), $15 is deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, and $15 is deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Additionally, the bill provides that when the Tax Collector processes the $75 fee received from a licensee for reinstatement of a driver license following a revocation or disqualification, the tax collector retains $20 (minus the general revenue surcharge), $20 is deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, and $35 is deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
The Florida Tax Collectors Association would like to share its sincerest appreciation to both the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for its continued partnership and support of this proposal and also the Florida Legislature for its support and passage of HB185.
HB185 will now go to Governor Rick Scott. FTCA has been in communication with the Governor’s office and has shared important information about the importance of this legislation.