The County Tax Collector is as independent government agency and is elected for a four-year term in the Presidential election year. It is essential that a County Tax Collector is independent to ensure that it can serve the taxpayers, local businesses and local and state agencies correctly.
The duties of a County Tax Collector are:
• Collecting property taxes for every local government agency with the power to levy taxes
• Serving the state as an agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Revenue and others
• Managing local revenue programs, such as issuing occupational licenses and collecting tourist development taxes
The County Tax Collector is a vital link between the citizens and the diverse programs that affect them and they have the authority and resources to manage both state and local revenue programs.
A County Tax Collector can have collections and distributions of billions of dollars annually. Handling this requires conveniently located offices, skilled employees, and innovative data systems to ensure that the County Tax Collector functions efficiently and, most importantly, works accurately.
Even though the revenues collected by the County Tax Collector are mostly taxes, the County Tax Collector is not funded from tax dollars but is a fee office. The fees collected for the services provided by the County Tax Collector are used to fund the operating budget, which is approved by the State’s Department of Revenue. Unfortunately, the work volume of a County Tax Collector, along with cost-effective operations, normally results in fee revenues that are well in excess of the budget. The excess fees are returned to the local government agencies in proportion to the amount they pay by the County Tax Collector so that they receive tax collection services at the lowest possible cost.
Amongst other issues, the County Tax Collector bills and collects real and personal property taxes for the Department of Revenue. The actual amount of the tax is based on the assessed value of the property and the mileage rate, which is set by various taxing authorities. They also issue state motor vehicle licenses and processes applications for titles on automobiles, trucks, mobile homes, and boats on behalf of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Most tax personnel have some form of Municipal Tax Collector Qualification that is sponsored by local government services. This is because a tax collector has many legal obligations and financial responsibilities that must be met in a timely manner. Achieving the status of Qualified Tax Collector indicates that an individual has proven his or her competence, knowledge and professionalism in the field.