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  • Ethics Picture

 Ethics & Our Office

The Tax Collector's Office, in order to succeed in its Mission, which includes "earning the public's trust," is committed to meeting and/or exceeding the highest possible ethical standards, including Florida's Constitutional and Statutory provisions regarding ethics.


Ethics And The Tax Collector


Pursuant to Article II, SECTION 5 of Florida's Constitution, the Tax Collector has taken the following oath:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of Tax Collector on which I am now about to enter. So help me God."

The Tax Collector is subject to the ethics provisions in Florida's Constitution, under Article II, SECTION 8 - Ethics in Government.

The Tax Collector is also subject to provisions found in Chapter 112, Part III, of the Florida Statutes - Code of Ethics for Public Officer and Employees, which defines ethics violations, authorizes ethics investigations and findings by the Florida Commission on Ethic, and establishes penalties for ethics violations.

The Tax Collector is further subject to Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution, which empowers the Governor to suspend, and the Senate to remove, the Tax Collector for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony.

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 6.2 of the Polk County Charter the Tax Collector may be recalled for offenses specified in F.S. 200.361 for county commissioners, which are malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.


Ethics And Tax Collector's Office Employees


Deputies and employees of the Tax Collector's Office have taken the following oath pursuant to F.S. 876.05 - Public employees; oath:

"As a citizen of the State of Florida and of the United States of America, being appointed by or as an officer of the Polk County Tax Collector's Office, and a recipient of public funds as such, I do solemnly swear and affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida."

Deputies and employees of the Tax Collector's Office are also subject to the ethics provision found in the Tax Collector's Office Deputy Handbook:


TAX COLLECTOR'S CODE OF ETHICS FOR STAFF MEMBERS


1. No deputy may accept gifts that would influence their vote or actions.

2. No deputy may, as a representative of the Tax Collector, conduct business with agencies in which the deputy has an interest.

3. No deputy may accept any compensation or payment when given to influence a vote or action.

4. Public position may not be used for special privilege or benefit.

5. No deputy may be employed with a firm doing business with the Tax Collector.

6. No deputy may disclose or use information not available to the general public for personal gain or benefit.

7. A deputy must disclose their interest in or connection with any business which operates in the State.

8. No deputy may use notary public privileges paid for by the Tax Collector for financial gain.



Acting On Ethics Violations At The Tax Collector's Office


Evidence that the Tax Collector has engaged in malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony should be reported to the Governor. Such evidence may also be used to initiate a petition for recall through the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Evidence that the Tax Collector has violated specified state ethics laws should be provided in a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Evidence that a deputy or employee of the Tax Collector's Office has violated state ethics laws and/or the Tax Collector's Code of Ethics for Staff Members should be reported immediately to one or more of the following: The Tax Collector, Assistant Tax Collector, Chief Deputy Tax Collector and/or the Human Resources Director for the Tax Collector's Office.