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 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
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
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
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
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
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, Chief Deputy Tax Collector and/or the Chief Human Resource Officer for the Tax Collector's Office.