Florida County Constitutional Officer
Florida's Constitution authorizes the position of Tax Collector as an independent
unit of its political subdivisions, which are otherwise known as counties.
Joe G. Tedder
serves as Tax Collector for the state political subdivision
of Polk County.
The Tax Collector's responsibilities involve the collection of revenue and public
funding for a variety of state, regional, and local governmental agencies and taxing
authorities; the enforcement against delinquency in payment of such revenues and
funds; the distribution of such revenues and funds in a timely manner to various
state and local agencies and taxing authorities involved; the investment of public
funds pending distribution; the vigilant adherence to procedures designed to promote
fairness to the taxpayer and governmental efficiency and accountability in the collection,
enforcement, distribution, and investment of funds; and, serve as the most likely
contact on a daily basis with and between citizens and taxpayers and the various
state, regional, and local governmental agencies and taxing authorities.
As a position established by Florida's Constitution to complete a system of
checks and balances, the Tax Collector for Polk County serves the people of Polk
County and the State of Florida.
The Tax Collector is elected by the voters in Polk County to serve a four year term,
with no limit on the number of terms served.
The Tax Collector's Office is responsible for providing a wide range of services
to the citizens and taxpayers of Polk County on behalf of other governmental units.
These services consist primarily of the collection and administration of ad Valorem
taxes, non-ad Valorem assessments, driver license and identification card issuance,
motor vehicle taxes and registration/plate/decal issuance, county local business
taxes and receipt issuance, tourist development taxes, and hunting and fishing fees
and license issuance. These services are performed on behalf of 32 various local
governments and agencies of the State of Florida.
Each of these services provided are discussed in more detail as follows:
Ad Valorem Taxes and Non-Ad Valorem Assessments
The Tax Collector's Office is responsible for collecting and remitting the taxes
and assessments provided on the annual tax roll provided by the Property Appraiser's Office
and independent taxing authorities.
The Tax Collector's Office is not responsible for determining assessed values,
exemptions, taxable values or the tax rates. The tax roll includes real estate taxes,
tangible taxes, and non-ad Valorem assessments. Non-ad Valorem assessments consists
primarily of assessments for fire services, solid waste and yard trash collection,
disposal services and lighting districts.
The collections of these taxes and assessments are administered in accordance with
Florida Statutes and the rules and regulations of the Florida Department of Revenue
. These services are provided
on behalf of taxpayers, the Polk
County Board of County Commissioners
Polk County School Board
taxing districts (such as water management districts)
The Tax Collector's Office is required by the state to report to the Board of County Commissioners
the status of the current
tax roll within sixty days of the tax certificate sale.
Tax Certificate Redemptions
On or before June 1st each year, the Tax Collector's Office offers for sale tax
certificates on properties with unpaid real estate taxes. A tax certificate represents
a lien on the property. The purpose of the sale is to collect unpaid real estate
taxes on behalf of the numerous taxing authorities.
After the sale of tax certificates, the Tax Collector's Office is responsible
for handling the subsequent collections from the property owner and remitting the
funds to the certificate holder.
When County held certificates are redeemed by the property owner, the funds are remitted
to the various taxing authorities.
Motor Vehicle Transactions
The Tax Collector's Office processes motor vehicle title and registration transactions,
boat title and registration transactions, and various other transactions on behalf
of the Florida Department of
Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
. The Tax Collector's Office also collects
sales taxes on sales of motor vehicles and boats not involving licensed dealers
on behalf of the Department
Driver License Transactions
The Tax Collector's Office processes driver license transactions on behalf of the
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
in Polk County.
Click here for information about the driver license services available at each of the Tax Collector's Office Service Center locations.
County Local Business Taxes
The Tax Collector's Office administers the local business tax imposed by the
Board of County Commissioners
This tax is required of various individuals and enterprises doing business in Polk
Tourist Development Taxes
The Tax Collector's Office administers the tourist development tax imposed by
the Board of County Commissioners
This is a 5% tax on the transient or short-term rentals of accommodations.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
The Tax Collector's Office issues and is responsible for issuing hunting and
fishing licenses in the county on behalf of the
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Other Payment Processing Operations
The Tax Collector's Office currently processes mail-in payments for other governmental
entities in the areas of utility payments and municipal local business taxes.
Operating Revenues and Expenditures
The Tax Collector's Office for Polk County operates as a "fee office."
This means the Tax Collector's Office earns fees and commissions for the services
rendered. The fees and commissions are established primarily by the Florida Legislature
and are contained in the Florida Statutes.
The annual budget of the office is approved by the Department of Revenue
. Any subsequent increases in the budget
must also be approved by the
Department of Revenue
The excess of revenues over expenditures are remitted to each governmental unit
that paid fees to our office in the same proportion as the fees paid bear to the
total revenues of the office.
The Tax Collector and his office are first and foremost accountable to the citizens
and taxpayers of Polk County.
To insure that the Tax Collector remains primarily accountable to the people, the
Tax Collector's Office has undertaken a mission, whereby it is "working
to earn the public's trust and confidence by providing the best in customer
services through assured quality and the efficient use of public funds."
To succeed in its mission, the Tax Collector's Office has adopted an
"Outline For Success"
that seeks to measure operational performance,
including meaningful public evaluations, so that administrative measures can be
taken to initiate and maintain positive activities and/or appropriately address
shortcomings in customer services.