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TAX COLLECTOR NEWS

STEEP FINES FOR DELINQUENT OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES LOOMING


BARTOW, Florida/PR Free/February 14, 2006

The Polk County Tax Collector’s office reports that February 28, 2006 is the last day business owners can make late payments on their delinquent occupational licenses before incurring substantial penalties.

And, if the billboards around the county are any indication of how serious Tax Collector Joe Tedder has become, businesses will want to comply sooner than later.

Occupational licenses are required and must be renewed annually for all businesses operating in Polk County. Fees range from $30 to $300. However, the tax period for timely payment of the 2005-06 license ended on September 30th, 2005, causing an additional 25% penalty plus a $5 collection cost for late payments made in February.

As of February 28th, delinquent business accounts will be subject to a 100% penalty, additional collection costs and attorneys fees. Moreover, those who fail to renew their license prior to March 1, 2006 may be listed as a non-compliant business and/or delinquent account holder in a publication of general circulation or a public advertisement.

This year, in an attempt designed to educate business owners of their obligation, the tax office has launched a countywide campaign. “In January, overdue notices were mailed out at the same time we put up some posters around the county” stated Tedder.

“Since the 2004 occupational tax code revisions, we have made a consistent effort to inform Polk County business owners of those changes and their responsibility to voluntarily comply under the law”, he added.

The poster-size billboards are prominently-located around the county, and feature ‘Polkie, The Tax Dog’, a pug dog who reminds viewers, “If you are doing your business in Polk County, you need a license.”

Tedder’s office has also used their internet site, www.PolkTaxes.com and PGTV, the Polk Government television channel to carry the message as well.

Those who have yet to renew their county occupational license, and who have not received a delinquent notice, or those businesses that are operating in Polk County without benefit of a county occupational license should contact the Polk County Tax Collector’s office via email before February 28th at EconomicDevelopment or telephone (863) 534-4731.

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