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TDA Bulletin


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 JOE G. TEDDER, CFC - Tax Collector for Polk County, Florida


The Tourist Development Academy is the educational arm for the

Polk County Tax Collector's Office.  The Academy hosts informational

programs focusing on current regulatory and compliance issues that

most affect vacation home owners and managers.

TDA MISSION: To advise, educate and inform providers of accommodations in Polk County, Florida.

  Issue: # 10

May 2, 2011


Sheriff Hosts Tourist Development Academy


TDA 212011
Representative Kelli Stargel with Tax Collector Joe Tedder and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

Representative Kelli Stargel was the special guest speaker and she shared some of the legislative issues that she was working on for the upcoming session.  She was also interested in learning about other concerns from the management companies and a fruitful question and answer period brought forth an informative discussion

Tax Collector Joe G. Tedder spoke briefly on some of the issues brought up by Rep. Stargel and then Tax Collector staff addressed updates to tax collection, led by Chris Rudolph, Artis Dukes and Martha Roe Burke.  Similar to previous meetings, tax collector staff sought feedback from the attendees on issues of concern.  Small group discussion followed and several issues were raised which will be addressed in future meetings, such as
the new garbage collection schedule for vacation rental homes, progress with electronic tax filing, security alarm systems issues, etc.  For more information and upcoming events, visit the Tax Collector website, by clicking on this link. 
Tax Collector Main Menu





Tax Collector issues "Notice of Violations" for non-compliant local businesses

Artis Dukes, CFCA, CPM, CBTO, Director of Economic Development Taxes and Enforcement, announced recently that deputies would be canvassing the county, citing business accounts for non-compliance violations.  Deputies are out now, identifying those businesses currently non-compliant, by affixing large, bright yellow stickers to the entrance of the business establishment.  Management and/or individual homeowners must have a current county Business Tax Receipt (formerly Occupational License) and it must be conspicuously displayed, in order to avoid being served notice. A link to the schedule of delinquency penalties and charges is at the right.  For more information, contact the Tax Collector's office, by calling (863) 534-4700, toll free (855) POLK-TAX or (855)765-5829, or by emailing the office at [email protected]

Forced escrow procedure underway for delinquent tourist development tax account holders

Christopher Rudolph, CFCA, CPM, CBTO, Chief Deputy, Enforcement and Compliance, reported at the TDA event in February reguarding enforcement regulations that will be tightening for chronically-delinquent tax account holders.  Purveyors of overnight accommodations in Polk County are required to collect and remit a local tourism tax.  This tax is due and payable on the first of each month, falling delinquent if not received by the 20th.  Polk County Tax Collector's Office is in the process of petitioning the courts to provide legal remedy for the collection of those "chronically-delinquent accounts", which will enable the Tax Collector to assess and require those businesses with delinquent back bed taxes to pay a monthly fee to an escrow account.  Stay turned for more information.



TDA Announces Upcoming Webinar and Fall Forum to deal with vacation home management issues

A webinar will be hosted by the Polk County Tax Collector's Office this summer, as a continuation of our TDA Home Owner Education Series of informative programs for absentee owners.  

Then, in the fall, we will be "Talking Trash", the title of our Fall Forum, also hosted by the Polk County Tax Collector's Office.  Recently, during the feedback portion of the TDA seminar, management companies indicated that they had not been able to provide input to the county when the recent changes to garbage pick-up were enacted.  In order to work through the issues, a panel discussion will be held, bringing together stakeholders and government officials, to discuss how best to meet the needs of the vacation home industry's waste collection.  To find out more about these events, go to the Tax Collector's website


SOC 2010Seal Of Compliance Going Strong

The TDA reminds vacation home companies that new applications for 2012 Seal of Compliance is now open and work is underway to review, improve and further streamline the application process.  The Tax Collector's SEAL OF COMPLIANCE (SOC) is a designation earned by management companies that represent one or more tourist development tax accounts on file with the Polk County Tax Collector's Office and who have met or exceeded the industry specific criteria established relating to local tax compliance. Participation in the program is voluntary.

For an entire listing of current 2011 SOC holders and to learn more about the distinction, click on the link to the right.

CFVRMA Header 

CFVRMA To Launch Home Management Certification Program

Recently CFVRMA announced plans to provide a certification program for the vacation rental managers industry.  We caught up with current CFVRMA President Colin Young, who says, "the purpose for this certification program is to try and take the entire vacation home management industry up a notch." 

Plans are underway for 4-5 different modules, he says, each dealing with different facets of management, including the steps to become a property manager, registering for state and local taxes and a checklist to become compliant, what to look for and when to call on specific home-related issues, and ethics and legal/financial considerations.  Young says that the program should be up and running late this year and that the CFVRMA will be developing the specific criteria for certification in the meantime. 

He was quick to add that the Tourist Development Academy seminars hosted by the Tax Collector's Office are highly recommended and will be part of the suggested curriculum.  For more information on the CFVRMA, call the Association Manager, Judy Braland at 407-201-0120.

CFVRMA website

Polk Sesque

Polk's Sesquicentennial Celebration

Polk County kicked off its Sesquicentennial Anniversary (150 years) celebration on February 8, 2011 at the Polk County Historical Museum in Bartow, Florida.  Throughout the year, events are being held to commemorate the occasion and to chronicle Polk's exceptional history.
To mark the occasion, the Tax Collector's Office is featuring its historical contribution to "Imperial" Polk County, which can be seen by clicking on this link:Polk County's Tax Collector History

Tell us how we are doing!

The Economic Development Tax and Enforcement Department recently launched a customer satisfaction survey for business customers seeking services at the Tax Collector's Office.  Check out the link here and let us know how we are doing!  Process improvement needs your feedback to work! 

A New Look

If you haven't been to the Tax Collector's website recently, you might notice something different.  Recently, a "quick access home front page" was created, to further expediate those actions most frequently needed by our online customers.  Our standard home page is still there behind it.  Check it out!  Tax Collector Fast Access Page

Polk County Tax Collector's Office

Joe G. Tedder, CFC

Tax Collector for Polk County


Artis Dukes, CFCA, CPM

Director, Economic Development Services

[email protected]


Martha Roe Burke, CFCA, CPM

Director, Compliance & Taxpayer Affairs

[email protected]


In This Issue
TDA Spring Seminar Yields Valuable Feedback
New Business Tax Updates
Upcoming TDA Events
Quick Links

Vacation Rental HomeOwners Guide


2011 Seal of Compliance Holders


Penalties for Non-Compliant Businesses


Polk County Celebrates



Polk 150

Click on this link to see the history of the Tax Collector's Office
Polk's History


 [email protected]  


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and Facts!

 -  Mail your tax payment by the 10th of each month!


-  Business Tax renewals due beginning July 1st   and on or before September 30th 


-  Tell Us How We Are Doing!!