Tax Collector History
Tax Collectors are independent constitutional officers duly elected from their counties of residence by their fellow citizens and taxpayers. It is this independence coupled with the fact that Tax Collectors deal with a variety of duties and responsibilities and provide a myriad of important public services, that allow them to exercise valuable leadership roles in Florida’s government.
The elected county office of Tax Collector in Florida was established in the 1885 State Constitution based on the idea that local taxes could best be collected at the local level. By being an elected office the Tax Collector would be more responsible to the needs of the community from which he was elected.
Along with their involvement in their own personnel and financial management matters, Tax Collectors participate in the management of the executive branches of state government which include the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Department of Revenue.
The Tax Collector sees all of these departments as a whole and, consequently, is able to coordinate and analyze the impact they have collectively. Staff members from various departments of state along with state legislators should and do draw heavily on the broad base of knowledge accumulated by the Tax Collectors in drafting tax legislation and establishing rules and regulations for carrying out the laws regarding the collection of taxes.
General Duties and Responsibilities
The Office of Tax Collector is authorized by Florida’s Constitution, as a separate entity from other County Departments or Agencies. The Tax Collector is elected by the Electors of Alachua County and is privileged to serve four year terms.
The Tax Collector is an agent for various state and local government agencies, for the collection of revenue and public funding. It is the responsibility of the Tax Collector to invest these revenues and funds, pending their timely distribution, to various state, local agencies, and taxing authorities.
The Tax Collector operates as a “fee officer”, which means a fee or commission is earned for the services rendered. These fees and commissions are outlined in the Florida Statutes, and established by the Florida Legislature. The annual budget must be approved by the Florida Department of Revenue, and includes any amendments made during each fiscal year. Excess fees are remitted to each government agency, in the same proportion as they were paid, at the end of each fiscal year.
Detailed Duties and Responsibilities
Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem Taxes
The Tax Collector is responsible for collecting and distributing taxes, from information provided on the annual tax roll, which is provided by the Property Appraiser’s Office. The Ad Valorem tax roll consists of real estate taxes and tangible personal property taxes. Non-Ad Valorem assessments are primarily assessments for fire services and solid waste collection and disposal. The collection of taxes, as well as the assessment, is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Florida Department of Revenue, and Florida Statutes. These taxes are collected; beginning November 1st each year, and become delinquent April 1st. Discounts are given for early payment.
On or before June 1st each year, the Tax Collector holds a tax certificate sale, on properties with unpaid real estate taxes. The purpose of the sale is to collect unpaid taxes on behalf of the numerous taxing authorities. A tax certificate represents a lien on the property. When a tax certificate is redeemed, the Tax Collector is responsible for remitting the funds to the certificate holder. Funds for a County held certificate are dispersed to the different taxing authorities.
Note: Real Estate Taxes and Tangible Personal Property Taxes may be paid in installments. You may download the application, or stop by the Main Office and pick them up. For more information please call the Main Office, 352-374-5236
Tangible Personal Property Taxes
This is a tax levied against equipment, furniture, and supplies of a business, or attachments to a mobile home located in a mobile home park. The assessed value is determined by the Property Appraiser, and the tangible roll is then certified to the tax Collector for collection. The statements are mailed at the same time as real estate bills, and receive the same discounts.
Note: Real Estate Taxes and Tangible Personal Property Taxes may be paid in installments. You may download the application, or stop by the Main Office and pick them up. For more information please call the Main Office, 352-374-5236.
Local Business Tax
A Local Business Tax is a miscellaneous tax imposed by local government, in accordance with county ordinance, which also charges the Tax Collector with the responsibility of collection and disbursement of fees. The Receipt grants the privilege of engaging in or managing a business, the fee for these Receipts is $ 52.50-$ 525.00 per year. The receipt expires September 30th each year and is renewable on or before October 1st.
Tourist Development Tax
Florida Legislature amended the “Local Option Tourist Development Act”, to allow for collection and administration of the tourist tax at the local level. The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance, which provides for collection, and administration of the tourist tax, and charged the Tax Collector with the duty of collection and distribution.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
As an agent for The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Tax Collector is responsible for the sale of hunting and fishing permits. There are agencies, such as retail outlets, fishing tackle retailers, and others located around the County to assist in the sale of these permits.
As an agent for The Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for issuance of automobile license plates/decals, mobile home decals, disabled persons parking permits, vessel decals, and title applications where applicable. The Tax Collector is responsible for maintenance of records, reporting sales, accounting for inventory, and dispersing monies collected in a timely manner to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The issuance of registrations and title applications is done in accordance with rules and regulations of the Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, and Florida Statutes.
As an agent for The Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for the issuance of Driver Licenses. The Tax Collector is responsible for maintenance of records, accounting for inventory, and dispersing monies collected in a timely manner to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The issuance of Driver Licenses is done in accordance with rules and regulations of the Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, and Florida Statutes. The Tax Collector is also responsible for clearing Driver License suspensions and revocations, conducting driving tests, and issuing written tests for Driver Licenses in accordance with Florida Statutes.
Sales tax is required, by Florida Statute, at 6% of the purchase price, less trade-in, on vehicle, vessel or mobile home purchases. As an agent for The Florida Department of Revenue, the Tax Collector is responsible for collection, and disbursement of this state sales tax.
More detailed information on each of these services is provided throughout this web site. You may also, call our office at 352-374-5236 or e-mail us at email@example.com