Our Mission (What We Do!)
"We are working to earn the public's trust and confidence by providing
the best in customer service, assured quality and the efficient use of public funds."
Our Vision (What We Want To Be!)
"To treat our customers with such professionalism and concern that we change
their perception of government."
Our Shared Values (Who We Are!)
is striving to be honest, reliable, respectful, ethical and fair. The Polk County
Tax Collector’s Office believes integrity is critical in gaining the trust
and confidence needed to be successful in serving each other and our customers.
is the introduction of something new that converts knowledge and ideas into benefits.
The Polk County Tax Collector’s Office believes in using innovation to bring
about creative and progressive techniques to streamline the services we provide.
is the commitment to be responsible for one’s actions. The Polk County Tax
Collector’s Office believes we must be accountable to each other, our organization,
and to the people we serve. We commit to be transparent in our actions and results.
is an awareness and understanding of an individual’s situation with a desire
to help. The Polk County Tax Collector’s Office believes that, as public servants,
our job is to be sensitive to the needs of people in our community and approach
our work with the compassion to help others.
is using the unique talents of individuals in a collaborative manner and working
toward a common goal. The Polk County Tax Collector’s Office believes we should
treat one another with respect, openness and encourage teamwork. We believe a group
of committed, thoughtful people working together will achieve extraordinary results.
Our Focus Points (How We Do It!)
means providing the best service through meeting or exceeding our customer’s
expectations, which impacts every decision we make and drives our ability to fulfill
is the outcome of high job satisfaction, the application of the individual’s
strengths, and positive supervisor relations in an open and trusting work environment.
means striving to maximize the efforts of our office in the timely delivery of services,
conservation of resources, innovation and creative problem-solving and streamlining
of policies and procedures to accomplish our objectives.
requires us to hold ourselves to the goals and standards that we have set forth
to the public, striving to maintain transparency in all we do, as fiduciary stewards
of the public’s trust.
involves establishing and communicating a clear vision, providing the information,
knowledge, and methods to realize that vision, while demonstrating our commitment
to the community.
Our Role As A Facilitator
"We team up with the customer to meet our common needs."
Constitutional Officers, County Government & Interaction
"Constitutional Officers" - The Clerk of the Court, Property Appraiser,
Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector are public officers as provided
for in Florida's Constitution. They have the plenary power of sovereignty under
the Constitution to carry out assigned duties of statewide importance and to do
so as an agent of the State of Florida in each county political subdivision. The
purpose of Constitutional Officers is to carry out specific uniform duties on behalf
of the State of Florida in areas that involve, but are not limited to, administration
of court system, collection of state fines, unbiased appraisal of property, consistent
collection of taxes, registration and titling of vehicles and other assets, administration
of all elections and the enforcement and detainment of violators of state and local
"County Government" - The Board of County Commissioners is responsible
for governing in areas or matters that are of local concern. As such, county government
functions to provide local services to the citizens of a county such as: local road
construction and maintenance, emergency management, animal control, building code
compliance, development planning, parks and recreation, health and social services,
"Interaction" - The Constitutional Officers and county government have
diverse fiduciary and statutory responsibilities. The Constitutional Offices and
county government often work together in areas where state and local concerns overlap.
More importantly, the Constitutional Officers and county government play an important
part in our fundamental system of checks and balances, which was designed to protect
citizens from abuses at the state and local level.
Providing State Services
The Tax Collector was first established by Florida's 4th Constitution in 1868.
As a Constitutional Office, Polk's Tax Collector currently provides state services
in the following areas:
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- Issuance of Driver Licenses; Vehicle, Vessel and Mobile Home Registration and Titling;
Collection of Sales Taxes; Issuance of Disabled Person Parking Placards; and, Distribution
of Revenues to State and Local Government
Department of Revenue
- Collection and Distribution of Ad Valorem Taxes (Real and Tangible Property) and
Non-Ad Valorem Assessments
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Sale of Licenses, Monitoring of Sub Agents, and Report and Distribute Revenues to
In addition to providing state services, the Tax Collector may also enter into contracts
for services with other governmental authorities and non-governmental entities.
The Tax Collector's Office provides compliance, collection and distribution
services for a number of governing authorities. Examples of such governing authorities
include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Board of County Commissioners (Non-Ad Valorem Assessments, Local Business Taxes,
Tourist Development Taxes, Utility Payments)
- Haines City Drainage District (Non-Ad Valorem Assessment)
- West Lakeland Water Control District (Non-Ad Valorem Assessment)
- Golden Lakes (Non-Ad Valorem Assessment)
- Florida Government Utility Authority (Non-Ad Valorem Assessment)
- Bridgewater Community Development District (Non-Ad Valorem Assessment)
How The Tax Collector's Office Is Funded
The Tax Collector's Office operates as a "fee office." This means
the Tax Collector's Office earns fees and commissions for the services rendered.
No governmental unit funds the Tax Collectors operations. Commissions or fees charged
to governmental units or individuals are in no way determined based on budget of
the Tax Collector's operations. Fees and commissions are established by the
Florida Legislature and are contained in the Florida Statutes.
For example: Water Management Districts are charged by the Tax Collector approximately
a 2% commission for each tax dollar distributed to them. The amount of this commission
is based on the assessed value and the millage rate established by each Water Management
District. Because of this, the Tax Collector's Office commissions can only increase
if the Property Appraiser increases values or the taxing authorities increase their
Subsequently, any increase in a taxing authority's commission expense to the
Tax Collector is caused by an increase in the Property Appraiser values or the taxing
authorities increase in millage rates.
When the Tax Collector's Office has an excess of revenues over expenditures,
they are remitted to each governmental unit in the same proportion as the fees paid.
How Tax Collector's Office Spending Is Reviewed
Since the Florida Department of Revenue is responsible for ensuring that the Tax
Collector has adequate funding to perform their statutory duties and because the
Tax Collectors Office is fee based the annual budget of the office is approved by
the Florida Department of Revenue. Any subsequent increases in the budget must also
be approved by the Florida Department of Revenue.
How Success Is Defined
The Tax Collector's Office defines its success through comprehensive monthly
evaluations known as
"Outline For Success" (OFS) and through a comparative review process.
OFS is a performance and accountability based plan that begins with the mission
of the Tax Collector's Office and seeks to address whether or not the Tax Collector's
Office is succeeding in its mission through numerous monthly performance measures