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 News Briefs


Taxpayers are Advised to Avoid the Crowds by Paying Early and Using Online or Mail-In Options

Joe Tedder estimates over 22,000 customers will come through their offices the last two weeks of the month, with December being the busiest month of the year for the Tax Collector’s Office. That’s because December 31 is the deadline for mobile home and heavy truck registration renewals, vehicle registrations for owners with December birthdays, as well as for those taking advantage of a 3% property tax discount if paid by the end of December.  In addition, office closings due to the holidays will reduce the hours of operation just when driver license customers, many of whom are students out for winter break, are seeking permits.

The Tax Collector’s Office reminds taxpayers that they will be closed for the holidays on Monday, December 25,  Tuesday, December 26, and Monday, January 1, 2018. Owners whose vehicle registrations and decals expire at the end of December are encouraged to conduct their renewal transactions by Friday, December 29, and reminded that expired motor vehicle registrations and license plates are subject to law enforcement citations.  

To renew vehicle registrations before the end of the month, or to qualify for the 3% property tax discount, motor vehicle and property owners must mail in their payment with a postmark stamped on or before Saturday, December 30, or, make an online payment at on or before December 31. (They may also visit one of the Tax Collector’s Service Centers on or before 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 if paying in person.)

This year, taxpayers may also opt to use the same day service, Express Pick-Up, to get their renewal decals the same day, by going online and completing their transaction before arriving at a service center.

To summarize, tax payments may be made in the following ways:

  • Pay via the internet at .Payments must be made on or before midnight Sunday, December 31.
  • Same day service via Express Pick-Up, via the Tax Collector website,
  • Pay by Mail: Payments must be postmarked on or before Saturday, December 30.
  • Pay in person at all service center locations: All payments must be received before 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
  • The American Legion Tag Agency in Winter Haven accepts property tax payments in their drop-box which is accessible in their lobby during business hours.

For more information, go to or call the Tax Collector’s Office at (863) 534-4700.


Tax Collector's Ofice Closed Thursday & Friday

The Tax Collector's Office will be closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The Tax Collector's Office will resume regular office hours on Monday, November 27.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Normal Office Hours Will Resume On Monday, November 13, 2017

The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County will be closed on Friday, November 10 in Observance of Veteran’s Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017. Normal office hours will resume on Monday, November 13, 2017.

The Tax Collector’s Office reminds veterans of important information, discounts, and benefits for those residents who have served or are in service in our nation’s military.  For more veteran information, click on this link:

The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County would like to take this opportunity to thank our veterans for their service to our country by providing a USA Flag lapel pin when they visit our office.



Taxpayers Should Be Receiving Notices This Week


Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, reports that the 2017 Property Tax Notices to all of Polk County's property owners have been mailed.

"Property owners should be receiving their bills in the mail over the next few days," says Tedder. 

Each year, Tedder and his staff announce the mailing of tax bills to property owners, knowing  that up to 1% of the bills each year will come back as “not deliverable” due to incorrect addresses.

Tedder reminds taxpayers their taxes are due, whether they receive a tax bill or not, citing Florida law which clearly places the burden of responsibility for payment of taxes on the property owner.

The only exception to this are those property owners who have opted to pay by an installment plan. For them, a November bill will not be sent; instead, they will be notified of third quarter installment payments due December 1.

Included in the mailing, the tax office also provides an informational insert to help answer taxpayer questions. The insert includes a listing of taxing and levying authorities and a brief description of taxes and/or assessments that may appear on the tax bill, as well as their telephone numbers.

Property owners who do not receive their property tax notice(s) by Monday, November 13, 2017 should contact the Tax Collector's Office.

Local callers may call (863) 534-4700; callers outside the local access area may call toll-free (855) 765-5829 [855-POLK-TAX].

Property owners can also go to, the official website for the Tax Collector for Polk County or the Tax Collector's payment portal,, where they can access and then print out a copy of their tax bill(s).

If paying:

BY MAIL - Please use the return envelope and make sure to mail the lower part of your notice form(s) to the Tax Collector's Office for validating when paying taxes.

ON-LINE - Go to www.PolkTaxes.comor www.ClickOrStick.comand follow the online payment directions.

IN PERSON -  Payments are accepted at the Tax Collector's Bartow Main Office, located at 430 E. Main Street; Lake Wales Service Center at 658 Highway 60 W.; and the North Ridge Service Center, located at 2000 Deer Creek Commerce Lane in Davenport.  In Lakeland, payments may be made at the Lakeland Service Center on 916 N. Massachusetts Avenue.

For customer convenience, tax payments may also be placed in a DROP BOX provided inside the American Legion Tag Agency, located at 300 Avenue M, N.W. in Winter Haven.

For maps to these locations or other information related to your property taxes, please visit www.PolkTaxes.comor the Tax Collector's payment portal,

Beginning April 1, 2018, all unpaid property taxes submitted by mail or online for the 2017 tax year become delinquent. (Note: Walk-in payments are accepted until 5:00 P.M. on April 2, 2018 before becoming delinquent.)



Late Renewal Fees Increase To 15% In November

Beginning in November, businesses operating in Polk County that failed to timely renew their County Local Business Tax Receipt will face a late renewal penalty of 15% through the month of November for any unpaid taxes owed, in addition to the original tax amount owed and collection costs. Delinquent penalties will increase an additional 5% in December.

To report a business operating in Polk County without a current County Local Business Tax Receipt by telephone, dial toll free 1 (866) 687-8876 or send an email message to


Taxpayers are advised to pay early and avoid long lines!

The Tax Collector’s Office reminds those taxpayers who pay property taxes through the property tax installment plan, that Saturday, September 30 is the deadline to make payment on the second installment of the 2017 tax bill. Taxpayers are advised to make payments either online, by mail or in person at any of the Tax Collector Service Centers in Polk County. Taxpayers may also drop off their payment in one of the drop boxes found inside all Service Centers and at the Legion Tag Agency in Winter Haven.  Payments must be received on or before Friday, September 29, 2017.

Joe Tedder, Tax Collector, wants taxpayers to know that the end of the month is a very busy time at the Tax Collector’s Office and anyone visiting offices on those days may find long lines.

In addition, because the end of the month falls on a weekend, taxpayers who wish to make their payment in person may do so on Monday, October 2, 2017 without incurring a penalty. (Note: A convenience fee is charged for property tax transactions paid by credit/debit card.)

For office locations and more information about property tax installments, please visit


Tax Collector Staff Invites the Public to Join Them on Heart Walk

The Tax Collector's Office will be out in force on Saturday, September 30th, in support of the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk.  This year’s event will be held at Joker Marchant Stadium on Lakeland Hills Blvd, in Lakeland.   

According to Chad Loy, Vice President of the Central Florida chapter, the festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. with teams checking in.  A stage program will begin at 8:00 and awards are announced.  The walk begins at 8:30 a.m.

The public is invited to view the newly renovated stadium.  Baseball Digest just tallied over 178,000 votes and Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium received the “Best of the Ballpark High-A” award, which only 2 other ballparks have ever received.   

The new Healthy For Good™ initiative is transforming this event to become more than just a walk. The Polk County Heart Walk will now have activities right from the beginning! Here are a few:

•    Satya Yoga is putting on a yoga demonstration during the event and after the walk as a cool-down
•    Haka Fitness will be having workout games and demonstrating how to foam roll
•    Orange Theory Fitness will be demonstrating a workout.

In addition, we will also have a dancing, family and jump rope station as well.

To kick it off, this year we will be having our Heart Man Challenge – we will be asking our participants to complete each activity. For each one completed, they will receive a sticker. If they complete them all, they may enter to win a prize.

The goal for this year is to get people moving from the beginning to end, and leave the Heart Walk with information and motivation to make small changes throughout the year.


All Polk Businesses Required To Display Valid Tax Receipt

If you have not renewed your county business tax receipt with the Polk County Tax Collector's Office this year, you only have until the end of September to renew timely.

Joe G. Tedder reminds local business owners that everyone doing business in Polk County must renew their 2017-2018 county local business tax receipt by Saturday, September 30. Payments must be either postmarked or transacted online on or before this date. Taxpayers who wish to make payment in person may do so up until 5:00 p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017 without incurring additional penalties.  Any business not renewing by this date will fall delinquent and face substantial penalties. Businesses in Polk County must also display and make visible their current business tax receipt.

Businesses that have not yet renewed or those seeking to obtain an original application for a county local business tax receipt should go to the Tax Collector's website,,where they can renew online or download an application. Renewal transactions and applications are also available at any one of the Tax Collector's Service Centers, locations for which may also be found on the website.

The valid 2017-2018 county local business tax receipt which must be displayed is lavender in color.

To report businesses operating in Polk County without a valid county local business tax receipt, please telephone the Tax Collector's Toll Free Hotline at 1-866-687-8876.


Office Closed Monday, September 4th

The Tax Collector's Office is closed Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. The office will resume regular servce hours on Tuesday, September 5th,

The Tax Collector's Office hopes everyone in Polk County has a safe and happy Labor Day!


Sale Primarily Conducted On Delinquent 2016 Real Estate Property Taxes

On June 1, 2017, the Tax Collector's Office held their annual real property tax certificate sale. This sale is held online every year to address the revenue shortfall created from delinquent taxes by selling tax certificates, which are tax liens, to willing investors. Investors in tax certificates assume some risk and plan to receive the principal and interest from delinquent taxpayers when the delinquent taxes are finally paid.

Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, reports that from a total real estate tax roll of $503,766,155 at the beginning of the tax year, $18,985,386 went unpaid and was offered up for tax certificates on June 1, 2017.  Of this, 17,154 tax certificates were sold, for a total of $18,581,079 delinquent taxes collected, representing 97.8% of the unpaid balance of taxes owed, at an average interest rate to investors of 2.15%, a savings to those property owners with outstanding taxes still owing.  

At the conclusion of the online tax certificate sale, $404,307 in delinquent tax certificates remains unsold, compared to $1,874,422 a year ago. For the 2016 tax year, the total real estate tax roll collected, including the tax certificate sale is $502,843,096, representing a 99.8 % collection rate.  

On July 3, 2017, these county-held tax certificates will be available for review and purchase at

For more information, please go to

To access Tax Collector's News for 2014 to present, click here

To access Tax Collector's News for 2013 and earlier, click here