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 News Briefs


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


For The Month Of May Drawing!

The Tax Collector's Office is pleased to announce our first month Express Pick Up Sweepstakes winners! They are Alia Clare Stokes, seen here with Tax Collector employee Dawn Robinson, and Rene Hernandez, pictured here with his happy family, both picking up their $100 Publix Gift Cards as the winners of the May 2017 drawing!

You too can win! Each month we will be drawing 2 names and awarding two $100 Publix gift cards. Just make sure that you use Express Pick-Up when you renew your vehicle registration, due on your birthday! For more information, go to




Tax Office Recently Moved to Require Appointments for Written Tests

The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County has developed an appointment system for driver license customers needing to take a written test. Back in 2015, an appointment system was developed for anyone needing a road test in order to receive a driver license.  Beginning June 1, Polk County residents seeking to take a written test to obtain a Florida driver license will be required to make an appointment with the Tax Collector’s Office. Appointments are now required for general knowledge (Class E), commercial driver licenses (CDL), road and verbal testing.

“With the influx of driver license transactions in our office,” states Joe Tedder, Tax Collector, “we continue to look for ways to streamline services for Polk County residents.  The expansion of our appointment system to include written tests will allow all of our customers to be served more timely.”

The Tax Collector’s Office currently averages approximately 270 written and 225 road tests county-wide per week at their service centers.  When unscheduled, these transactions can be very time consuming, which impact customer service by increasing wait-times for those seeking other transactions performed at the Tax Collector’s Office.  

The Tax Collector’s Office developed the appointment system as one step to address the length of customer service wait-times and to better manage walk-in traffic at its Service Centers. Appointments for both written and road tests are only available for Polk County residents.

The Tax Collector’s Office also advises that general knowledge driver license written tests are also conveniently available online. For more information visit


The Tax Collector's Office will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. Our office will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, May 30, 2016.

The Tax Collector's Office is proud to observe Memorial Day, which commemorates the men and women who died while in our military's service.


Appointments Are Now Available For License Applications and Renewals    

BARTOW, Florida/PR Free/May 19, 2017

Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector, announces the Tax Collector’s Office is now providing Concealed Weapon License application and renewal services on an appointment only basis at its Lakeland and Lake Wales Service Centers. Appointments are made at the Tax Collector’s Office official website,

Upon announcing the new service offerings, Tedder stated, “I am grateful for all that Commissioner Putnam and his staff have done to help our office bring these state services to the citizens of Polk County. Previously, our constituents had to travel outside Polk County to get these services.”  

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam partnered with Tedder and tax collectors throughout Florida to pass legislation allowing selected tax collector offices to accept concealed weapon license applications and renewals.

Tedder continued, “We are fortunate Commissioner Putnam and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recognized Polk’s unique geography and population when approving our office to provide application and renewal services at two locations.”

Citizens of Florida who are interested in obtaining or renewing a concealed weapons license in Polk County should visit to get the information they need to complete a license application, conduct a renewal transaction, and make an appointment. 

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

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