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 News Briefs


Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs Recognizes the Kids Tag Art Program

Joe Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, announces that the Kids Tag Art Program, a drawing and fundraising program that originated in Polk County is the recipient of the Division of Cultural Affairs’ Diversity and Inclusion Award for 2018.

The Diversity & Inclusion Awards Program recognizes the efforts of individuals working to make arts and cultural programming in Florida as diverse and inclusive as possible.  The Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs recognizes Florida’s diversity as one of the key attributes to the state’s vibrant cultural landscape and through this program aims to support the ongoing dedication of Florida’s cultural organizations to lead in this area.

Kids Tag Art has been a great success in Polk County for twelve years and several years ago many other tax collectors took up the program to the point where in addition to each individual Tax Collector program, a Florida Tax Collector’s Kids Tag Art Program, hosted by the Florida Tax Collector Association (FTCA) was created.   There are now over 14 county tax collectors that are actively hosting this program across the state.

“Southern Homes is proud to partner with Joe Tedder and his team in support of the very successful and award-winning Kids Tag Art program,” said Greg Masters, President of Southern Homes. “We know that students who participate in the arts are three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance and are more likely to graduate. By investing in this program, we feel that we’re investing in the future of Polk County students and, ultimately, the future of our community.”

Because of this statewide impact, The Florida Tax Collector’s Association has been awarded the 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Award by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs and the Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc.  This award will be presented on Wednesday evening, January 24, 2018.

The award comes with a cash prize of $1,000. The Florida Tax Collectors plan to use these funds to establish a statewide awards program for the students’ artwork, to coincide with the FTCA Fall Education Conference held in Orlando each year.

For more information on the Department of State’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards, please visit


Regular Business Hours Will Resume On Tuesday, January 16

On Monday, January 15, 2018, the Tax Collector's Service Centers throughout Polk County will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The American Legion Tag Agency in Winter Haven will be closed as well.

To learn more about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and Day of Service, visit the following website:

For online payments and information, including office hours and locations, please go to


Tax Collector's Service Centers Are Closed On Monday

In observance of the New Year's Holiday, the Tax Collector's Office will be closed on New Year's Day, Monday, January 1, 2018.

The Tax Collector's Office will resume regular business hours beginning Tuesday, January 2.


Individuals still seeking to make 2017 property tax payments before the end of December for Federal Tax purposes and  to obtain a 3% discount, may pay online before midnight Sunday, December 31 at

Have a Happy New Year!


At This Time Only 2017 And Prior Year Property Taxes Can Be Paid

A taxpayer may not prepay 2018 taxes in 2017 because the 2018 tax roll is not open for collection. Generally, tax rolls are open for collection starting on November 1 of each year. The 2018 property tax rolls are not open for collection and will not be until at least November 1, 2018. Under Section 197.333, Florida Statutes, taxes are due and payable on November 1 of each year at the earliest.


A Joyous Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year To All!

The Office of Tax Collector for Polk County announces that its service center offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 25 and 26, in observance of the Christmas holiday and again on Monday, January 1, 2018  in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

Normal office hours will resume Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

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


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 [email protected]

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

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