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 News Briefs



BARTOW, Florida – Now in its fourteenth (14) year, the Kids Tag Art program, originated through the Tax Collector’s Office of Polk County, Florida, continues to inspire fifth graders throughout the county in innovative thinking and creative problem solving, all while designing their own specialty vanity license plate. This year, the vanity license plates designed by Polk County students will be available for purchase by the public at on Friday, November 22, 2019. The community will be able to support their local, neighborhood elementary school by purchasing a vanity license plate online, as all proceeds go back into the classroom for arts education.

Continuing their support as the founding, major sponsor for the Kids Tag Art program is Southern Homes of Polk County. When asked why he supports the program, Greg Masters said, “Southern Homes has been committed to the Kids Tag Art program from the very beginning. Many of our team members at Southern Homes are from Polk County, and we have a vested interest in supporting the arts. We understand the impact the arts has in every facet of a child’s development and education. If we want to continue to recruit creative, innovative problem solvers, then we need to support programs that develop well-rounded students with those skills. The Kids Tag Art program is one of those programs.” In addition to major sponsor, Southern Homes of Polk County, the Kids Tag Art program is happy to announce three new sponsors for the 2019-2020 school year: the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Center State Bank, and Lauren’s Kids. Other sponsors for the KTA program include: D-print, Bartow Ford, LEGOLAND, Florida, Ledger Media Group, Big 4 Radio – 97.5 WPCV and Max 98.3, Point & Pay, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, LAMAR Advertising Company, Polk Education Foundation, Florida Heart Research Foundation, Polk Arts Alliance, Publix Super Market Charities, Unlimited DPI, Polk County Public Schools, Grasslands/Oakbridge, and the Polk Museum of Art.

As in years past, this year’s Award of Distinction (AOD) recipients represent two students from each participating school across Polk County, which encompasses 174 creative vanity license plate designs from 87 public, private, and charter schools. Award of Distinction vanity plates will be announced on Friday, November 22, 2019 when the online portal opens and the public may see every vanity license plate produced from all participating schools – over 5,400 designs to choose from – in addition to teacher tags for the art enthusiasts. In addition to AOD honorees, finalists for other special awards will be recognized at the ceremony. Special awards include the Home Sweet Home, Design Excellence, Heart Smart Art, Build Your Imagination, and the Tax Collector’s Choice award. Three new special awards from our sponsors will also make their debut. They are Bartow Ford’s “Driving Our Community” award, Lauren’s Kids “Love and Hope” award, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office “Be Kind, Be a Friend” award. The Awards of Distinction ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in the Branscomb Auditorium at Florida Southern College.

To date, the Kids Tag Art program in Polk County has created over 55,000 pieces of artwork through the annual participation of public, private, and charter schools. Additionally, the Kids Tag Art program, designed as a supplemental classroom arts funding program, has raised over $400,000 in Polk County alone. Statewide, the program is currently in 14 counties and has raised over $1 Million for school art programs across the state. With interest in the program continuing to grow every year, the future of the Kids Tag Art program and its support of the arts in the state of Florida has a strong, bright future.

For those interested in supporting the Kids Tag Art program through the purchase of a vanity license plate, log onto on or after Friday, November 22, 2019 to access vanity license plates from students for the current and past year.

For more information, please go to or contact Margarita Alfaro, Public Engagement Specialist at [email protected]

About the Office of Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, Florida

Joe G. Tedder is elected by the people of Polk County to serve as their Tax Collector. The Office of Tax Collector is provided in Florida’s Constitution to serve in the state’s political subdivisions known as counties. The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County has service centers in Bartow, Lakeland, Davenport, and Lake Wales. The Tax Collector’s Office serves over 686,000 residents in Polk County, offering services such as: Driver licenses and identification cards; motor vehicle registrations, decals, license plates, titles and disabled person parking placards; real estate and tangible personal property taxes; county local business taxes; tourist development taxes; concealed weapons license applications and renewals; and, other services.

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

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