TAX COLLECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES
The Office of Tax Collector is authorized by Florida's Constitution, as a separate entity from other County Departments or Agencies. The Tax Collector is elected, by the Citizens of Osceola County, and is privileged to serve four year terms.
The Tax Collector is an agent for various state and local government agencies, for the collection of revenue and public funding. It is the responsibility of the Tax Collector to invest these revenues and funds, pending their timely distribution, to various state, local agencies, and taxing authorities.
A wide range of services are provided by The Tax Collector to the citizens of Osceola County. These include, collection of ad valorem taxes, non-ad valorem taxes, motor vehicle and vessel registration and title applications, collection of sales tax, issuance of business tax receipt, issuance of hunting and fishing licenses, issuance of concealed weapon permits, driver licenses, issuance of Florida birth certificates and collection of tourist development taxes.
The Tax Collector operates as a "fee office", which means a fee or commission is earned for the services rendered. These fees and commissions are outlined in the Florida Statutes, and established by the Florida Legislature. The annual budget must be approved by the Florida Department of Revenue, and includes any amendments made during each fiscal year. Excess fees are remitted to each government agency, in the same proportion as they were paid, at the end of each fiscal year.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TAX COLLECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES!
1. AD VALOREM AND NON-AD VALOREM TAXES
The Tax Collector is responsible for collecting and distribution of taxes, from information provided on the annual tax roll, which is provided by the Property Appraiser's Office. The tax roll consists of real estate taxes, tangible taxes, and non-ad valorem taxes. (Non-Ad Valorem assessments are primarily assessments for fire services, solid waste and trash collection). The collection of taxes, as well as the assessment, is in accordance with the rules and regulations of The Florida Department of Revenue, and Florida Statutes. These taxes are collected, beginning November 1st each year, and become delinquent April 1st. Discounts are given for early payment.
On or before June 1st each year, the Tax Collector holds a tax certificate sale, on properties with unpaid real estate taxes. The purpose of the sale is to collect unpaid taxes on behalf of the numerous taxing authorities. A tax certificate represents a lien on the property. When a tax certificate is redeemed, the Tax Collector is responsible for remitting the funds to the certificate holder. Funds for a County held certificate are distributed to the different taxing authorities.
2. TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
This is a tax levied against equipment, furniture, and supplies of a business, or attachments to a mobile home located in a mobile home park. The assessed value is determined by the Property Appraiser, and the tangible roll is then certified to The Tax Collector for collection. The statements are mailed at the same time as real estate bills, and receive the same discounts.
3. TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX
Florida Legislature amended the "Local Option Tourist Development Act", to allow for collection and administration of tourist tax at the local level. The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance, which provides for collection, and administration of the tourist tax, and charged the Tax Collector with the duty of collection and distribution.
4. LOCAL BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT
A Local Business Tax Receipt is a miscellaneous tax imposed by local government, in accordance with county ordinance, which also charges the Tax Collector with the responsibility of collection and disbursement of fees. The Local Business Tax Receipt grants the privilege of engaging in or managing a business. The fee for these licenses is $30.00 per year. The Local Business Tax Receipts expire September 30th each year, and are renewable each year, between July 7th and September 30th.
5. HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES
The Tax Collector serves as an agent of The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. In this capacity, the Tax Collector is responsible for the sale of a variety of hunting and fishing permits. It is the Tax Collectors' duty to collect all monies from these sales and maintain the records associated with these transactions. Also, as an agent for The Department of Natural Resources, the Tax Collector handles the sale of saltwater fishing permits.
6. DRIVER LICENSE
As an agent for The Department of Highway Safety, Driver License Division, we issue Driver Licenses in all our offices. All Driver License services are provided, except for the road & written test that is offered only in our Main Office which is located at 2501 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. The Tax Collector fee of $6.25 is charged for all driver license transactions.
7. TAG/LICENSE PLATES
As an agent for The Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for issuance of automobile license plates/decals, mobile home decals, disabled persons parking permits, vessel decals, and title applications where applicable. The Tax Collector is responsible for maintenance of records, reporting sales, accounting for inventory, and dispersing monies collected in a timely manner, to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The issuance of registrations and title applications is done in accordance with, rules and regulations of the Department of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, and Florida Statutes.
8. SALES TAX
Sales tax is required, by Florida Statute, at 6% of the purchase price, less trade-in, on vehicle purchases. As an agent for The Florida Department of Revenue, the Tax Collector is responsible for collection, and disbursement of this tax, along with a 1.5% surtax, imposed on Osceola County residents. The surtax is 1.5% on the first $5,000 of the vehicle purchase price.