Tax collector refunds balance excess fees

St. Johns County Tax Collector Dennis W. Hollingsworth announced to Historic City News that his office has distributed $4,238,420.88 to the local government and taxing authorities, from unused earned revenue collected during FY2010-2011.

The largest portion of this amount, of $4,026,884.15, was presented to the Board of County Commissioners and other taxing authorities at the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday, October 18.

This is the 22nd year that the St Johns County Tax Collector’s office has maintained this level of efficiency, resulting in additional funds for taxing authorities.

Since FY 2000, the Tax Collector has distributed to taxing authorities more than $41 million in unused earned revenues after meeting their budget requirements. The Florida Statutes refer to these revenues as “excess fees”.

This $4.2 million represents unused revenue the Tax Collector’s office earned for the taxpayers of St. Johns County that was not expended or used in the operation of the local tax, tag and driver license offices.

The Tax Collector’s office is self-sustaining, operating from monies regulated by Florida Statutes on commissions from the collection of taxes and fees for the mandated State functions of several agencies including the Department of Revenue; the Division of Motor Vehicles; and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The additional revenue also was generated as interest earned from investments, as well as revenue from additional tag and title business the Tax Collector seeks through acquisition of fleet accounts such as UPS and Ring Power.

“The Tax Collector’s office operates independent of the County Commission’s budget,” Hollingsworth said. “We must operate our office solely on statutorily established commissions and fees from state and local governments.”

The unused revenue Hollingsworth has collected over the past year is a result of the tax, tag and driver license offices operating with frugality and efficiency. Hollingsworth said he is honored to serve the taxpayers of St. Johns County by managing their Tax Collector’s office in a fiscally responsible manner. “Although property tax collection revenue is down, the parcel count in St. Johns County actually has increased,” he said.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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