The St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office distributed more than $4.3 million to local government and taxing authorities from unused earned revenue collected during FY2015-2016.
Just over $4 million of that amount was presented to the Board of County Commissioners and other taxing authorities at the Nov. 1 County Commission meeting. The funds represent unused revenue the Tax Collector’s office earned that was not expended or used in the operation of the local tax, tag and driver license offices.
According to Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth, the Tax Collector’s office is self-sustaining, operating from money regulated by Florida statutes on commissions from the collection of taxes and fees for several agencies, including the Department of Revenue; Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The additional revenue also was generated through the expansion of services provided, as interest earned on investments, and from additional tag and title business the office seeks through the 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 the Tax Collector’s Office collected over the past year is a result of the tax, tag and driver license offices operating with efficiency, Hollingsworth said.
“The latest addition of services we provide are birth certificates and concealed weapons application acceptance,” he added. “Providing these services is a win-win for St. Johns County – it is convenient for local residents in need of such services, and the revenue received from these services augments the funds we can present to the County Commission and other taxing authorities to support the public we are elected to serve.”
The total amount distributed includes funds generated by the office and received throughout the year from other state agencies, such as mobile home revenues received from the DHSMV and revenues from retained vessel fees, which are distributed weekly by the Tax Collector’s Office.