In Florida, Tax Collectors are independent constitutional officers duly elected in their counties of residence by their fellow citizens and tax payers. It is this independence coupled with the fact that Tax Collectors deal with a variety of duties and responsibilities and provide a myriad of important public services that allows them to exercise valuable leadership roles in Florida’s government. They direct, plan, organize, budget, set and implement policies which affect not only their local government, but reach the state levels as well.
Along with their own local involvement in personnel and financial management matters, Tax Collectors participate in the management of the executive branches of state government which include the Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Motorist Services, and the Department of Revenue. It is the Tax Collector who sees all these departments as a whole and, consequently, is able to coordinate and analyze the impact they may have collectively.
Staff members from the various departments of state along with state legislators should and do draw heavily on the broad base of knowledge accumulated by the Tax Collectors in drafting tax legislation, and establishing rules and regulations for carrying out laws regarding the collection of taxes. Furthermore, they are the only locally elected officials with whom almost every citizen will have occasion to deal.