DeLAND, Fla. – History was made Tuesday as Volusia County swore in its first elected tax collector in 50 years.
Will Roberts took his oath at the top of the county’s historic courthouse, finalizing the transition from a county-appointed to a community-elected tax collector.
The role is no longer under the jurisdiction of county government due to Amendment 10, a 2018 ballot initiative that created the elected, Constitutional office of tax collector for all Florida counties. Before 2018, the office and its responsibilities were divided under Volusia County government.
“Today marks a major change for the way the tax collector has operated within county government – but we are still working very closely with the county,” Roberts said in a news release. “We are sharing offices, IT, Finance and Human Resource services and more. This collaboration has already and will continue to help us make a smooth, fiscally responsible transition to this new model.”
The county said after the outdoor swearing-in ceremony, Roberts visited the county’s four tax collector offices in DeLand, Orange City, Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach and deputized his team members as they took a similar oath.
Roberts said he plans to model his office after the structure other tax collectors have built across the state.
“These tax collector’s offices run more like businesses than governments,” Roberts said. “They are self-funded, so they must earn money to pay for their operations. They are not taxpayer-funded. When there are overages or profits from the tax collector’s revenue, those funds go back to the county.”
Roberts explained the team will be taking on new services in 2021, including issuing birth certificates and concealed weapons permits. By early 2022, he plans for his office to also assume the responsibility of issuing driver’s licenses.
Currently, tax collector services include collecting property tax payments, vehicle tag and title services, hunting and fishing licenses and tax certificate sales. Many of these services can be accessed online at the new tax collector’s website, vctaxcollector.org.