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May 18, 2020
Candidate Qualifies by Petition for Historic
Volusia County Tax Collector Race
Will Roberts focuses on winning despite a court case that remains undecided.
Gathering 3,824 valid petitions from Volusia County voters as a political newcomer is no small feat – especially since COVID-19 forced the cancellation of large events that are ideal for petition gathering in March, April and the first half of May. Will Roberts has been working since June 25, 2019, the day he filed to run, to get petitions signed to qualify as a candidate for Volusia County Tax Collector.
Roberts has the experience to take on the Tax Collector position. He is currently a Florida Certified Assistant Tax Collector, has seven years of experience collecting taxes as part of Volusia County’s Revenue Division, and has a master’s degree in Public Administration. With his certification, experience and education, Roberts has the qualifications to smoothly transition the current Revenue Division team into an operation under an elected Constitutional Officer Tax Collector. On August 18, 2020, Volusia County voters will elect their first Tax Collector in 50 years.
“This transition is going to take collaboration,” said Roberts. “We are taking a department within the county that has an appointed director at the helm and turning it into a Constitutional Officer Tax Collector that operates under the state’s jurisdiction instead of the county’s. I have a plan to make this a smooth, efficient and effective transition by contracting with the county for many of our services such as Human Resources, IT, Facilities and more to start.”
In 2020, Volusia County voters will have the opportunity to vote for the county’s first elected Tax Collector in 50 years. The unique tax structure in Volusia County is due to the Home Rule Charter, passed by voters June 30, 1970. It abolished the elected Tax Collector and made the role an appointed position as a county employee. That structure will have to change after voters statewide passed Amendment 10 in November 2018. Amendment 10 requires all Florida counties to have five Constitutional Officers, including an elected Tax Collector. There are only three of Florida’s 67 counties that currently do not elect a Tax Collector – Broward, Miami-Dade and Volusia Counties. Broward and Miami-Dade have until 2024 to elect a Tax Collector. Volusia County must elect a Tax Collector in 2020, despite county government’s involvement in an ongoing legal challenge to Amendment 10 in the First District Court of Appeal. Will Roberts is still moving forward with his tax collector campaign.
“Our team has worked so hard and spent our nights and weekends meeting voters across Volusia County, gathering support and petitions,” says Roberts. “The courts have an important decision to make, but I believe the voters will ultimately have the opportunity to decide who will be Volusia County’s first elected Tax Collector in 50 years.”
About Will Roberts
Will Roberts, 46, is a twenty-year Volusia County resident and political newcomer. In addition to his work in tax collection, Roberts is a former corrections officer in Volusia and Seminole Counties. He served in the United States Air Force for seven years both domestically and abroad, working on the electronic systems of F-15 fighter jets.
Roberts considers himself to be a career public servant, not a career politician. He entered the Tax Collector race to ensure that voters had the option of a candidate experienced in tax collection on the ballot. He is passionate about transparency in the Tax Collector’s office. As a result, Roberts has spent time during the campaign doing a weekly video series called #TaxTipTuesday to help residents about the tax collection process and how they can maximize tax discounts and avoid penalties and fees.
Will Roberts and his wife Jennifer reside in New Smyrna Beach with their 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.
July 10, 2019
Tax Collector and Property Appraiser
The Tax Collector and the Property Appraiser have different roles but work closely together. This article should give you a basic understanding of how they collaborate.
The Property Appraiser’s role is to discover, list, and value all the real estate and tangible personal property in the county. The Property Appraiser is also responsible for tracking and verifying any of the property owner’s tax exemptions.
When the value of each property is complete, that information is submitted to the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector is responsible for creating and mailing the bills to the property owner with the amounts supplied by the Property Appraiser. Also, the Tax Collector is responsible for accepting and tracking the tax payments and then distributing the funds to the appropriate taxing authorities.
Basically, the Property Appraiser determines the value and the Tax Collector send the bill and collects the tax. Both the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector work closely together to ensure the tax process is accurate for all citizens.
In Volusia County, the Tax Collector position is currently held by the appointed Revenue Director. The Revenue Director is a county employee and supervises the collection of taxes. A new law passed by voters in 2018, requires all counties in Florida to have an elected Tax Collector. It will be the first time Volusia County residents have elected a Tax Collector in nearly 50 years!
June 25, 2019
Historic Tax Collector Race Begins!
The campaign for Volusia County’s first Tax Collector in nearly 50 years began this week. The first candidate to enter the race, Will Roberts, announced his campaign. Roberts is a US Air Force veteran and has seven years of experience in tax collection in Volusia County.
This 2020 Tax Collector race is historic because Volusia County’s Home Rule Charter, passed by voters in 1970, abolished the Tax Collector position. The Tax Collector was replaced with an appointed Revenue Director who is a county employee.
On the November 2018 ballot, Florida voters passed Amendment 10, which required all of Florida’s 67 counties to have five elected Constitutional Officers – Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of the Court, Sheriff and Tax Collector.
The passage of Amendment 10 means Volusia County will have the office of Tax Collector on the ballot in 2020 for the first time in nearly 50 years.