Workspace: Michael Corrigan, Duval County tax collector
When the City Council establishes a property tax increase, many not in the know will believe Michael Corrigan is the culprit.
“Everybody thinks the tax collector sets their taxes,” said Corrigan, tax collector since 2011, “but it’s two other bodies (the City Council and the mayor’s office) that do that.”
Corrigan said his office likely will receive “many, many” phone calls and other correspondence relating to reasons behind the property tax increase.
Others might call saying they didn’t receive a notice, they have a wrong or different address, or other reasons.
Corrigan probably should be used to calls, having served as a council member from 2003-11 and becoming president for the 2006-07 year.
He said his new role has a completely different set of challenges, responsibilities and practices because it performs more services than any other county in Florida.
“It’s totally different than I anticipated. I underestimated the volume of things we do,” he said. “We run one of the largest retail operations in Northeast Florida at almost 4,000 people a day.”
Driver’s licenses, tags, titles, property taxes, local business and animal licenses, JEA payments and parking citations are just a few of the services it offers. More is on the way, with the addition of issuing certified copies of birth certificates at the Gateway branch.
The Cedar Hills and Mandarin branches are scheduled to offer the same service later this year.
The Mandarin branch has relocated within the same shopping center to 10035 San Jose Blvd. and is scheduled to reopen in the next couple of weeks, Corrigan said.
One of his bigger challenges comes with the improvement of the economy. Businesses, especially those in the financial sector, that are able to pay more are hiring away his people and leading to a double-digit turnover rate.
Although he can’t offer more money, he said he shows his appreciation in ways such as showing off his culinary skills. He tries about once a month to visit the nine other branch locations and cook breakfast for employees.
With about 220 employees across the city, Corrigan said he has tried to connect with those staff members.
“I’ve seen more birthdays. I’ve been to more funerals,” he said.
He said he enjoys the role and experience enough to run for re-election in 2015. After that, he doesn’t know what his plans are.
“I haven’t given it much thought,” he