After eight years serving on City Council, Michael Corrigan has spent the past 100-plus days learning more about his new duties as tax collector.
Corrigan was elected to the position in the spring, succeeding former mayoral candidate and Tax Collector Mike Hogan, and began the job July 1.
In his first public speaking engagement since taking the post, Corrigan told members of The Civic Round Table of Jacksonville Friday what he’s learned and the direction of his office during his tenure.
“It’s been a lot of learning,” Corrigan told the group of around 30 members.
That includes educating himself on the 90 different types of taxes the office collects — most due to consolidated government — and become acquainted with the 250 employees of the office on a personal level.
He wants his employees to work closely with customers to make their experience a better one.
“It’s the human touch that’s going to get the Tax Collector’s Office better under my watch,” he said.
The office isn’t always high on the popularity list, he said, and making it easier for people to conduct their business is a priority.
Corrigan gave credit to his predecessor for bringing the various automated systems up to date and running smoothly to assist in that regard.
More can be done, though, and Corrigan is working to make dealing with the office easier — and maybe save taxpayers some money.
Currently, people who pay various taxes online are assessed a 2.5 percent fee for using credit cards, which can amount to substantial amounts depending on the initial amount, Corrigan said. Instead, he is seeking to have payments through online check and check cards, that would have a flat fee per transaction.
Corrigan said he also realized some people want the customer experience to be over as quickly as possible. To that extent, Corrigan is looking into technology that would provide self-service kiosks to reduce wait times, something he said would likely be standard procedure throughout the state in the next decade.
So far, he said, the transition has been positive and the excitement level from his time on Council hasn’t diminished — it’s just different.
“It’s changed in the type (of excitement), but it’s still up there,” he said.
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