Award-winning office served more than a million customers.
D uval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan understands his office is in an unusual business situation.
Even though it’s one of the busiest retail customer service operations in Duval County, “Nobody really wants to shop here,” he said.
In the year ended Sept. 30, more than 808,000 customers were served at the tax collector’s main office at the Yates Building Downtown and at the eight neighborhood branch offices. Another 290,000 were assisted by telephone.
More than 1.7 million transactions totaling $2.19 billion were completed.
Payments processed run from seven-figure Fortune 500 company real estate and tangible personal property tax bill checks to quarters deposited in parking meters.
The most common transaction at the tax collector’s office is vehicle registration. More than 718,000 license plates and renewal stickers were issued in the year that ended Sept. 30.
Corrigan said that because of Jacksonville’s consolidated city/county government, his office collects about 100 types of fees, more than other tax collector offices.
That includes utility bill payments at the windows where newly hired cashiers begin their training.
As they gain more experience, cashiers advance to “revenue collector” and can process the more complicated driver’s license, vehicle registration and title transactions.
About 200 members of the staff interact with customers. Another 70 people work behind the scenes, processing and accounting for the revenue that is passed along to the city, state and other taxing authorities and government agencies, including the Duval County School Board.
“Other than interest and bond revenues, we collect all the funds in the city budget,” Corrigan said.
The office received its fourth consecutive recognition for operational excellence: the 2017 Legacy Award from the Florida Tax Collectors Association. The award is given annually to tax collector’s offices that maintain the highest standards for record-keeping, operations, best use of technology and customer service.
“A lot of people have an expectation that they’re going to have a bad government experience,” said Sherry Hall, chief administrative officer in the tax collector’s office. “We want them to walk out of here after a good experience.”
One of the office’s initiatives is to offer more options for people who don’t want to visit a branch location to make a payment, but would rather pay their taxes online.
City Council approved $60,000 in the 2017-18 budget to allow the tax collector to expand the scope of its electronic check payment system.
“We are always looking for efficiencies and ways to improve our customer service,” said Corrigan.