Orange County is getting an unexpected financial boon of nearly $4.5 million from the Orange County Tax Collector’s Office.

Tax Collector Scott Randolph informed Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs Tuesday that his office is returning $21.7 million in unused fees this year. Of that, $19.5 million is dedicated to the county’s general revenue fund, far above the $15 million the county had budgeted for fiscal year 2015-16.

The rest of that surplus is being sent to other agencies, including the Orange County Library System.

Randolph suggested Jacobs consider using the money to install air conditioning at the county’s animal shelter, a need brought to light earlier this year by news reports of stray animals living in over-heated conditions there; and for local arts groups, and the Orlando Science Center.

“This increase in unused fees is the result of several factors, including an increase in assessed values of real estate in Orange County and the tireless efforts of the employees of the Tax Collector’s Office who successfully collected 98 percent of the tax roll before delinquency, conducted 1.9 million transactions, and worked diligently to eliminate the years-long backlog of county-held tax certificates,” Randolph wrote to Jacobs.

The library system will receive $357,500 from the surplus.

 

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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