Concealed Weapons Permits
The latest service offered by Tax Collectors
Pictured from the left are the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Adam Putnam, Hon. Carole Jean Jordan of Indian River County, Hon. Diane Nelson of Pinellas County, Florida Senator Wilton Simpson, Florida State Representative James Grant and Hon. Larry Hart of Lee County. (The bill was sponsored and championed by Sen. Simpson and Rep. Grant. Hon. Hart and Hon. Jordan were the Co-Chairs of the Florida Tax Collector's Legislative Committee. Hon. Nelson was the President of the FTC Inc.)
“Our partnership with the Florida Tax Collectors enable us to provide more convenient options for Floridians to apply for or renew concealed weapon licenses and process applications more efficiently,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “We appreciate all the tax collectors who have partnered with us to bring this service to their communities.”
Highlands, Indian River, Nassau, Okaloosa, and Pinellas are the first offices to do so after a new law went into effect that allowed locally elected tax collectors to accept these applications. The new law allows at least 10 tax collectors’ offices to come online this fiscal year. More are being planned for next year.
“I am thrilled to be able to expand our offerings to better serve the residents of Nassau County with this needed program,” said Nassau County Tax Collector John Drew. “This is a service that I have worked for six years to provide to local residents, and I applaud Commissioner Putnam for his commitment and Florida legislators for their unanimous, bipartisan support to making this important program more convenient across the state.”
The convenience of applying at a tax collector’s office will not affect the integrity of the concealed weapon license program. Concealed weapon license applications will continue to be processed and issued solely by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Tax collectors’ offices have been given authority to take applications, photograph and fingerprint applicants, and then send the information securely to the department for final determination. All personal identifying information of applicants and licensees will remain confidential and exempt from disclosure as public records (Section 790.0601, Florida Statutes).
A concealed weapon or firearm license allows individuals with valid licenses to carry weapons or firearms (as defined in Chapter 790, Florida Statutes) concealed on their persons for purposes of lawful self-defense. Applicants must meet both federal and state eligibility requirements, including being a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien at least 21 years of age (active or honorably discharged service members can apply at age 18). Applicants must also pass a criminal background check with no felony convictions or other disqualifying offenses.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
Von Fraser, passes gently at 76
Alachua County Tax Collector
Von Fraser, Alachua County’s Tax Collector, dies at 76.
Alachua County Tax Collector Von Fraser, who rarely missed a community event from fairs and festivals to standing on street corners with campaign signs during elections, died early Thursday morning (4/17/14) at the age of 76 after an extended illness.
“Von was a kind and gentle person who was extremely devoted to his community. He had a love for the people he served, his staff and the workings of the Tax Collector’s Office. We could count on him wearing his blue and orange tie, ask him for a comment about the Gators, and you better have more than a few minutes”, stated FTC President Hon. Diane Nelson. Tim Qualls, FTC Executive Director recalled, “Mr. Fraser hardly ever missed an opportunity to meet with his colleagues and was always warm and friendly.”
A slight man with a big gift of gab and a thick Southern accent, Fraser was known as much for his friendly demeanor and his earnestness in helping residents as he was for running an efficient operation in which people rarely had to wait for more than a few minutes for their new tag, fishing license or to pay their taxes. Fraser prided himself on working with homeowners to devise payment plans that allowed them to keep their homes when they fell behind on their taxes. He was also a fixture in the community and often was glad-handing at events, government meetings and school and sports activities.
"The Honorable Von Frazer loved serving as Tax Collector - not being, but SERVING. His idea was simple and pure... Serve the little people; which he knew were the truly important people...and his dedication to them was relentless”, stated Kenza van Assenderp - FTC Legal Counsel and long time friend.
Fraser, who was born in Doerun, Ga., attended the University of Florida where he received his bachelor of science in business administration in Accounting in 1969. He went on to receive his masters of public administration from the University of North Florida in 1992. Von was a proud veteran who served in the U.S. Army. Fraser began working as Alachua’s Assistant Tax Collector in 1981, where he worked until he was elected Tax Collector in November 2000.
Chief Deputy Tax Collector John Power stated, "As a leader, I will be strong for our staff and the taxpayers. But as an individual, I miss him already. My heart hurts it's a very sad day. It's big loss for me and a big loss for our public.”
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home in Starke.
In honor of Von, I will post this just one time…
GO GATORS!!! JMD
Hon. Doug Belden
RECEIVED THE MATT BELL AWARD
Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden received an "award of distinction" from his peers at our annual meeting and education forum in Orlando.
"The Madison Langley (Matt) Bell III Award is presented to tax collectors [who] have made a significant and lasting impact on the Florida Tax Collectors' Association and citizens of Florida. This coveted award was established in honor of the late Matt Bell III, former Escambia County Tax Collector."
Belden is only the third Florida tax collector to receive the
award since it was established in 1999. "He was recognized for his innovative ideas, his volunteer spirit, and his dedication to making government services better in the state of Florida."
Belden said he was "humbled and honored to receive this
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Taxpayer Advocate of the Year
Attorney General Pam Bondi was awarded the Taxpayer Advocate of the Year Award at the Spring Executive Training Session.
The Florida Cabinet Proclaimed April Donate Life Month
Tax Collectors join DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones and leadership of Donate Life Florida at the Florida Cabinet Meeting in St. Augustine celebrating both Donate Life Month as well as Florida's 500th birthday!