For immediate release
January 11, 2022
Monroe County Tax Collector Sam C. Steele Reflects on First Year in Office
Significant uptick in collections mark successful first year.
Key West, Florida – Constitutional Tax Collector Sam C. Steele today provided a summary of accomplishments marking his first year in office. Highlights include technology innovation and process improvements resulting in record-setting collections and greater convenience for customers.
“As I look back on my first year in office, I am proud of the progress we made,” said Steele. “We faced a number of challenges but remained committed to exceeding excellence through innovation and efficiency.”
With Steele at the helm, the Monroe County Tax Collector’s Office managed over $400 million in public funds and collected a record $10.5 million in commission and operating fees in 2021. Steele also oversaw the return of $5.5 million in excess fees to the county, the largest on record.
Record-setting collections included $70 million in tourist development tax and $17.5 million in motor vehicle and vessel services. The office also surpassed previous records for concealed weapon permit applications and fees.
In addition to collections, Tax Collector Steele noted several accomplishments related to greater convenience for Monroe County taxpayers:
- First Tax Collector’s office in Florida approved to participate in a pilot program for virtual inspections for golf cart-to-LSV conversions. This program eliminates the need for taxpayers to tow their golf carts as far north as Opa-Locka.
- First Monroe County organization to use artificial intelligence in the form of a digital employee to answer customer questions. Still in the development phase, the digital employee known as “Monroe” has already answered over 800 customer questions in her first six weeks on the job. This new communication channel gives taxpayers another convenient method for conducting business with the Monroe County Tax Collector’s Office. Cost savings related to deflection of phone calls and emails will be an additional benefit.
- Second Tax Collector’s office in Florida approved by the U.S. Department of State to provide passport services to the public.
- Implemented high-speed payment processing equipment which has resulted in faster bank deposits and increased interest earned on those deposits. This additional interest is returned to Monroe County taxing authorities.
- Added HAZMAT endorsement testing and fingerprinting services at our Marathon Branch Office.
- Revamped and implemented an electronic public records management program.
- Upgraded and improved security systems to provide more accountability and enhance the safety of staff, customers, public funds and state-issued inventory.
“I am extremely proud of my amazing team whose hard work and dedication made these accomplishments possible,” said Steele. “I am excited for the future and honored for this opportunity to serve Monroe County and the great State of Florida!”
For the latest news and information about Constitutional Tax Collector Sam Steele and the Monroe County Tax Collector’s Office, please click here and connect with the office on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MonroeTaxCollector.
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