In 2020, at the age of 33, The Honorable Sam Steele became the youngest Tax Collector to be elected in Monroe County history, and he is currently the youngest sitting Tax Collector in the State of Florida.
Steele is an alumnus of the Florida State University and a former commercial real estate appraiser for Cushman & Wakefield. He provides over 10 years of experience in financial accounting and budget development, with a vision to modernize and innovate the Tax Collector’s Office. He takes pride in the office's mission to “Exceed Expectations in Customer Service.”
He is a member of the Florida Tax Collectors Association (FTCA) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for District 10. In this role, Sam will represent Monroe, Miami-Dade, Collier, Lee, and Hendry Counties and report to the Executive Committee to help support the Association’s mission to provide leadership, legislative advocacy, and shaping sound public policy for Floridians. He also serves as the State Chair for the Public Records Management Coalition.
Within his first term in office, his team has had several record-breaking accomplishments, including:
- 2023 Legacy Award in Financial Operations from the FTCA, a first for the Monroe County Tax Collector's Office.
- 2023 Merit Award from the Florida Tax Collectors Association for achieving a clean audit free of any findings.
- Certified Executive Leader. This designation stems from FTCA's multi-year leadership programs in partnership with Valencia College.
- Certified Public Manager
- 2022 Excellence Award in Financial Operations from the Florida Tax Collectors Association, a first for the Monroe County Tax Collector's Office.
- 2022 Merit Award from the Florida Tax Collectors Association for achieving a clean audit free of any findings.
- First in Florida to be approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a pilot program for virtual golf cart inspections to LSV conversions. This prevents the inconvenience of taxpayers having to tow their golf carts as far north as Opa-Locka in Miami-Dade County for an inspection.
- First government organization in Monroe County to have an artificial intelligent digital employee.
- Second Florida Tax Collector to be approved and certified as a Passport Acceptance Facility by the U.S. Department of State and Homeland Security to provide passport services for the public.
- Highest collections of tourist development tax (vacation rental tax or "bed tax") for Monroe County on record at $90 million. This tax comes from vacation rentals and the audit and enforcement of illegal rental properties.
- Largest unused fees distribution for Monroe County on record at over $5.5 million. This revenue is distributed to the local taxing authorities to fund essential public services in our community.
- Highest collection of commissions and fees for Monroe County on record at $11.4 million. The Constitutional Tax Collector's Office is the only self-funded government agency in the county. We receive a fee or commission from the services provided and the revenue goes towards the operation of our office. This is how we are able to improve our services in a fiscal conservative matter. Any remaining revenue in surplus of our approved expenses is distributed to the local taxing authorities at the end of the fiscal year.
Steele is a devoted husband to his lovely wife, Lauren, a sixth-generation Conch, and a proud father to their three children – ages five, three, and seven-months. Originally from Miami, Florida, Mr. Steele met his wife while attending Florida State University and they always had a goal to settle and raise a family in the Florida Keys. When he is not spending time with family or working, he is immersing himself in the community through involvement with several non-profit organizations. Some of his community involvement includes:
- Recipient of the 2023 Men of Valor Award from Samuel's House
- Board of Director for United Way of Collier and the Keys
- Board of Director and Current Treasurer for A Positive Step of Monroe County
- Board of Director for Key Haven Park and Recreation Inc.
- The Rotary Club of Key West
- Student Mentor for Take Stock in Children
- Special Olympics
- Leadership Monroe County Class XXVIII Alumnus
- Past Chair for the American Cancer Society Diamond Gala of the Keys
- Key West Chamber of Commerce
- Marathon Chamber of Commerce
- Key Largo Chamber of Commerce
According to Steele, “My biggest accomplishments in life will always be when I became a husband to my wife and a father to our children.”
Mr. Steele has an open-door policy and encourages the public to contact him with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. He may be reached by email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.