The Florida Tax Collector Association has recognized the Okaloosa County Tax Collector Office with an Award of Excellence in Financial Operations.


The Florida Tax Collector Association has recognized the Okaloosa County Tax Collector Office with an Award of Excellence in Financial Operations.



The Tax Collector’s Office also received a Certificate of Merit for an audit clear of any findings. “Okaloosa is one of only four counties in the state to receive these two awards this year,” Michael C. Love, chairman of the awards program, said.



The Florida Tax Collector’s Inc., created the Excellence in Financial Operations Award in 2011 to recognize achievements and innovations in government finance. Since 2011, 20 of Florida’s Tax Collector Offices have earned the designation.



Judging criteria include these competency areas:



•Innovation and automation



•Annual audit report free of findings



•Customer focus; internal and external customers



•Budgeting expertise



Five finance officers established the criteria and serve on the judging panel.



“The award is an important achievement for a tax collector’s office,” Love said. “Ben Anderson and the staff of the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office have embraced technology as a way to enhance customer service and to promote financial accountability and transparency in government.”



The judging panel was especially impressed with the office’s program of “Doing Business Online, Not In Line,” which uses smartphone technology to allow customers to conduct transactions without needing to visit an office. The technology also assists customers “on the go” to find the nearest office and view potential wait times.



“The Okaloosa Tax Collector’s Office has earned the highest honor that the Florida Tax Collectors have to offer,” Love said. “And, their innovations will be shared with other Florida counties as an example of excellence.”



“Recognition on a state level is something of which we are very proud,” Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson said. “It is affirmation of the respect we have for the taxpayer’s dollar and commitment to provide the highest level of service.”