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Harry Coe Jr., former state revenue chief

By Associated Press
Published October 7, 2003

TAMPA - Harry Lee Coe Jr., who spent most of his career at the Florida Department of Revenue and served as its executive director from 1976 to 1979, has died. He was 94.

Coe was remembered for his frugality - to get a new pencil under his stewardship, department workers had to hand in the stubs of their old pencils.

He died of natural causes Wednesday in Tallahassee.

Florida's sales tax didn't become law until 1949, and Coe was one of the earliest tax collectors in the early 1950s. He worked in tax offices in Lakeland and Tampa before moving to Tallahassee in 1962.

His son, Harry Lee Coe III, returned to Tampa where he became a circuit judge and Hillsborough County state attorney. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in July 2000 as state agents were investigating him for allegedly taking loans from subordinates, running up gambling debts and destroying public records.

The elder Coe remained active in his church and with the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches and was "sharp as a tack" until his death, said his daughter, Florence Coe Futch.

Information on services was not available late Monday.

[Last modified October 7, 2003, 02:33:49]

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