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Zephyrhills gets its own tax office

The branch office opened without fanfare, but even without advertising it served 3,600 residents its first month.

By CHASE SQUIRES

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000


ZEPHYRHILLS -- Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Olson said Zephyrhills needed its own tax office, where residents could do everything from paying property taxes to renewing license plates.

Quietly, this year, he opened one.

Without fanfare or public attention, Olson said Thursday, he eased his fifth Pasco County Tax Collector's Office in the Westgate Shopping Center along State Road 54, near the Bealls and Scotty's stores.

"We didn't want to do anything to attract too much attention at first," Olson said. "We wanted everything to be ready."

Even without advertising, the branch office in its first month served 3,600 residents, about as many as the Land O'Lakes office serves each month.

Now, with the word out, Olson said he expects volume to increase. At the same time, the new office should relieve congestion at the Dade City office in the county courthouse, he said.

"This is a full-service office," Olson said. "I didn't feel it was right for a person to go into an office and not be able to do all the things they can do with any other tax collector's office."

In addition to property tax and tag payments, the office handles boat and auto title exchanges, boat registration, hunting licenses, tangible tax payments, county occupational licenses and anything else the main office is responsible for.

Olson said a review last year of the patrons using the Dade City office showed half of them were from Zephyrhills. Twenty percent of the people using the Land O'Lakes office were from Zephyrhills.

"There was definitely a need," he said.

The new office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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