Hillsborough County's Tax Collector plans to meet with state lawmakers within the next few weeks to discuss the amount of money his office sends to the Capitol every year.
- Large portion of funds from driver's license fees, vehicle registration fees go to Capitol
- Tax collector Doug Belden wants more of those funds to stay in county
- Funds needed to raise teacher salaries, complete roadway projects, according to Belden
Doug Belden wants the lion’s share of the money generated from driver’s license fees and vehicle registration costs to remain in the county.
“We desperately need to increase the pay for teachers,” said Belden. “We have a school system with broken HVAC units, which is inexcusable, and road projects, sidewalks in poor areas of Hillsborough County.”
Belden estimates his office sent more than $50 million to Tallahassee because of a 2010 state law that puts tax collector's offices in charge of issuing and processing driver's licenses and state identification.
Each new license costs the driver $54, but the tax office only collects $6.25 -- the rest goes to Tallahassee. Belden calls the law an “unfunded mandate” that puts an unnecessary strain on his office and his staff.
“From my standpoint, if I ask you, vis-à-vis the state asks me, to provide a service, I should be able to get the funds necessary to provide that service,” he said.
A spokesman for Gov. Scott did not respond to a request for comment.