Times Editorial Board Recommendation

This article represents the opinion of the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office is responsible for the collection and distribution of local property, business, and other taxes. It also serves as an agent for the state in processing automobile registrations, driver’s licenses, and other permits. The office has 358 employees and an annual budget of $34 million. The tax collector is elected for a four-year term and receives $178,927 per year.

Related: How the Times makes its policy recommendations.

Nancy C. Millan

Nancy Millan, director of community relations in Doug Belden’s office, has announced her candidacy for the position of tax collector. [ Courtesy of Nancy Millan ]

This one is easy. As the top-level administrator of the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office, Nancy C. Millan is an integral part of what has long been recognized as one of the finest government operations in the state. She is well suited to continue the office’s reputation for excellence.

Although chosen in a partisan election, the tax collector is largely a ministerial officer whose main obligation is to get the details right. With longtime tax collector Doug Belden retiring, Millan is providing a smooth transition. She joined the office in 1989 and quickly rose through the ranks within Belden’s management team. In 2001, Millan was named Director of Community Relations, where she oversaw the agency’s public outreach efforts even as it expanded its scope of services. The office was the first Hillsborough agency and the first tax collector in the state to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award for Excellence, and its customer satisfaction ratings have been consistently high for years.

Millan, 53, is committed to pursuing customer orientation. She wants to expand online services and provide more personal assistance through virtual means to help taxpayers with specific issues. Millan acknowledges that the coronavirus will create long-term demands for safer ways for the government to interact with citizens. She wants to expand a pilot project that offers some services at self-service kiosks in retail outlets. Millan would make cybersecurity a priority and continue to look to trade associations to improve office management.

His opponent, Republican TK Mathew, is a businessman who worked for several years in Belden’s office. Mathew, 43, said his public and private experience gave him a more comprehensive view of service improvements and efficiencies he could bring to the workplace. He wants to use technology more and open new satellite offices.

Millan, however, has the same interest in making the desktop as accessible and agile as possible. She has concrete ideas for working with the private sector to deliver services in a way that does not necessarily involve large taxpayer investments. Millan won’t need a learning curve after the election, and his inclusive, consensual style would boost morale and lead to smarter decision-making. She is an accomplished professional ready to take the reins. For the Hillsborough County Tax Collector, the Tampa Bay Weather The editorial board recommends Democrat Nancy C. Millan.

Related: All The Times Editorial Board Recommendations

Candidate responses

the Time offers candidates not recommended by the Editorial Board the opportunity to respond. They can send a response of no more than 150 words by 5 p.m. on October 9 to Editorials Editor Graham Brink at [email protected]

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Editorials are the corporate voice of the Tampa Bay Times. Members of the Editorial Board are Times President and CEO Paul Tash, Editorials Editor Graham Brink, and columnists Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. To follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news

Esther L. Steinbach