Tag renewal forms get new look
TAMPA, Fla. (May 24, 1999) - The owners of nearly 700,000 vehicles in Hillsborough County are being urged to "Get Out of Line."
Starting this year, the Hillsborough County Tax Collector's Office is changing its license tag renewal form as part of its "Fast Tag Renewal" program.
Until now, vehicle owners have received a red-and-blue postcard around their birthday that tells them it's time to renew their tag.
This year, the postcard is being replaced by an attractive, letter-size form with a detachable coupon that will be mailed in an envelope about six weeks before the person's birthday.
The Fast Tag Renewal package contains a self-addressed envelope that can be mailed back to the Tax Collector's Office once the coupon has been filled out and the emissions inspection has been completed.
The goal of the program is to get people out of the lines at the license tag office and urge them to renew by mail or to use the convenient drop boxes at Hillsborough County's five emission stations.
"It costs us almost $8 to process a tag when someone comes in our branch," explained Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden whose office handles tag registrations and renewals. "We can process that same tag for $3 in a back office operation."
Since the Hillsborough County Tax Collector's Office handles about 700,000 transactions a year, the potential for savings is well over $1 million, Belden said.
Belden said it is important that people not ignore the Fast Tag Renewal notice when it arrives in the mail. It's in a white envelope marked by a bold orange stripe across the front. The front is marked "Important: Registration Renewal Notice Enclosed."
The self-addressed, Fast Tag Renewal return envelope is yellow and contains the Tax Collector's address already printed on the front.
Belden said about 19 percent of Hillsborough County's tag renewals are currently handled through the mail or drop boxes. Other urban counties average between 30 percent and 50 percent.
"As you can see, there is some room for improvement," Belden said. "If we can simply get to where other counties are, we can save taxpayers a tremendous amount of money."
Belden also pointed out that mailing or depositing the form in a drop box avoids the headaches associated with waiting in line. The time it takes to process a mail-in or drop-box registration is less than 10 days, he said.
For more information on the new form or the Fast Tag Renewal Program, contact Preston Trigg at (813) 307-6520.
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