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Collier County unveils temporary tax office in Marco Island 16 months after Ian

Collier County tax collector
Posted at 4:23 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 16:23:07-05

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — People on Marco Island are celebrating the opening of a new Collier County tax office in the city, more than a year after the previous one was shut down due to damage caused by Hurricane Ian.

The hurricane severely impacted the sole Collier County Tax Office on Marco Island, located at Winterberry Drive, leading to its closure. It was deemed more than 50% damaged, according to FEMA standards. Because of that, it will need to be lifted and rebuilt before it can be used again, according to the county.

The closure forced residents to travel to other nearby tax offices, with many having to make the drive to Naples for routine services such as filing property taxes and registering vehicles.

Collier County officials say the new temporary tax collector's office they have opened on east Elkam Circle will address the needs of the local community.

In a statement, the county says the office will serve the area temporarily until the original office on Winterberry Drive is rebuilt. Officials told Fox 4 this process is expected to take about two years.

“We are pleased to, once again, be able to provide Tax Collector services on Marco Island after having to temporarily reroute customers to our Eagle Creek office, located several miles north of the island,” says Collier County Tax Collector Rob Stoneburner in a statement.

Many are expressing relief and excitement about the new office's opening.

"It's awesome we don't have to travel to Naples," one person said. "It's great to have the office back open, and I'm going in there right now to get the title for our car."

People say the new office location could save them 20 to 40 minutes of driving time on their trips to the tax office. People on Marco Island appreciate the proximity, with one resident telling Fox 4, "This is literally less than a mile from my condo, so very convenient."

"I remain committed to maintaining a location on Marco Island to provide Tax Collector services to residents. This temporary location is merely a down payment on that commitment,” Stoneburner said.

Stoneburner's office declined Fox 4's request for a video interview and would not allow officials at his office to formally comment on the matter further.

The new Collier County Tax Collector will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.