The Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph’s new 36,000-square-foot branch office at West Oaks Mall is Florida’s largest.
The branch located between Dillard’s and the AMC theater in the struggling Ocoee mall officially opened to the public last month but a ribbon-cutting ceremony was staged this week with the West Orange Chamber of Commerce.
“After thirty-four years in the same branch office it was time for an upgrade,” Randolph said.
The new branch replaces smaller aging offices in Winter Garden and on West Colonial Drive in Orlando.
The West Oaks Mall branch, located between the two closed offices, also houses the tax collector’s call center, mail processing center and fraud prevention department
The cost of the move was $3.1 million, including the $34,199 monthly lease for the mall office, spokesman Eddie Ayala said in an email.
Demand for the office’s services has soared in recent years.
The office issued or renewed 475,564 drivers licenses in 2018 — an average of 1,826 per work day — and more than double the number of 185,000 license transactions in 2012, the year Randolph was elected. A Democrat, he was re-elected in 2016.
He also served in the Legislature, where he was a senior member on the Finance and Tax Committee.
Florida tax collectors, most of whom are elected, also collect property taxes; issue state registrations for motor vehicles, mobile homes and boats; and handle other official government documents, ranging from birth certificates to fishing licenses.
The new Ocoee location, on West Colonial and near state roads 429 and 408, expands the tax collector’s presence in growing west Orange County while adding 20 more front-line employees.
February 22, 2019 – Stephen Hudak