Some branch offices of the Jackson County Tax Collector’s office will be temporarily closed and/or have amended hours as operations get back to normal at the main courthouse office following the completion of repairs made necessary by Hurricane Michael. The storm had forced some services to be moved to branch offices, and the resumption of normal operations will necessitate some temporary adjustments.
A “soft opening” of the main office began Sept. 4 and, at this time, the front office (facing U.S. Highway 90) is the only entry being used.
Tag and title transactions, property tax payments and hunting and fishing license are again being transacted at this location.
“As we transition from the branch offices in Sneads and Graceville, bringing back the staff and equipment that has been there for the past 11 months, we will be able to operate from both the West and Front entrances soon,” said Tax Collector Mary Carol Murdock in a press release this week.
Murdock asked for the public’s patience as the transition back will cause some temporary inconveniences.
“Temporary closures of these branches are necessary in order to do this,” she explained. “The Sneads office is closed this week and next week the Graceville office will be closed. They will then be re-opening two days a week. Graceville’s temporary hours will be Tuesday and Wednesdays and Sneads will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This will allow us to adequately serve the entire county again utilizing the staff that we now have,” she continued.
Murdock also recalled the establishment of those branch offices.
“Many years ago, Graceville’s tag agency was located in their city hall with one staff member only issuing tags. When the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles was going to close that office, Betty Hatcher, retired tax collector of 20 years, opened the branch office in Graceville in the location that we are in now. Later, she branched out to the east end of the county to serve Sneads with the same services, being opened four days a week.”
Murdock also recalled how her office coped in the aftermath of the 2018 hurricane.
“Only eight days after Hurricane Michael damaged our office on the first floor of the courthouse, we were able to move our equipment and staff to those branch offices and were open Monday through Friday,” she said. “We moved our DMV server to the Driver License office to be able to issue tags and handicapped parking placards in Marianna, having to send customers with title work to the outer skirts of the county. Many days there were lines of customers “out the door” as storm victims managed to located us in those branch offices to apply for duplicate titles and get proof of ownership of mobile homes and vehicles that had been demolished for FEMA and insurance purposes. In the meantime, county personnel and I was in search for an available building large enough to equip our office and the driver license office together. There was none available. Eleven months later we are back ready to serve our customers in a newly renovated office and my staff and I are excited to be back home. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the county during such a time as this and appreciate the hours of patience that the citizens of Jackson County have displayed during this time. Please visit our website for updates on hours of operation at www.jacksoncountytaxcollector.com.”