Clerk & Comptroller to the Pinellas County
Board of County Commissoners

Finance Divison


 

Finance Division

  • Clerk and Accountant of the Board of County Commissioners
  • Custodian of County Funds

The Role Of The Finance Division:

The Finance Division, an Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, is responsible for financial reporting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, Board Records and Financial Information Services.

Services Provided By The Finance Division:

As Clerk and Accountant of the Board of County Commissioners, Custodian of all County Funds, County Auditor and in the role of an Elected Official, the Clerk of the Circuit Court performs a wide variety of services for the citizens of Pinellas County including, in part, maintenance of financial records, preparing reports, investing county funds, pre-auditing of county expenditures and maintenance of official records of the Board of County Commissioners.

As Accountant of the Board of County Commissioners & Custodian of County Funds:

  • Provides accounting services to all departments under the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Programs and maintains software for the automated financial accounting system.
  • Provides financial reporting for the Board to federal and state agencies and to the public.
  • Handles investments of available county funds.
  • Processes accounts payable and accounts receivable.
  • Processes the County payroll.

As Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners:

  • Attends all meetings of the Board of County Commissioners and other designated County Boards.
  • Produces, records, indexes and distributes the official minutes of these meetings.
  • Board of County Commissioners' Board meeting minutes
  • Maintains legal custody of the Official County Seal.
  • Maintains custody of all County resolutions, ordinances and contracts.

Other duties assigned include:

  • Dock, Dredge & Fill Permits for the Water and Navigation Control Authority are processed in the Board Records department (which is part of the Clerk's Finance Division) at the below location:

Board Records Department
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater FL 33756

  • Petitions to object to property valuations are processed and submitted to the Value Adjustment Board through the Finance Division's Board Records Department.
  • The collection of fees for Home Solicitation Permits, acceptance and review of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits are also handled through the Finance Division's Board Records department.

Board of County Commissioners - Meetings & Minutes

Announcement:

The Clerk's office values your feedback and participation regarding items to come before the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). We invite you to take part in your County government by completing the comment card linked below. Please note that completed comment cards will be sent to the Pinellas County Administrator and each of the BCC members. If a comment card pertains to an agenda item of an upcoming meeting, it will become part of that meeting's record. If the comment card is not related to a specific meeting, it will still be kept as a public record and passed on to the Pinellas County Administrator and each of the BCC members for their review.


BCC Agenda Comment Card

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Value Adjustment Board Information

General Information

The Value Adjustment Board (VAB) serves as the decision-making authority when there is disagreement between the property owner and Property Appraiser concerning exemptions, valuations and classifications. Petition filing and scheduled quasi-judicial hearings are handled by the VAB to settle any disputes. The Board Records Department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller has been designated to serve as the Clerk to the VAB and all processes related to VAB are administered by this department.

The current members of the Pinellas County VAB are:

  • Commissioner Pat Gerard - Chairman
  • School Board Member Carol Cook
  • BCC Appointee Darryl Wilson
  • School Board Appointee Michael A.J. Bindman

Authority for the VAB is vested through Florida Statute 194.015

Value Adjustment Board Hearing Dates and Locations

VAB 2018 hearings will be tentatively scheduled from October 2018 through December 2018, but will continue until all petitions have been heard.

Hearings are scheduled between 8:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m., Monday - Friday at the following locations: (excluding county recognized holidays)

Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street
Clerk's 4th Floor Large and Small Conference Rooms
Clearwater, FL 33756

Building and Development Review Services Building
440 Court Street (Corner of S. Fort Harrison and Court Street)
Clearwater, FL 33756

Hearings are scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday at the following location:

Clerk's Tyrone Branch
1800 66th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

VAB Filing Information

The 2018 tax year petition filing deadline is Friday, September 14th. When Filing your petition(s) by mail, we must receive your petition(s) in-hand on or before Friday, September 14th by the close of business. Postmarks are not considered as the date of filing.

Note: If the above listed petition forms are used, the forms must be filled out, printed and submitted with the applicable filing fees to one of the following locations:

Board Records Department (in person or by mail)
315 Court Street 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: (727) 464-3458
Email: Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org

 

Petitions may also be dropped off only (with the applicable fees) at the following locations**:

St. Petersburg Branch
545 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Clerk's Tyrone Branch
1800 66th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

North County Branch
29582 U.S. Hwy 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761

**Hours for the branch locations above are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.

To speak to a representative at the Branch offices listed above, please call (727) 464-7000.

Late Filed Petitions
Petitions received after the deadline are considered "Late Files" and you must provide a written good cause reason as to why your petition was filed after the deadline. These petitions cannot be filed online and must be delivered to one of the locations above. These petitions are then forwarded to the VAB Counsel for review. If the VAB Counsel finds that the petitioner had good cause to submit a petition after the deadline, a hearing will be scheduled for the petition. However, if the VAB counsel finds that there was not good cause for the petition to be submitted late, a hearing will not be scheduled.

All petitions except petitions for multiple contiguous parcels and late filled petitions may be filed online through the Axia program in accordance to the established deadline date. 

Click here to file your VAB petition online. 
 

Please note that for petitions filed online, there is a non-refundable filing fee of $15.00 plus a 3.5% convenience fee for all VAB Petition types.

Value Adjustment Board procedural rules and requirements have been adopted by the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR):

Florida Statute 286.011 is also known as Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law.
You can obtain the current Government-In-The-Sunshine manual from the Attorney General’s website.

You may view all of the information regarding the Value Adjustment Board process on the DOR website.

F.A.C. 12D-9.017 Ex Parte Communication Prohibition
No participant, including the petitioner, the property appraiser, the board clerk, the special magistrate, a member of a value adjustment board, or other person directly or indirectly interested in the proceeding, nor anyone authorized to act on behalf of any party shall communicate with a member of the board or the special magistrate regarding the issues in the case without the other party being present or without providing a copy of any written communication to the other party.

All questions and concerns should be directed to the Clerk to the Value Adjustment Board which shall ensure that no ex parte communication occurs.

VAB Meeting Agendas VAB Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2018  
March 20, 2018 March 20, 2018
February 27, 2018 February 27, 2018
October 3, 2017 October 3, 2017
July 31, 2017 July 31, 2017
April 25, 2017 April 25, 2017
October 4, 2016 October 4, 2016
June 28, 2016 June 28, 2016
March 15, 2016 March 15, 2016
October 6, 2015 October 6, 2015
July 23, 2015 July 23, 2015
March 19, 2015 March 19, 2015
October 7, 2014 October 7, 2014
July 15, 2014 July 15, 2014
February 25, 2014 February 25, 2014
October 8, 2013 October 8, 2013
July 23, 2013 July 23, 2013
March 12, 2013 March 12, 2013
October 9, 2012 October 9, 2012
July 24, 2012 July 24, 2012
  February 21, 2012
  October 4, 2011
  July 12, 2011
  March 29, 2011
  January 19, 2011
  October 6, 2010
  July 13, 2010
  March 2, 2010
  October 6, 2009
  July 21, 2009
  February 3, 2009
  October 7, 2008
  September 9, 2008
  July 22, 2008
  June 10, 2008
  April 16, 2008
  January 8, 2008
  October 9, 2007
  July 24, 2007
  December 12, 2006
  October 10, 2006
  July 11, 2006

VAB Petition Filing Requirements

Unless the petition is filed online via the Axia program, all VAB petitions received by the Clerk appealing determinations of the Property Appraiser must have the petitioner’s original signature and be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee. Copied, emailed or faxed petitions will NOT be accepted. Petitions appealing the denial of timely filed homestead exemption applications or denial of tax deferral, must be received by July 31st of the current tax year, to be considered timely filed. Petitions appealing the denial of late filed applications for exemptions, classifications, or appealing the value of real or tangible personal property must be received in hand, by the close of business on Friday, September 14, 2018. Petitions not accompanied by the proper fee (see below) shall be deemed invalid and shall be rejected per F.S. 194.013(3) and returned to the petitioner with appropriate instructions.

A condominium association, cooperative association, or any homeowners’ association as defined in F.S. 723.075, with the approval of the board of administration or directors, may file a single joint petition on behalf of any association members who own parcels of property which the Property Appraiser determines are substantially similar with respect to location, proximity to amenities, number of rooms, living area and condition.  The petitioner must obtain a written determination from the Property Appraiser prior to filing the petition and must submit the determination provided and completed by the Property Appraiser with the petition.  Petitions must use DOR Form DR-486MU for these petitions.  Petitions received without the determination of the Property Appraiser will be deemed incomplete and returned to the petitioner with appropriate instructions.

The return of a petition improperly filed shall not grant a waiver nor extend the filing deadline for the petition. Petitions received after the deadline are considered “Late Files” and are forwarded to the VAB counsel for review.  If the counsel to the VAB determines that the petitioner had good cause to file the petition after the deadline the petition will be scheduled for a hearing; however, if the VAB counsel finds that there was not good cause for filing after the deadline, the petition will not be scheduled for a hearing. Petitions postmarked by the deadline dates, but received after those dates, are considered late. Petitions are not to be returned to the Property Appraiser's Office.

PETITION FILING CHECKLIST:

  • File a petition online via the Axia system.
  • Obtain a petition form from any of the Clerk’s Office locations listed below, from this website or request that one be mailed to you.
  • Obtain a petition form from any one of the Property’s Appraiser’s offices or request one to be mailed, faxed or emailed to you.
  • Complete all applicable sections of the petition and any other attachments required by statute.
  • Checks or money orders should be made payable to: Board of County Commissioners or BOCC.  Please do not submit cash.
  • Your completed petition, depending on the type, must be received in hand by one of the below Clerk's office locations, by the close of business on either July 31st or September 14th, 2018, along with the applicable filing fee. 

Mail or drop-off to:  

Board Records Department
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756

Hours of Operation for this office only: Monday - Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

OR your petition may be dropped-off only, with the applicable filing fees, at the following Clerk's branch locations***:

St Petersburg Branch
545 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701  

Tyrone Branch
1800 66th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710  

North County Branch
29582 U. S. Hwy 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761  

***Until further notice, due to the lack of legislative funding, hours for the above branch locations are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday (excluding county recognized holidays.)

All questions regarding the Value Adjustment Board should be directed to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk at (727) 464-3458 or by email Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org.

Filing Fees

(Filing fees are non-refundable)

Petitions shall be filed with the appropriate filing fee, as follows:
Single petition (one parcel) $15.00
Joint condominium, cooperative, or mobile home association if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are substantially similar in nature. $15.00 for the first parcel and a $5.00 fee for each additional parcel. The determination form (DR-486MU) pursuant to F.S. 194.011(3)(e), approved by the Property Appraiser must be filed with the petition.
Single petition for more than one contiguous, undeveloped parcel – if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are substantially similar in nature. $15.00 for the first parcel and a $5.00 fee for each additional contiguous parcel.The determination form (DR-486MU) pursuant to F.S. 194.011(3)(f), approved by the Property Appraiser must be filed with the petition.
Single petition for more than one tangible personal property accounts – if the Property Appraiser determines that the tangible personal property accounts are substantially similar in nature. $15.00 for the first tangible personal property account and a $5.00 fee for each additional tangible personal property account.The determination form (DR-486MU) pursuant to F.S. 194.011(3)(g), approved by the Property Appraiser must be filed with the petition.


A filing fee is not required if the following conditions apply:

  • If you are filing a petition for denial of a timely filed homestead exemption or denial of tax deferral (petition must be filed on or before July 31st of the current tax year.)
  • You can demonstrate, by an appropriate certificate issued by the Department of Children and Family Services and submitted with the petition, that you are an eligible recipient of temporary assistance under Florida Statutes, Chapter 414.

Value Adjustment Board (VAB) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For inquiries regarding your property assessment, homestead exemption or other determinations made by the Property Appraiser, contact: The Property Appraiser's Office .  You are entitled to request an informal conference with the Property Appraiser. The informal conference, however, is not required to prior to filing a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. If you disagree with the determination of the Property Appraiser, you may file a petition to the Value Adjustment Board with or without discussing the issues with the Property Appraiser.

You can file your petition online at the Axia website, request a VAB petition form from the Board Records Department by calling (727) 464-3458 or print a form from this site by selecting the desired form under "Petition Forms" from the VAB General Information section. You can also obtain a petition form from the Property Appraiser’s Office.

The petitioner should request as much time as they estimate they will need to present their case. Most hearings take between fifteen (15) and thirty (30) minutes and are so scheduled unless a specific request for more time is received.

Yes, click this link for filing fees.

NO. Pinellas County requires that unless the petition is filed online through the Axia website, all petitions must be filed be with original signatures with any applicable filing fees. FAXED OR EMAILED COPIES OF PETITIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. If you are concerned about meeting the filing deadline, file your petition online via the Axia website or send your petition to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Dept., 5th Floor, 315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 via overnight, express mail.

Petitions received after the deadline are considered “Late Files” and you must provide, in writing, good cause as to why your petition was filed after the deadline. These petitions are then forwarded to the VAB Counsel for review. If the VAB Counsel finds that the petitioner had good cause to submit a petition after the deadline, a hearing will be scheduled for the petition. However, if the VAB counsel finds that there was not good cause for the petition to be submitted late, a hearing will not be scheduled.

The deadline date for submitting petitions for most exemptions and classifications is July 31, 2018, and the deadline for accepting all other petitions is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14, 2018.

No later than twenty-five (25) calendar days prior to the hearing, you or your agent of record will be notified in writing of the date, time, and location for the hearing. Hearings will be tentatively scheduled from October 2017 through December 2017 of each tax year, but will continue until all petitions have been heard. The hearings are scheduled between 8:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. at all Clearwater hearing locations and between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Clerk's Tyrone hearing location.

Please review the Florida Department of Revenue website for examples of evidence listed in Florida Statute 193.

Note: The Clerk is not responsible for providing information of this type as these are legal matters and each petition may vary in required evidence criteria.

All supporting documentation and/or evidence must be submitted to the Property Appraiser no later than fifteen (15) calendar days before your scheduled hearing day as required by the statutory deadline. Specific information about the exchange of evidence requirements between the Property Appraiser and the petitioner is available online at Rule 12D-9.020  on the Department of Revenue website.

NOTICE: No petitioner shall present, nor shall the Board or special magistrate accept, testimony or other evidentiary materials for consideration that were requested of the petitioner in writing by the Property Appraiser of which the petitioner had knowledge and denied to the property appraiser.

Copies of documentation to be considered by the Value Adjustment Board, and a summary of evidence to be presented by witnesses, must be provided by the Petitioner at least fifteen days (15) days prior to your scheduled hearing to:

Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Office
315 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756

Or send an email to paovab@pcpao.org listing the petition number in the subject line.

DO NOT FILE YOUR EVIDENCE WITH THE CLERK. ALL EVIDENCE MUST BE EXCHANGED WITH THE PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE.

Petitioners MUST also bring copies of any documentation, which has been exchanged with the Property Appraiser’s Office as described above, that they intend to present for consideration to the Special Magistrate at the hearing.

You must bring copies of everything that you have previously submitted to the Property Appraiser. You may also want to bring something on which to take notes. All hearings are digitally recorded and can be made available to you for a nominal fee; however, feel free to bring your own recording device. You may need to wait a short time before your hearing begins, so bring whatever items you may need for your own comfort, such as a sweater or jacket, water, or reading material. All cell phones are to be turned off during the hearing.

A Special Magistrate appointed by the Value Adjustment Board will conduct the hearing pursuant to the rules and procedures promulgated by the Department of Revenue.

Per Florida Statute 194.035 the VAB appoints Special Magistrates for the purpose of taking testimony and making recommendations to the VAB.The VAB may act upon these recommendations without further hearing. These Special Magistrates cannot be elected or appointed officials or employees of the county but shall be selected from a list of those qualified individuals who are willing to serve as Special Magistrates. Employees and elected or appointed officials of a taxing jurisdiction or of the state may not serve as Special Magistrates.

  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues of exemptions and classifications shall be a member of The Florida Bar with five (5) years’ experience in the area of ad valorem taxation or with less than five (5) years' experience in this area, but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.
  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of real estate shall be a state certified appraiser with five (5) years’ experience in real property valuation or has less than five years’ experience but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.
  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of tangible personal property shall be a designated member of a nationally recognized appraiser’s organization with five (5) years’ experience in tangible personal property valuations or has less than five years’ experience but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.

The petitioner shall have the right to reschedule the hearing a single time with good cause by submitting a written request to the Board Records Department of the Clerk of Court. Requests may be faxed to (727) 464-4716, emailed to Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org, or mailed to the Board Records Department at 315 Court Street, Fifth Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.

If you do not plan to attend the scheduled hearing, the hearing will proceed and the Special Magistrate will consider any evidence presented with the petition. Florida law allows the Property Appraiser to cross examine or object to your evidence. The Special Magistrate will follow the same statutory guidelines as if you were present.

You may indicate on the petition if you will not be attending the hearing and it will process as if you were present. You also have the right, at your own expense, to be represented by an attorney or an agent of your choice. However, if your agent is not a licensed attorney or agent, you must submit written authorization for that person to represent you.

If you wish to withdraw your petition from consideration by the VAB, you must notify the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department in writing. You may complete the Request for Withdrawal Form, and return it by mail to 315 Court St., 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756, by email to Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org, or you may fax your request to the department at (727) 464-4716.

The Tax Collector begins collecting taxes on November 1 of each year. If you want to take advantage of any discounts, you should pay your tax bill on or before the discount due date. Any refunds due as a result of a VAB petition will be distributed by the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office following the Final Meeting of the VAB.

Pursuant to HB 281 which was approved by the Legislature during the 2012 session, taxpayers appealing the value of their property must pay at least 75% of the ad valorem taxes owed, less the discount, before the taxes become delinquent on April 1st. If the VAB determines that the amount of the tax paid is grossly disproportionate to the amount of tax found to be due, the Tax Collector must collect a penalty of 10% of the deficiency per year from the date the taxes become delinquent.

Petitioners challenging the denial of an exemption or classification must pay all of the non-ad valorem assessments and the amount of tax that the taxpayer admits in good faith to owe, less any applicable discounts, before the taxes become delinquent on April 1st. If the VAB determines that the petitioner owes ad valorem taxes in excess of the amount paid, the unpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxes become delinquent until the unpaid amount is paid. If the VAB determines that a refund is due, the overpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxed became delinquent until the refund is paid. Interest does not accrue on amounts paid in excess of 100% of the current taxes due on the tax notice.

If any petitioner fails to pay their taxes before they become delinquent on April 1st, the VAB must deny the petition by April 20th.

In the event that you disagree with the final decision of the Value Adjustment Board, you may file an action in Circuit Court within 60 days from the date on your final decision letter. Such actions are considered de novo, or original actions, rather than an appeal of the VAB decision. Petitioners should seek legal counsel for more information.

Home Solicitation Permits

Pursuant to Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, individuals who engage in certain door-to-door solicitation activities that sell, lease or rent consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25.00 are required to obtain a Home Solicitation Permit.

The following individuals are excluded from this requirement:

  • Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual place of business of a customer.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
  • Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents conducting a sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services by sample, catalog, or brochure for future delivery.
  • Minors, as defined in s. 1.01(13), Florida Statutes, conducting home solicitation sales under the supervision of an adult supervisor who holds a valid home solicitation sale permit.
  • Those sellers or their representatives that are currently regulated as to the sale of goods and services by Chapter 475 or Chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or veterans' institution or organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a), Florida Statutes.

The Board Records Department has the responsibility of collecting fees for home solicitation permits, acceptance and review of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits.

To learn more about the process of acquiring a permit, please see our questions and answers.

You may obtain a permit application form online by clicking here or at the location listed below.

Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department

Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Telephone: (727) 464-3458

Introduction - Questions and Answers

The 1986 Florida Legislature amended the above law to require that as of October 1, 1986, persons who are engaged in certain personal door-to-door solicitation activities obtain permits issued by the County.

This is a very general outline of the provisions of the above law and any specific questions regarding its applicability to any individual or business situation should be referred to private attorneys for advice.

Solicitors will be referred to as "sellers," those being solicited as "buyers," and the Clerk of the Circuit Court as the "Clerk."

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about home solicitation permits - FSS 501.022

"Home solicitation sale" means a sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25 which includes all interest, service charges, finance charges, postage, freight, insurance, and service or handling charges, whether under single or multiple contracts, made pursuant to an installment contract, a loan agreement, other evidence of indebtedness, or a cash transaction or other consumer credit transaction in which:

  • The seller or a person acting for him or her engages in a personal solicitation of the sale, lease, or rental at a place other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sale, rental and
  • The buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is given to the seller and the sale, lease, or rental is consummated at a place other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment, including a transaction unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other contract between the buyer and the seller or representative prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the services. It does not include a sale, lease, or rental made at any fair or similar commercial exhibit or sale, lease, or rental that results from a request for specific goods or services by the purchaser or lessee or a sale made by a motor vehicle dealer licensed under s. 320.27, Florida Statutes, which occurs at a location or facility open to the general public or to a designated group.

Home Solicitation Permit.

All adults who engage in door-to-door, face-to-face "home solicitation sales" as defined in the law, and all adults who supervise minors engaged in such home solicitation sales.

When the aggregate value of the sale, lease or rental of consumer goods is less than $25.00; when the solicitation is by use of catalogs, samples, or brochures for future delivery; when the solicitation is made at the invitation of the prospective buyer; when solicitation is made at the usual place of business of a buyer regarding product or service for use in connection with the buyer's regular business; when the solicitor is under 18 years of age (except when otherwise covered by the law, minors must be supervised by an adult who has a valid permit); when the solicitation is for certain funeral arrangements as regulated by Chapters 470, 497 and 639, Florida Statutes; or when the solicitation occurs at a fair or similar commercial exhibit.

According to s. 501.022, (1)(b), Florida Statutes, the following are exempt from operation of home solicitation sale:

  • Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual place of business of a customer regarding product or service for use in connection with the customer's business.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
  • Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other contact between the buyer and the seller or representative prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the services.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or veterans' institution or organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a), Florida Statutes.

Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
Board Records Department

Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court St., 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Business hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

A non-refundable fee of $100.00, payable to the Board of County Commissioners, is required to apply for a permit valid for one year from date of issuance. An additional fee of $24.00, payable to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, is also required to submit information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a criminal background search.

Obtain an application form from the Board Records Department or online in PDF format by clicking here. Applicant must provide the Clerk with two (2) head and shoulders (passport) photographs, at least 1 x 1 1/2 in size. An application is completed and notarized, along with a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency. A package of the materials will be processed for a criminal background search.

To get fingerprinted by an authorized law enforcement agency, you can visit the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Fingerprinting Service Office located at 4645 145th Avenue, Clearwater, FL or visit their website to view information about fingerprinting. There is a $5.00 fee associated with this service and it is only offered to Pinellas County citizens. Note: Please state that the fingerprints are for a background check as there are many different types of fingerprinting services offered by the Sheriff's office.

This will vary depending on how soon the fingerprint and background checks can be completed. The law requires FDLE and the Sheriff to report any criminal information within 60 days after they receive the fingerprints and a copy of the application.

Yes, unless a municipal permit is required. Please contact the municipality where home solicitation sales will occur regarding the permitting requirements.

If it is determined that an applicant or permitholder has:

  • been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in certain crimes;
  • has obtained a permit by fraud, false statement, misrepresentation, or failure to truthfully answer any question in the required permit application;
  • failed to obtain required municipal occupational licenses or has failed in any material respect to comply with the provisions of s. 501.201 - 501.055, Florida Statutes.

If the application is approved, the Clerk will notify the applicant by mail or phone. If the application is denied, the Clerk will notify the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested.

It will be a laminated identification card bearing the photograph of the permitholder as well as additional identifying information.

Any such change must be furnished to the Clerk in writing within 15 days.

Local law enforcement agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services will also investigate complaints.

Businesses should refer to s. 501.046, Florida Statutes, and verify compliance with the requirements contained therein.

  • Under s. 501.55, Florida Statutes, penalties range from misdemeanor in the first degree to felony in the third degree.
  • If you believe that a person is operating in violation of this statute, please contact the Pinellas County Office of Justice and Consumer Services at (727) 464-6200.

Dock, Dredge & Fill Permits

Article V, Chapter 166 of the Pinellas County Land Development Code was enacted by the Board of County Commissioners (and amended on April 26, 2011) in order to provide adequate regulation and control in Pinellas County of all water-related areas and their alterations. This includes dredging, filling, pumping, or otherwise altering the shoreline and land contours.

Control of Pinellas County waterways is regulated through the requirement of a permitting process. Board Records is a department under the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The department's responsibilities, relative to dock/dredge and fill permitting, include collection of permitting fees, acceptance of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits.

The Water and Navigation Section of the Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining permit application forms, inspecting dock construction and reviewing and approving permits. You may obtain a permit application form online or obtain a form at the location listed below. Prior to submitting a permit application, you are encouraged to review Chapter 166 of the Pinellas County Land Development Code along with any other dock/dredge and fill information located on the Water and Navigation Section’s web site. Links to both can be found on the list below.

Contact Information

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Board Records Department
Clearwater Courthouse

315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Tel: (727) 464-3464

Dock/Dredge & Fill Permit Applications Received

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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Permits

You are encouraged to review the Water and Navigation Code for detailed information regarding permitting.

A permit is required for any of the following:

  • All new dock construction. (This includes additional square footage to an existing dock).
  • Structural repairs (i.e. stringers, pilings, etc.).
  • Replacing or adding new Tie Poles.
  • Boatlifts. (Replacement of a previously permitted boatlift does not require a permit unless pilings are being replaced and the boatlift is being reconstructed without enclosed sides).
  • Dredge & fill activities.
  • New Seawall.
  • RipRap

If you're not sure if your project requires a permit, please call the Water and Navigation Section of the Public Works Department at (727) 453-3385
Refer to the Water and Navigation section of the Pinellas County Land Development Code for additional requirements that may apply.

Either a homeowner or an authorized agent.

Yes, visit the Dock Permit Fees tab on the left.

Dock/Dredge & Fill applications can be acquired by any of the following:

In some cases, Permit Application forms can be processed the same day. If a more detailed review is required by the the Water and Navigation Section, the application is normally processed within 12 days (e.g., if the project is located in an environmentally sensitive area or if there are navigational concerns or variances). Some applications, such as those requiring public hearings or for larger commercial or multi-use projects, may take longer to process.

All permits are valid for one (1) year from date of issuance.  A one-year extension may be granted upon written request and the payment of a $25.00 fee.  A second one-year permit shall be granted upon written request and payment of a $25.00 fee if the project is not completed by the end of the second year.  The County may authorize two additional one-year extensions upon written request, payment of fees and with a showing of good cause.  The extension request must be received by the Clerk within 90 days before or after the permit expiration date.

To submit revisions to a previously issued permit:

  • Fill out the first 3 pages of a new application and attach a copy of the previous permit.
  • Use the copy to indicate any revisions.
  • Write "Revised" next to the permit number on the top right of the application on all pages being revised.
  • Re-sign the "Revised" application in all applicable areas.
  • If changes were made to the drawing page, municipality approval must be obtained.
  • Submit to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department, 315 Court Street, 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.

Applications for revisions shall only be accepted within one year of the original issuance of the permit unless the applicant can demonstrate that the project has been under active review by another government agency and the revision is a requirement of that agency. Additional fees may or may not apply.

Go to the Dock/Dredge & Fill Permit Applications Received section on this page, then click on the appropriate area and search for the property address. If you need assistance locating a permit, call Board Records at (727) 464-3464.

Call Board Records at (727) 464-3464, email your request BoardRecords@pinellascounty.org, or, if you want to pay for your copies with by credit or debit card, go to the Board Records section of the Clerk’s Online Copy Request and Payment Center. If you have established a "Deposit Account" your request can also be faxed to (727) 464-4716. The previous permit will be accessed and printed for you.  Otherwise, you will need to visit the Clearwater Courthouse, 315 Court Street, Board Records Dept., 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756  to pick up the copies at a charge of $.15 per page.

The "normal" guidelines for a dock not requiring a variance is as follows:

  • Construction is contained within the middle 1/3 of the property. For example, if the property is 60 feet wide at the waterfront, the dock/boatlift would need to be contained within the middle 20 feet of the waterfront. (Tie poles are excluded in this analysis).
  • The dock's length does not exceed 50% of the waterfront width. (Tie poles are excluded in this analysis).
  • The water depth is greater than 18 inches at low tide.

Any deviation to these guidelines requires a variance. The Water and Navigation Section of the County will review the permit and may approve a variance based on certain criteria; if not, the variance request must be reviewed by the Board of Adjustment at a public hearing.

Refer to the Water and Navigation Code for additional variance requirements that may apply and for special restrictions regarding the Lake Tarpon and Lake Seminole areas.

All drawings shown on the drawing page must be to scale. You should follow the guidelines shown on the sample drawing page included with the application. If you require assistance with the drawing page, please contact the Water and Navigation Section at (727) 453-3385.

If the site is in an incorporated area, city approval must be obtained in the "Municipality Approval" block at the bottom left of the drawing page unless the site is in the incorporated areas of Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Redington Beach and North Redington Beach. Applications within those municipalities are first reviewed and approved by the Pinellas County Building Department prior to obtaining municipality approval. (In all cases, municipality approval must be acquired prior to submitting the application to the Board Records Department).

If the dock is a new "Multi-Use" or "Commercial" dock, an Engineers seal is required. (An Engineers seal is not required if the construction is only repairing an existing permitted dock, adding a boatlift and/or tie poles). All floating docks require a Florida State Certified Engineers Seal, unless they have been pre-certified by the manufacturer.

Yes. An approval letter, signed by one of the community association officers authorizing the construction must accompany the permit application.

Yes. A letter is required from the homeowner to include the following information:

  • Permit number.
  • Site address where dock is being added/upgraded.
  • Name of original contractor.
  • Name of new contractor.

Sign and date the letter and submit to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department, 315 Court Street, 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.

Only if the construction plans are changing or the permit has expired. As long as the dock is being constructed exactly as approved and the permit has not expired, the previous homeowner's permit can be used.

Roofs are allowed only over boatlifts and not over the dock structure.

A property owner or licensed contractor.

If a contractor is performing the construction, the contractor must possess a valid class "A" general contractor's license or a marine contractor's license issued by the Pinellas County Construction and Licensing Board (PCCLB).

Certain applications will require review by the Board of Adjustment or a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners, depending on the size of the project and type of permit being requested.  You will be notified by the Water and Navigation Section if your permit requires a public hearing.  The procedures for public hearings were updated by the changes made to the Water and Navigation Code on April 26, 2011.  Please contact the Water and Navigation Section with questions about public hearings.

Two permits may be required. First, construction permits for seawalls are issued by the local municipality for sites within incorporated areas of Pinellas County and by the Pinellas County Building Department for sites in unincorporated areas. Second, dredge and fill permits are issued by the Water and Navigation Section.

Water & Navigation Permitting Fees/Deposit

Established by Resolution 09-130 – Effective date 10/01/2009

 
Private Docks Fees($)
Tie Poles and/or Lifts and Lower Landings with no Piling Only 450
Less than 250 square feet of new deck area 600
250 to 499 square feet of new deck area 650
500 to 999 square feet of new deck area 685
Over 1,000 square feet of new deck area 735
Repair (Previously Permitted Dock) 300
Multi-Use Docks
*New 665
(Plus $100 per slip created
-$2,500 maximum slip charge.)
Tie Poles and/or Lifts Only 465
(Plus $100 per slip created
-$2,500 maximum slip charge.)
Repair (Previously Permitted Dock) 300
Commercial Docks
New 715
(Plus $100 per slip created
-$2,500 maximum slip charge.)
Tie Poles or Lifts Only 465
(Plus $100 per slip created
-$2,500 maximum slip charge.)
Repair (Previously Permitted Dock) 300
Dredge/Fill
Less than 101 cubic yards 565
101 to 500 cubic yards 815
501 to 1,000 cubic yards 1,315
More than 1,000 cubic yards 1,565
RIP/RAP against an existing seawall No Charge
**Permit Extension
Dock 25
Dredge & Fill 50
Other
After the fact Permit Five (5) times
the normal fee
plus any fines
***Public Hearing deposit 250

*A "New Dock" fee covers all components of dock construction (i.e. Dock, Tie Poles & Boat Lift).

**Extension of expiration date effective 1 year from expiration date of original permit.

*** A Public Hearing Deposit covers Advertising and Postage for surrounding property owner notices.

To inquire about Mangrove Trimming application fees, call
the Department of Environmental Management at (727) 464-4761

Contractor Information

All construction activity involving docks or boardwalks must be conducted by a contractor possessing a valid class “A” general contractor’s license or a marine contractor’s license issued by the Pinellas County Construction and Licensing Board (PCCLB). All such contractors and any contractor performing dredge and fill activities shall maintain applicable worker’s compensation and general liability insurance as required by state and federal law, including but not limited to, the provisions of the U.S. Longshoreman’s & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (USL&H), or the Jones Act.

Registration Checklist

In order to submit applications for Dock/Dredge & Fill Permits, a contractor must fulfill all registration requirements.

Complete the following and submit to Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department, 315 Court Street, 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756:

  •     A copy of USL&H Insurance Coverage, where applicable
  •     A copy of your current Contractors License issued by the Pinellas County Construction and Licensing Board (PCCLB)

Questions regarding Bonding or insurance requirements should be directed to the Department of Environmental Management at (727) 464-4761

Other Recommended Review Materials

It is recommended you review the Pinellas County Waterways Code for additional information regarding your responsibilities as a Marine Contractor.

Permit Application forms can be accessed at the Pinellas County Environmental Management website.

Clerk Budgets, Audits and Performance Measures

As your Chief Financial Officer for the County, it is important for us to demonstrate our commitment to accountability and transparency. You, the citizens of Pinellas County expect accountability in your public officials. I realize that the dollars we spend are your dollars, and we need to be ever diligent to make sure that every dollar we spend is necessary and efficiently used.

I’ve worked to live up to the standards I set for our office. In the time I have been in office, we have significantly increased services we deliver and dealt with a heavier work load both in our courts and accounting offices. Today, despite decreases in personnel we have continued to provide excellent customer service. We have done that through process improvements, better use of technology and better trained personnel.

This past Legislative session, Clerks’ budgets across the state were cut on average 18%. Since 90% of our budget is for personnel expenses, this cut has forced us to make more dramatic reductions in personnel than we had planned. The current financial environment will test and strain our ability to continue to deliver quality and timely services. I can assure you that our personnel are committed to delivering you the highest level of customer service and we are up to the challenge before us.

I am proud of our performance. I am very fortunate to have a great team of employees behind me who make me look good. We believe the more you know about us, the more you appreciate the value you get in our office. We have attached information that will assist you to make an evaluation of our performance. We encourage your review and inspection of our records. Please call if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Annual Budgets for the Clerk

Funding the Office of Clerk of Courts - Statewide

Financial Services: The Clerk has responsibility for the financial operations both for the county government and the court activities. For county government, this responsibility includes the Board of County Commissioners (BCC or County), Clerk, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Human Resource and the Sheriff. In order to maximize overall efficiency, the Clerk uses the same employees to provide services for the BCC and the Clerk’s Office. Many Pinellas County agencies share a Unified Personnel System (UPS). The UPS provides the agencies with job classifications, personnel rules, uniform disciplinary guidelines and pay scales. The Human Resources Department sets the pay ranges in accordance with studies of like employers, both public and private, that perform similar work. The member agencies of the UPS are bound to follow the procedures as established by them. Those costs for financial operations not paid by the County are allocated to other budget areas, including Official Records and the court functions. The Clerk has approval authority for these budgets.


Official Records and Administration: The Clerk collects recording fees that fund this operation. In addition to the recording of official records, centralized administrative functions including human resources, purchasing, mail and general management are provided by Administration. Furthermore, specialized services such as archives and central filing are housed in Administration. Unspent recording revenues are returned to the County. The Clerk has approval authority for this budget.

Court Services: Following a 2004 Constitutional Amendment approved by Florida voters, the Florida Legislature assumed responsibility for funding the budget for the Clerk’s court-related services. This funding was accomplished completely through fees and service charges for court users. Prior to this time, court services provided by the clerk were a county-funded responsibility and were only partially funded by fees and service charges. After 2004 the County retained the responsibility for funding some court-related costs including facilities, communications, and shared technology. The Legislature also created the Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC) to assist clerks in the development of their budget and to approve those budgets within statutory guidelines (Visit the CCOC website at www.flccoc.org). Court related services are funded from a portion of the court fines and fees the clerk collects with the remainder of the monies collected by the clerk going primarily to fund judicial operations throughout the state. During the 2009 Legislative session, the clerk’s budgets were capped statewide and, beginning in 2010, clerk court-related budgets will be part of the state appropriation process.

Child Support: Clerks are responsible for assisting in collecting court-ordered child support payments. The Clerk has entered into a contract whereby the Federal government reimburses the Clerk for the cost incurred in providing this service. These services are provided by employees in the Courts Department and their time is captured and not included in our court related budget.

Technology: The Clerk is responsible for his own technology, except for shared systems funded by the County per Florida Statutes. Florida law provides a fee per page for documents recorded in Official Records to fund both software and hardware technology costs, which is placed in a trust fund. The Clerk has approval authority for this budget subject to the available dollars in the trust fund.

Budget Process

The Florida Constitution charges the Clerk of Courts with multiple responsibilities. These responsibilities include being the Clerk to the Circuit and County Courts, Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, County Auditor, Recorder of Official Records, and County Finance Officer. Over time, the funding sources and budgetary approval process for these different responsibilities have evolved and in many cases become specific to the functional responsibility. Therefore, portions of the Clerk’s budget have different revenue sources, different expenditure rules and different approval authorities.

Funding the Office of Clerk of Courts

PINELLAS COUNTY CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
BUDGET PROCESS

Budget Adoption: The Clerk of the Circuit Court adopts an annual budget for all funds within the Clerk’s Office. The budget is prepared on a basis consistent with generally accepted accounting principles. The annual budget serves as the legal authorization of expenditures. The budget must be balanced, which means that budgeted expenditures and reserves of each fund (appropriations) will equal the sum of estimated fund balance at the beginning of the fiscal year and revenues expected to be received during the fiscal year (estimated revenues). A line item budget is adopted for revenues and expenditures.

Budgetary Control: Expenditures may not exceed appropriations at the major object code level within the cost center of the fund. Subsequent amendments increasing the overall total budget approved by the Board of County Commissioners (Board) for the Board fund must be approved by the Board. Subsequent amendments increasing the overall total budget approved by the Clerk of the Court Corporation (CCOC) for the Court fund must be approved by the CCOC. The Clerk may approve budgetary changes within the respective funds. The Chief Deputy Directors of the affected Divisions may approve amendments that do not increase the overall budgets of the respective funds or allocate funds from reserve for contingency.

 
Number Name Source Excess Fee Distribution
1501 Court Clerk’s Court related fees, fines and forfeitures Remitted to State
1502 Board Transfers from Board Remitted to Board
1503 Recording Recording fees, marriage licenses and passports, etc. Remitted to Board
1505 Public Records Modernization Trust Additional $1 service charge on the lst page and $.50 on each additional page of most recorded instruments Retained by the Clerk
1506 Court Public Records Modernization Trust Additional $1.90 per page service charge on most recorded instruments Retained by the Clerk
1506 10% Fine/Public Records Modernization Trust 10% of fines Retained by the Clerk
 

Fund 1501 – Court: The Court fund is used to account for court related filing fees, service charges, fines and forfeitures and court costs as established by statute. Only those functions on the standard list developed pursuant to s. 28.35(4)(a) may be funded from fees, service charges, court costs, and fines retained by the Clerk. The Court budget is submitted to the Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC) annually on or before August 15 of each fiscal year. The proposed budget must provide detailed information on the anticipated revenues available and expenditures necessary for the performance of the standard list of court-related functions of the Clerk developed pursuant to s. 28.35(4)(a) for the county fiscal year beginning the following October 1. By January 1 of each year the Clerk must remit to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the General Revenue Fund the cumulative excess of all fees, service charges, court costs, and fines plus any funds received from the Department of Revenue Clerk of the Court Trust Fund under s. 28.36(4)(a), over the amount needed to meet the approved budget amounts established under s. 28.36.

Fund 1502 – Board: The Board fund is used to account for the functions that support the Board of County Commissioners (Board), such as Clerk and Accountant to the Board, County Auditor and Printing and Mail services. The Board fund is funded solely by transfers from the Board. The budget is submitted to the Board for approval in May of each year in accordance with s.129.03. The excess of transfers over expenditures for the fiscal year are returned to the Board on or before October 31 of the following fiscal year.

Fund 1503 – Recording: The Recording fund is used to account for the functions of the County Recorder, such as recording legal instruments, maintaining official records, issuing marriage licenses, performing marriage ceremonies, processing passport applications, etc. The Recording fund is funded from recording fees, marriage license application and ceremony fees, passport applications fees, documentary stamp commissions, etc. The excess of such fees over expenditures for the fiscal year are returned to the Board on or before October 31 of the following fiscal year.

Fund 1505 – Public Records Modernization Trust: The Public Records Modernization Trust fund is used to account revenues generated from the additional $1 service charge on the 1st page and $.50 of each additional page of most recorded instruments with the exception of judgments received from the courts and notices of lis pendens, recorded in the official records. The revenue is to be used exclusively for equipment and maintenance of equipment, personnel training, and technical assistance in modernizing the public records system of the office. The fund may not be used for the payment of travel expenses, membership dues, bank charges, staff-recruitment costs, salaries or benefits of employees, construction costs, general operating expenses, or other costs not directly related to obtaining and maintaining equipment for public records systems or for the purchase of furniture or office supplies and equipment not related to the storage of records. The excess of such revenues over expenditures for the fiscal year are retained by the Clerk in the fund.

Fund 1506 – Court Public Records Modernization Trust: The Court Public Records Modernization Trust fund is used to account revenues generated from the additional $1.90 service charge per page of most instruments with the exception of judgments received from the courts and notices of lis pendens, recorded in the official records. The revenue is to be used exclusively for funding court-related technology needs of the Clerk as defined in s. 29.008(1)(f)2. and (h). The fund may be used for the payment of travel expenses, membership dues, bank charges, staff-recruitment costs, salaries or benefits of employees, general operating expenses, or other costs directly related to court technology for the Clerk’s Office. The excess of such revenues over expenditures for the fiscal year are retained by the Clerk in the fund.

Fund 1506 – 10% Fine/Public Records Modernization Trust: The 10% Fine/Public Records Modernization Trust fund is used to fund programs for the court. The excess of such revenues over expenditures for the fiscal year are retained by the Clerk in the fund.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR)

The Annual Financial Report produced by the Finance Division

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that is produced by the Finance Division is a comprehensive financial report encompassing all operations of the county. The Finance Division has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 26 consecutive years, an honor which bestows national recognition on the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Popular Annual Financial Reports (Citizen's Guide)

The Finance Division issues this Citizens’ Guide to County Finances (Citizens’ Guide), which is a condensed analysis of the County’s financial position and operating results for the year. The Citizens’ Guide has received an Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting from GFOA for the past ten years

The Annual Financial Report (AFR)

This report provides financial information for the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and County Constitutional Officers. This report includes in one document the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which presents the audited annual financial statements of the BCC and each of the County’s five Constitutional Officers combined in the front, with the separately audited financial statements of each Constitutional Officers following.

This report is required to be filed with the State of Florida Auditor General’s Office annually in accordance with Section 218.39, Florida Statutes, and is also available on the Auditor General’s Website.

Bonded Debt Reports

The Citizens have frequently shown an interest in the amount of bonded debt of Pinellas County. With this in mind, it is my pleasure to provide you with the Pinellas County Bonded Debt Report. The purpose of this report is to present information related to the bonded debt of the County in a clear and concise manner so that you may understand the extent, nature and purpose of the debt. This report provides a detailed look at the County’s debt at September 30, 2016, a ten year history showing the change in debt over time and a comparison of Pinellas County’s bonded debt with four other counties of comparable population.

Independent Audit Financial Reports for the Clerk

External Financial Reports:

State:

Audit & Financial Reports Definitions

The Clerk is a separate Constitutional Office and is required to have expenditures, revenues and operations audited. The Clerk is subject to multiple audits and those are listed and discussed below:

Annual Audit: The County Commission contracts with an independent accounting firm to perform an audit of the functions and financial activities of the Board and each of the five Constitutional Offices. Each of these entities is independently audited and subject to materiality based upon their own expenditure levels. The audits of the five Constitutional Officers along with the Board are then combined into a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is submitted to the Board and widely distributed to provide citizens, investors and other interested parties an overview of the financial health and fiscal activities of the entire county government. Copies can be viewed in our office or online under the (CAFR) section.

Department of Financial Services: Beginning in 2004, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) was charged by statute with the responsibility for auditing each Clerk’s court-related expenditures to insure that the budgets are in compliance with state statutes and used solely for court-related activities. DFS periodically audits every Clerk and provides written reports.

Internal Audits: The Clerk has a Division of Inspector General whose scope of work includes two general areas; Audit Services staff audits the Clerk and Board operations. Internal audits are provided to management for corrective action as needed and are followed up by the Audit Services staff. The Public Integrity Investigations Unit has the primary responsibility for investigation of all suspected inappropriate activity as defined in the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse Policy and Procedures. If the investigation substantiates that a fraudulent act has occurred, the Division of Inspector General will notify the Clerk of the Circuit Court, or County Administrator, as applicable, and such other County officials as appropriate. The Clerk appoints the Director of the Division of Inspector General with background and experience in auditing. His role is to establish an annual audit program and review the scope and quality of work performed by the Audit Services staff. 
The Reports from the Internal Audits conducted by the Division of Inspector General staff can be found online here.

Auditor General: In Florida, the Auditor General (AG) is a constitutional officer appointed by the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. His appointment is confirmed by both houses of the Legislature. The AG conducts financial audits of the accounts and records of State agencies; and, as directed by the Legislative Auditing Committee, of local governments including Clerks of Court and the Clerk of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC). The AG adopts rules for financial audits performed by independent certified public accountants of local governmental entities, including Clerks, and reviews all audit reports of local governmental entities, pursuant to Section 218.39, Florida Statutes. All AG audits can be seen on their website at www.myflorida.com/audgen/.

Child Support Audits: Child support services in Florida and other states are provided through Federal grants and controlled by the provisions of OMB Circular A-87. The Florida Department of Revenue (www.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport/) administers the grant program, and contracts with independent certified public accountants to provide an annual audit of the expenditure of grant funds and the operations of the Clerks in regard to child support enforcement. In addition, periodic inspection and oversight is provided by the Office of Child Support Enforcement of the US Department of Health and Human Services (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/).

Performance Measures


The Clerk of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC) was created in 2004 by the Florida Legislature. Included in the bill creating the CCOC was a requirement to create and monitor performance measures. Over the five years since the creation of the CCOC a number of performance measures have been implemented to measure those court related activities for which Clerks are responsible. For each of these measures a standard was established. Clerks are required to both self report and, to the extent that performance falls below the standard set by the CCOC, the Clerk must provide the actions that will be taken to bring the performance to or above standards.

Timeliness of Case Creation: The percentage of cases created within X business days from the time the case was clocked in.

Timeliness of Docket Entry: The percentage of docket entries created within X business days from the time clocked in/action taken date.

Collection Rate of Fines, Fees and Costs: Actual percentage of Fines, Fess, and Costs collected during 5 business quarters from the time assessed.

Performance measures for non court-related functions have not been established. While not required by law, Clerks statewide have discussed developing performance measures for their non court-related functions. As those performance measures are developed and standards established, we will be reporting on them as well.