The Orange County Tax Collector says it is time to get out of his
expensive office space in downtown Orlando but adds that county staff is
not doing enough to help him leave. The Tax Collector's downtown office is located on the 16th floor of the SunTrust building, and Tax Collector Scott Randolph says that gives the public the perception that his office is out of touch.
"I think a lot of times people have come up here and you know, 'What's a government office doing on the 16th floor of the tallest building in town?'"
The space is one of the more expensive that Orange County leases. Randolph estimates he can save the taxpayers money if they move out of the clouds, and out of the central part of downtown.
"I think over the next two years between being able to consolidate operations and have a better management and be able to consolidate some positions through bringing different departments back together, I think we can save two, two-and-a-half million over the next five years."
Randolph estimates he can save close to a million dollars in rent alone by moving to an office building behind the Fashion Square Mall on Maguire Road. He is frustrated that the county has not given him more places to choose from.
"This is a county lease. So for nine months, we let the county take the lead, and in the end, their broker came up with nothing. We thought it was imperative on us as an elected official to make sure that we got the best deal for the taxpayer."
The county has sent both Randolph and Property Appraiser Rick Singh, located on the 17th floor of the SunTrust building, letters asking them to sign off on the county signing a new lease for the SunTrust building.
Randolph says he will not sign that letter and plans to take his fight to the commission itself. Orange County tells me they are still analyzing Randolph's proposed locations and will continue looking and working on trying to find a home that makes everyone happy.