Diane Nelson, Pinellas County tax collector since 2000, announces retirement
Diane Nelson, Pinellas County's tax collector since 2000, announced Wednesday that she will retire at the end of this year.
According to a news release from the tax collector's office, Nelson, 66, made the decision after her husband decided to retire from his job early next year. The couple plans to travel around the United States and Europe.
The announcement means Nelson will not seek a fifth term in office, which is up for election in November.
Nelson, Pinellas' first female tax collector, has worked for the tax collector's office for almost 47 years, according to the release. She started as a part-time employee at the First National Bank in Tarpon Springs, then was promoted in 1977 to manager of the Clearwater office. She was promoted again in 1994 to director of all five tax collector offices.
After she was elected tax collector, the office began issuing birth certificates and concealed weapon permits and modernized several aspects of the tax billing and collection operations, the release said. The office also took over driver license services and was an early adopter of a program that charged taxes on Airbnb rentals.
In 2013, she was a recipient of the Governor's Sterling Award for performance excellence, which is based on a detailed evaluation of the organization.