Pay up, Fasano tells state for database crashes; state says no
After the latest crash of the Florida driver's license database, Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano decided he'd had enough. He sent an invoice of $5,155.91 to state highway safety chief Terry Rhodes, demanding that the state reimburse the county for the local tax revenue he lost on Saturday, Nov. 5.
"We have lost significant revenue that we cannot recoup," Fasano told Rhodes in his letter. "Attached is an invoice."
Fasano, one of two tax collectors who regularly holds office hours on the weekend, said he turned away thousands of customers at four offices that day but that he paid his employees through 1 p.m., the scheduled end of their work shifts. Tax collectors can keep a small slice of every license, tag and title transaction and that money pays for office operations.
Because the disruption was the state's fault, he said, the state should pick up the tab. His bill included $4,477 for hours worked, $342 for payroll taxes and $337 for that day's costs of employer contributions to the state pension fund.
Rhodes' response, dated Tuesday, said: "While I am sympathetic to the expenditures incurred by your office during this outage as our DHSMV offices did as well, there are limitations within the statutory framework relatred to the department's expenditures." She reassured Fasano that the state is doing all it can "to stabilize our systems" and prevent any future database breakdowns until the agency moves to a cloud-based solution by next June.