May 7, 2024

Collecting Positive Experiences at Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office

Not Always Beachy

Palm Beach County, Florida, is not only a popular tourist destination, but an attractive place to live. With over 1.5+ million residents, Palm Beach County is the third largest county in Florida, and continues to see rapid growth. That growth is seen predominantly with immigrants finding homes in the area, with nearly 1 of every 4 residents identifying as Hispanic/Latino descent and Spanish as their primary language, and another 1 of every 4 referencing another language spoken. In an effort to better serve their community, the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office noted language barriers as a threat to the workplace and sought out resources to help solve the problem.


Riding the Wave of Change

Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office handles the same responsibilities you’ll find in every other tax collector’s office across the country. They provide proper licensing for property owners, handle property taxes, and create connections within the community as liaisons between its residents and the local government. As the largest geographic county in the state with 6 offices, Palm Beach County’s diverse community led Jeffrey Vortolomei, Chief Communications Officer, and Anne Gannon, Constitutional Tax Collector, to evaluate what would allow their offices ease and convenience in day-to-day operations.

“We’ve always had translation issues,” says Jeff. “We were using Google Translate, or advising our guests to bring a translator with them. It was clunky, inefficient, and ineffective.”

“We were inspired by Hillsborough County being the first to use Pocketalk in Florida, and wanted to see for ourselves how this would make a difference.”

Bringing Smiles to the Masses

After their initial calls, they were buzzing with excitement to try Pocketalk – an excitement that has been present for nearly a year. With their small fleet of 51 (and growing) Pocketalk’s throughout their 6 county offices, the team could not be more grateful for the way that eliminating language barriers has affected all aspects of their business.

Turns out it hasn’t only been a large help with their guests, but their employees.

“Our managers love it,” says Anne Gannon, Constitutional Tax Collector. “Our entire staff loves using them. It makes everyday conversations better, easier, and more relaxed. It leaves our guests feeling understood, and allows our employees to feel like they made a difference in someone’s day for the better instead of the worse.”

Anne referenced the growing population of immigrants from Mexico, Jamaica, other island countries, and beyond, the languages they brought to the county that previously would’ve served as a barrier, now are an opportunity to connect deeper.

“The most important thing is the smile on our clients faces when they understand that someone can understand what we’re saying, read the documents that they brought to complete their transaction, our employees that help them get there,” she concluded. “It’s like a maze that everyone can finally solve.”

Let’s Get Social!

Check out our X, LinkedIn, and Instagram for more behind-the-scenes content, and share your thoughts using #Pocketalk and #AllSpokenHere for your language inclusivity stories.