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Lee County tax collector announces retirement

By Staff | May 13, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Larry D. Hart

Lee County Tax Collector Larry D. Hart recently announced that he is retiring and will not seek re-election this year.

A Lee County native, Hart has served Lee County for his entire professional career. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began a career in law enforcement as an officer with Fort Myers Police Department. In 1995, Hart became the first African American chief of police for the city of Fort Myers, appointed by Mayor Wilbur Smith.

He retired from the FMPD in 2001, but continued his public service by becoming assistant tax collector for the Honorable Cathy Curtis. In 2012, Hart was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the office of Lee County Tax Collector and was elected by the public for the last two terms.

“In June of 1973, I raised my hand to serve the United States Air Force and was proud to serve,” Hart said of his decision. “That started my career. I then had the opportunity to serve my hometown for 22 years in law enforcement and was so blessed and honored to serve as police chief in the city of Fort Myers and later elected by the citizens to serve as your tax collector. It’s time for me to step aside and leave the team that I have had the pleasure of assembling. I truly love this community and all the support you have given me. I will never take the love my community has given me for granted.”

During his tenure, Hart held various leadership and committee chair roles within the Florida Tax Collectors Association, including president in 2016. He always fought for policies that were in the best interests of the taxpayers and was instrumental in ensuring legislation that provided for greater taxpayer protection passed. Hart was an ardent supporter of Lee County tax dollars remaining in Lee County.