MARTIN COUNTY – The Martin County Tax Collector’s office suspended many services this week and even sent residents to the St. Lucie County Tax Collector for help, after encountering what he called a “network problem”.
The office posted on Facebook on Thursday saying that the network issue “is impacting the functionality of some systems” and that the office “is actively taking action to resolve this issue and is working diligently to restore system operations.”
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The problem has apparently been around since at least Tuesday, when officials from the St. Lucia County tax collectors were notified. A Facebook post on Wednesday appears to be the first public acknowledgment that the Martin County tax collector’s office was having a problem.
The collector’s main office in Stuart offers weapons concealment services, the Palm City branch offers transportation security administration services, and a kiosk at Publix on Southwest Martin Downs Boulevard processes registration renewal decals vehicles, according to the Facebook post.
It is not known when the office will reopen at full capacity and if the Hobe Sound and Indiantown branches are offering services.
Neither tax collector Ruth Pietruszewski nor her spokesperson Judy Friend could be reached for comment on Friday despite attempts by phone and email. When a reporter visited Stuart’s main office, an employee told her that Pietruszewski and Friend were not available.
On Wednesday, the office announced on Facebook that it was closed and that the St. Lucia County Tax Collector’s office would be making appointments and appointments for residents of Martin County.
The Saint Lucia office handles services of the Department of Motor Vehicles such as driver’s licenses, license renewals, and hunting and fishing licenses.
Carin Smith, spokesperson for the St. Lucia Tax Collector’s Office, told TCPalm she was made aware of the Martin County network problem on Tuesday. It is not known how long the Saint Lucia office will welcome residents of Martin, she said.
Time is running out, she said, as property tax bills will be mailed starting Oct. 31.
“We hope whatever the situation is, it will be fixed by then, as November and December are our busiest times of the year,” Smith said.
An article published Thursday on the Martin County Board of County Commissioners Facebook page pointed out that the tax collector is an independent constitutional office and that the commission “provides internet connectivity to the tax collector’s office, however, the tax collector’s office has its own servers, computer systems and computer personnel. ”
“Although little information has been shared,” the post continued, “we consider this to be a serious issue and we are taking protective measures to ensure the integrity of the county’s assets. The systems and county services continue to operate normally. ”
Lina Ruiz is TCPalm’s surveillance reporter for Martin County. You can reach her at [email protected], on Twitter @ Lina_Ruiz48 or at 321-501-3845.