Video, Photograph, and Recording Policy
The Manatee County Tax Collector's Office (hereafter "MCTC") will make every effort to accommodate journalists and those who wish to video, photograph, record, film, or interview at any MCTC facility or to interview Tax Collector Ken Burton, Jr., and/or staff. This policy is in place to protect the confidentiality of records and documents exempt from public disclosure and to ensure office operations are not disrupted for our customers.
- "Professional journalist" is defined as, but not limited to, one regularly engaged in collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing news for gain or livelihood, who obtained the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, a newspaper, news journal, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or television station, website, network or news magazine, or independent blog.
- "News" is defined as information of public concern relating to local, statewide, national, or worldwide issues or events.
- No videotaping, photographing, recording, filming, or interviewing may be conducted inside any MCTC facility by anyone without prior approval of the tax collector. Violators will be requested to cease such activity immediately and/or leave the facility. Such activity includes, but is not limited to, the use of cameras, digital voice recorders, tape recorders, cell phones, laptops, personal digital assistants, or similar technological devices. (Note: This is not intended as an all-encompassing ban on the use of cell phones, laptops, personal digital assistants, or similar technological devices in offices of the MCTC.)
- All requests for approval to videotape, photograph, record, film, or interview must be submitted as far in advance as possible to Mandie Ferguson, director of communications and employee initiatives (hereafter "CEI director"). Email Mandie Ferguson or contact her by phone at (941) 741-4821.
- The CEI director will discuss the request with the tax collector and notify the requester of whether or not the request is approved.
- If it is determined that the request may interfere with office operations, the tax collector or CEI director reserve the right to deny the request.
- Any person or group whose request is approved may be required to provide evidence of insurance and to indemnify and hold harmless Manatee County Government and the MCTC.
- Due to First Amendment rights, videotaping and photography are allowed outside of the office. However, for safety reasons our office policy requires a minimum distance of 200 feet when attempting to videotape, photograph, observe from a moving vehicle, or otherwise follow a vehicle in which a road test is in progress. These safeguards are to ensure there are no distractions that may become dangerous to the parties involved in the road test.
- Identification numbers and documents, such as passports, driver licenses, ID cards, and Social Security cards or numbers, are confidential in nature and therefore exempt from public disclosure by the MCTC. Videotaping, photographing, recording, or filming personal documents or conversations that contain information exempt from public record is prohibited.
- MCTC employees are not authorized to provide interviews of any kind without approval from the tax collector or CEI director.
- Designated places to conduct interviews may be provided by the MCTC on a case-by-case basis as circumstances permit.