Which schools will my children attend?
Winter Haven is part of the Polk County School System.
How many people live in Winter Haven?
Click here for a complete list of demographic information.
Where can I find senior information?
Click here to learn more about the Winter Haven Senior Adult Center, located at 250 South Lake Silver Drive N.W., Winter Haven, Florida 33880. For more information, call (863) 291-5870. .
Who is on the City Commission?
Click here for biographical information on City Commission members. The Winter Haven City Commission currently consists of Pete Chichetto, Steven Hunnicutt, J.P. Powell and Brad Dantzler. The Mayor is Nat Birdsong.
Where is the Utility Account/Field Services office located?
At 551 Third Street, NW in Winter Haven, inside the City Hall Annex Building located adjacent to City Hall.
How do I report a water/sewer emergency?
Call Utility Services at (863) 291-5853 during working hours (7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). After hours call (863) 291-5767 to report an emergency.
What are your office business hours?
Monday – Thursday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
How do I open a water/sewer/irrigation/refuse account with the City?
Contact one of our account service representatives at (863)291-5678 or stop by our office located at 551 Third Street, NW and they will be glad to assist you. Please bring documentation showing proof of ownership or property lease and picture identification. Application for residential utility service may also be made by completing a Utility Application and and forwarding the application, copy of proof of ownership or property lease, along with a copy of a picture identification to our office via fax (863-298-7870) or scan/email (firstname.lastname@example.org). See the HOME page for Utility Application Process.
How do I terminate service with the City?
Contact one of our account service representatives at (863)291-5678 or stop by our office located at 551 Third Street, NW and they will be glad to assist you.
What payment options are available to pay my City utility bill?
Easy Pay Plan (autodraft with no convenience fees) mail to Post Office Box 2277, Winter Haven, FL 33883-2277, in person at our office location of 551 Third Street, NW, or place payment in our drop box located in the office location parking lot.
Can my utility bill be emailed to me?
Yes, we email bills electronically, in addition to mailing bills via regular mail.
I am not sure if I paid my bill, can I check online?
Yes, all utility account history is available 24/7. On the HOME page click on the link Online Utility Bill Payment link.
My billed water usage seems very high, what am I to do?
Call the Account Services office at (863)291-5678 and talk with an account services representative.
Why am I being charged a penalty, is there no grace period?
Payment is due 15 days from the date of the utility bill and if unpaid a late penalty is applied to the account; for example bill is sent on 2/5/10, payment is due on 2/20/10, penalty is applied on 2/23/10.
What are the rates?
All our rate schedules are accessible from the HOME page by clicking on the Water & Sewer Rates link.
Other schedules are available via the ‘Account Services’ link, to include impact fees, miscellaneous charges, and deposit amounts.
Do you have any other utility billing questions?
For any other utility billing questions please call (863)291-5678, Email email@example.com or Fax to (863) 298-7870
How do I sign up for water and trash service?
Call Account Services at (863) 291-5678.
How much is the City’s total budget?
The FY14 budget is $79,888,315
What is the current millage rate for the City of Winter Haven?
The millage rate for FY14 is 5.790 ($5.79 for every $1,000 taxable value)
What is a millage rate?
The millage rate is the tax rate levied on real property. One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of taxable property value.
How do I calculate my City of Winter Haven ad valorem taxes?
Ad valorem taxes are calculated by multiplying the taxable value (assessed value less any exemption) by the millage rate. Example: a home used as a principal residence has an assessed value of $150,000. The assessed value less the homestead exemption ($50,000) has a taxable value of $100,000. The taxable value multiplied by the City’s millage rate (5.79 mills currently) results in a City of Winter Haven tax of $579.
What do my City of Winter Haven ad valorem taxes pay for?
The ad valorem tax (property tax) proceeds are deposited into the City’s General Fund. The General Fund pays for services such as Police, Fire, road repairs, Code Enforcement and City administration.
What is the rolled back rate?
The rolled back ad valorem tax rate is the rate that would generate the same ad valorem tax proceeds as the prior year less new construction, additions, deletions and several other adjustments.
How do I get on the City’s Bid List?
Access our Online Bid Postings where you can subscribe to receive information on new bid postings. No cost is involved. On the HOME page click on the "Purchasing" link.
How do I apply for a business tax?
First, you must complete the application BTR Application 2014.pdf available in our office or on our website on the link above. Bring documentation pertaining to your business such as articles of incorporation, fictitious name registration and county and state licensing where applicable.
Is this the only license needed to open a business?
No, before you can obtain your City license, you must first get a Polk County license. The County office is at 430 East Main Street, Bartow, Florida. Since this is a separate agency, we suggest calling the Occupational Licenses-Polk County Tax Collector's Office at (863) 534-4700 to see what information is required.
Can I have my business in my home?
It depends. The use of your home as a business location is limited to office space only. In a home occupation, no walk-up trade, signage, advertising of the home address or storage of vehicles and equipment is allowed. Our Planning Division staff reviews all applications and will advise if there are zoning restrictions to prevent issuance of a home occupational permit.
What is the cost of a business tax in Winter Haven, Florida?
License fees vary depending on the type of occupation. We accept cash, check, or credit card for payment.
How long will it take to get the license?
Business Tax Receipts are issued immediately upon receipt of a completed application.
Is this license good for as long as I have my business?
A business tax is issued for a fiscal year beginning October 1 and ending September 30 of the following year. Renewal notices are mailed in August to allow time for processing payments, printing and mailing renewed licenses.
What if I am late renewing my business tax?
Business taxes not renewed by October 1 are subject to a penalty of up to 25 percent of the total cost of the license. This is pursuant to § 205.0535. The fee schedule follows:
October 15: a 10 percent penalty will be added.
November 15: a 15 percent penalty will be added.
December 15: a 20 percent will be added.
January 15: a 25 percent will be added.
What if I relocate my business within Winter Haven, change the name or close my business?
If you move, change the name or sell your business, you need to follow the same requirements as you would for a new business tax. Bring in the current receipt, supporting documents and complete a new application showing all new information. There is a $3.00 transfer fee for processing. If you are closing your business, notify the City in writing to inactivate the license to avoid additional fees.