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Doug Belden re-elected for four more years as Hillsborough Tax Collector

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Doug Belden has won another four years in office as Hillsborough County tax collector, the last tour that he says he intends to spend serving the public in office.

For the second consecutive election cycle, Belden did not draw an opponent on Friday, the last day to qualify for office. He thus automatically has won the contest

The 61-year-old Belden was an administrator under Hillsborough County State Attorney Harry Lee Coe and a former board member of the Tampa Sports Authority before winning the tax collector’s job in 1998. He worked as a real estate developer before entering public office.

He made news earlier this year by prominently declaring that he wouldn’t sign an agreement with online home-booking agency Airrbnb, even though it might cost the county millions in revenue, the Tampa Tribune wrote. Belden said he would not come to terms as Pinellas and other counties have recently done with the company because of Airbnb’s demand that its agreements with government agencies remain secret.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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