Longtime Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Olson died Wednesday night after being placed in hospice care after suffering a stroke over the weekend.
Olson, 68, was elected tax collector in 1981. Prior to that, he served six years as a county commissioner. He is a New Port Richey native whose father served as the city's police chief and whose mother was a longtime school principal.
"Mike Olson was one of the finest public servants Pasco County has ever had. He was a loving family man who took great care of his family and the community in which they lived. As a county commissioner, and later as tax collector, Mike Olson served the people of Pasco County with a level of professionalism and commitment that was second to none. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," said state Rep. Mike Fasano.
The only Democrat among Pasco County's elected officials, Olson won reelection in 2012 with 68 percent of the vote. His office is responsible for collecting and distributing more than $500 million a year. Over the course of his three decades as tax collector, he returned $70 million to county coffers.