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2118386 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-04-30 21:39:03.0 UTC 2013-04-30T17:39:03.000-04:00 true pinellas-commission-agrees-on-stormwater-fee-but-not-the-number published 2013-04-30 21:48:54.0 UTC 2013-04-30T17:48:54.000-04:00 To a resident of Lealman or Kenneth City, paying an annual $126 stormwater utility fee — on top of water, on top of electricity — might sound like a lot. To the County Commission, it doesn't sound like enough. At a meeting on Tuesday, the commission debated how much to charge Pinellas' unincorporated residents for runoff and drainage management next year, when it will likely install a new utility fee. Adding $10.50 a month to residents’ utility bills would bring in about $19.7 million a year, according to county staff. That could be enough to bring the county’s "F" rating for water quality management up to a "C." But settling for average didn’t sound like a good proposal to several commission members. "I completely support the implementation of a stormwater fee," said Commissioner Susan Latvala. "I question whether or not this is enough money." There will always be a handful of people in the county who don't support a new fee because they're categorically opposed to any new tax, she continued. But most people will see the necessity, she said. For this second group, "they don’t care whether it't $10.50 or $12 or another number. A dollar or another three dollars more wouldn't make a big difference." Agreeing that spending millions to bump the county's rating up to a "C" was not ideal, Commissioners Karen Seel, Janet Long, and John Morroni suggested that more money would likely be needed. "I'm not sure I think we're doing enough," Seel said. But she cautioned against raising the utility fee. "It’s a regressive tax," she said, adding that the county could pay for water quality improvements through a combination of property tax dollars and utility fees. Commissioner Norm Roche said he would not support a stormwater fee unless all Pinellas county residents paid it and it replaced the fees most of the cities in the county are already charging residents. (At $13.40 per month, Clearwater charges its residents the most.) "We are leaving out very a key factor and that is our taxpayers' ability to pay these bills," he said. "Someone who's earning 10 bucks an hour and living in an apartment — their rent is going to go up." Anna M. Phillips baybuzz Pinellas, stormwater fee, taxes Pinellas Commission agrees on stormwater fee, but not the number false templatedata/tampabaytimes/BlogArticle/data/baybuzz/2013/04/30/1367358534-pinellas-commission-agrees-on-stormwater-fee-but-not-the-number BlogArticle To a resident of Lealman or Kenneth City, paying an annual $126 stormwater utility fee — on top of water, on top of electricity — might sound like a lot. To the County Commission, it doesn't sound like enough.Pinellas, stormwater fee, taxesPinellas, stormwater fee, taxesAnna M. Phillips 1258304 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-01-08 19:45:12.0 UTC 2013-01-08T14:45:12.000-05:00 anna-m-phillips published Anna M. Phillips <p>Anna M. Phillips writes about legal affairs and criminal justice in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Before joining the <i>Times</i> in 2012, she covered the New York City public schools for the <i>New York Times</i> and for the education news website Chalkbeat New York (formerly GothamSchools).</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 93488174 Anna M. Phillips writes about legal affairs and criminal justice in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Before joining the Times in 2012, she covered the New York City public schools for the New York Times and for the education news website Chalkbeat New York (formerly GothamSchools). <p>Phone: (813) 226-3354</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:aphillips@tampabay.com ">aphillips@tampabay.com</a></p><p>Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/annamphillips">@annamphillips</a><br /><br /></p> 1 /resources/images/dti/2013/09/0431876097_11486326.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/93488174-anna-m-phillips AuthorProfile 2013-01-08 19:45:12.0 UTC 2013-01-08T14:45:12.000-05:00 2280210 2016-06-03 19:36:54.0 UTC 3 Months Ago pinellas-county-commission-to-consider-fracking-ban-tuesday baybuzz Pinellas County Commission to consider fracking ban Tuesday BlogArticle 2279095 2016-05-26 16:06:34.0 UTC 3 Months Ago tampa-chamber-hillsborough-commission-should-revisit-20-year baybuzz Tampa Chamber: Hillsborough commission should revisit 20-year transportation tax BlogArticle 2272776 2016-04-11 18:52:24.0 UTC 4 Months Ago charles-thomas-files-to-run-to-succeed-his-boss-as-pinellas-tax-collector baybuzz Charles Thomas files to run to succeed his boss as Pinellas Tax Collector BlogArticle <p>To a resident of Lealman or Kenneth City, paying an annual $126 stormwater utility fee — on top of water, on top of electricity — might sound like a lot. To the County Commission, it doesn't sound like enough.</p> <p>At a meeting on Tuesday, the commission debated how much to charge Pinellas' unincorporated residents for runoff and drainage management next year, when it will likely install a new utility fee.</p> <p>Adding $10.50 a month to residents’ utility bills would bring in about $19.7 million a year, according to county staff. That could be enough to bring the county’s &quot;F&quot; rating for water quality management up to a &quot;C.&quot; But settling for average didn’t sound like a good proposal to several commission members.</p> <p>&quot;I completely support the implementation of a stormwater fee,&quot; said Commissioner Susan Latvala. &quot;I question whether or not this is enough money.&quot;</p> <p>There will always be a handful of people in the county who don't support a new fee because they're categorically opposed to any new tax, she continued. But most people will see the necessity, she said.</p> <p>For this second group, &quot;they don’t care whether it't $10.50 or $12 or another number. A dollar or another three dollars more wouldn't make a big difference.&quot; <!--break--></p> <p>Agreeing that spending millions to bump the county's rating up to a &quot;C&quot; was not ideal, Commissioners Karen Seel, Janet Long, and John Morroni suggested that more money would likely be needed.</p> <p>&quot;I'm not sure I think we're doing enough,&quot; Seel said. But she cautioned against raising the utility fee. &quot;It’s a regressive tax,&quot; she said, adding that the county could pay for water quality improvements through a combination of property tax dollars and utility fees.</p> <p>Commissioner Norm Roche said he would not support a stormwater fee unless all Pinellas county residents paid it and it replaced the fees most of the cities in the county are already charging residents. (At $13.40 per month, Clearwater charges its residents the most.)</p> <p>&quot;We are leaving out very a key factor and that is our taxpayers' ability to pay these bills,&quot; he said. &quot;Someone who's earning 10 bucks an hour and living in an apartment — their rent is going to go up.&quot;</p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:31:25