Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas Tax Collector considers waiving fee for homeless IDs

Pinellas County Tax Collector Diane Nelson might nix the processing fees homeless people pay for state identification cards after all.

Earlier this year, the Pinellas Homeless Leadership Board complained that a new state law waiving the $25 cost for the IDs didn’t go far enough because it still lets county tax collectors, who issue the cards, charge a processing fee of $6.25 a pop.

Social service advocates say the charge quickly adds up for transients, who constantly must change their address as they shuffle among temporary housing or whose IDs are illegally confiscated by police because of failure to update that information.

Nelson’s office said in February that it couldn’t afford to waive the fee. However, a spokesman said Nelson recently agreed to spend a year studying transaction patterns before deciding whether to issue the IDs to the homeless completely free.

According to the Homeless Leadership Board, at least five Florida counties already waive the fee.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:20pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours