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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Status quo just fine: PSTA keeps tax rate the same



The property tax that funds Pinellas County’s transit agency won’t be going up after all.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board of directors on Wednesday approved a $65.2 million operating budget with no change to the millage rate of .7305. That equates to $73.05 for a homeowner whose property is valued at $150,000 with a $50,000 homestead exemption.

Some board members had favored raising the rate to the highest allowed by law — which would have cost that homeowner another $1.95 per year and raised about $1 million in revenue — to help the agency stave off service cuts and replenish its aging fleet of buses.

Chief executive Brad Miller recommended against the increase, citing rising property values and lower fuel prices that have given the agency some financial breathing room.

The board recently cut two bus routes to save about $518,000 in operating costs and approved fare increases that will bring in another $1 million next year. The budget sets aside about $2.6 million in a capital reserve fund to purchase new buses.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:28am]


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