Some homeowners in the unincorporated area could see their tax rates go up as much as 41 percent to pay for fire protection after county commissioners Tuesday tentatively approved fire tax rates.
Other property owners in unincorporated Pinellas likely will see no change in their fire tax rates.
The commission vote affects 12 areas in the unincorporated county. The areas are divided into so-called dependent fire districts. But because Pinellas County has no fire department of its own, it contracts with cities and independent fire districts to provide service in those areas.
Five of those areas — Belleair Bluffs, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Seminole — will see no increase in the fire tax rate for the coming year.
The other seven will see increases ranging from a low of 2 percent in the unincorporated Largo area to a high of 41 percent in the unincorporated area around South Pasadena.
The increases are blamed on several things, from higher operating costs to declining property values.
In South Pasadena, for example, the city, which provides the fire service, wants $57,000 more this coming year to serve the unincorporated area. The city of South Pasadena also wants to put more money — $32,000 — in reserves during 2012.
The tentative 10 percent increase in the Tierra Verde rate is due in part to a $280,000 repayment for a new vehicle used on the island by the Lealman Fire Department, which provides fire service.
The 2.2 percent increase in the unincorporated Largo area is caused mainly by a 12.1 percent decrease in property values there.
Reach Anne Lindberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8450.