Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Live in unincorporated Pinellas? Your tax rate may rise to cover fire service

Some residents in unincorporated Pinellas could see double-digit hikes in property tax rates to pay higher costs for fire service.

The increases are driven by a combination of factors, including a 3.4 to 15.1 percent decline in property values depending on the area of Pinellas, and higher costs of providing fire service.

Pinellas County residents who live in cities receive fire protection as part of municipal services paid for by city taxes and other fees.

Many who live in unincorporated Pinellas receive fire protection from independent fire districts, such as Lealman Fire and Rescue, which collects property taxes from those in its district to provide the service.

Others who live in unincorporated Pinellas rely on the county to provide fire protection. The county has done this by creating 12 so-called dependent fire districts. These are areas that the county hires a city or fire district to cover. The county then establishes a property tax rate to cover the costs of providing the service in that area and gives that revenue to the contracting city or district.

On Tuesday, county commissioners are scheduled to set a rate cap for the coming year for each of the 12 districts. A final tax rate will be set at the end of next month.

Seven of the districts say they will spend more on fire service next year than they are spending this year.

But only six — Clearwater, Safety Harbor, Gandy, Largo, High Point and Tierra Verde — say they want to increase the tax rate.

Gandy is operated by St. Petersburg. High Point is divided in two. One part is run by Pinellas Park and the other by Largo. Tierra Verde is run by Lealman.

The increases run from 10.5 percent to 64.3 percent.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at or (727) 893-8450.

Proposed tax rates

Pinellas County is responsible for providing fire service to some unincorporated areas of the county. The county contracts with cities and fire districts to provide that service. Residents in some of those unincorporated areas will likely see their property tax rates go up next year because the contracting agency has increased its costs. Here is the list.

Unincorporated areaCurrent

tax rate*

tax rate*

Contracting entity
Belleair Bluffs/Largo$1.7320$1.732000Largo
Gandy1.31432.15940.845164.3%St. Petersburg
Largo 2.44163.43840.996840.8%Largo
Pinellas Park2.36752.367500Pinellas Park
Safety Harbor2.42522.68000.254810.5%Safety Harbor
Tarpon Springs2.37452.374500Tarpon Springs
High Point2.72753.26440.536919.7%Pinellas Park/Largo
Tierra Verde1.39971.73820.338524.2%Lealman
South Pasadena2.21882.218800South Pasadena

*Per thousand dollars of assessed, taxable property value

Source: Pinellas County

Live in unincorporated Pinellas? Your tax rate may rise to cover fire service 07/24/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 6:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Offense gets some juggling

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The night after scoring six runs to emerge from what had been a historically fallow offensive stretch seemed like an odd time to make changes to the lineup, but that was exactly what the Rays did for Wednesday's late game against the Blue Jays.

    Associated Press
  2. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography


    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea


    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.
  4. Big Ben backlash: Plan to silence beloved bell under review


    LONDON — British Parliament officials said Wednesday they will review plans to silence Big Ben during four years of repairs after senior politicians criticized the lengthy muting of the beloved bell.

  5. UF's move to deny white nationalist Richard Spencer a venue sets up a First Amendment court fight


    In denying a notorious white nationalist his request to speak on campus, the University of Florida has brought a thorny legal battle to Gainesville in the name of keeping its students safe.

    Legal experts say the University of Florida will have an uphill battle in court proving that fears of violence from an appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer will override the First Amendment. "There's a fine line between inciting lawlessness and engendering a situation where lawlessness arises," said Peter Lake, higher education law professor at Stetson University College of Law. [Getting Images]