PINELLAS PARK — While many other cities are holding the line on pay and benefits, Pinellas Park's council members unanimously approved raises for themselves and employees to start Oct. 1.
If nothing changes, property owners will see an increase in their city tax rate that same day.
The 2 1/2 percent salary increase is in addition to a 3 percent raise in compensation the council gave itself and nonunion city employees earlier this year.
Officials did not see that increase, which was passed in April, as being a raise because the money went into employees' pension plans rather than into their paychecks. The goal then was to bring the salaries and benefits received by the council and the general, or nonunion, workers into line with changes that were made in police and firefighter pay plans last year.
This latest increase, which the council granted at last week's meeting, is also designed to bring the salaries of the council and nonunion employees into line with raises granted to firefighters and police earlier this year. All the raises will go into effect on Oct. 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Pinellas Park officials did not provide salary information for the council and city manager by late Tuesday.
The council has tentatively set the tax rate at about $5.11 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable property value, which is about 11.6 percent higher than the current rate of $4.58 per $1,000. For a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, property taxes would be $511, which is about $53 more than this year.
The council could, however, reduce that before the budget is finally approved at the end of this month.
Reach Anne Lindberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8450.