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Pinellas Park Water Management District might lower tax rate 23 percent

PINELLAS PARK — Officials who oversee a flood control district have tentatively approved a 23 percent decrease in the property tax rate.

If the vote becomes final toward the end of this month, property in the Pinellas Park Water Management District would be taxed at a rate of $1.54 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable value for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The rate is currently $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable value.

A $150,000 house with $50,000 in homestead exemptions now pays $199 yearly. That would drop to $154 a year if the new rate passes.

Board members said they think that rate will hold steady for at least the next five years despite the need for repairs to crumbling infrastructure. After that, the need for maintenance, repairs and replacement will become more critical, and the tax rate could increase to keep pace with those needs. However, board members said they hope that property values will begin recovering by that time, which could offset the need for a big rate increase.

The worst-case scenario, they said, would be the eventual replacement of all drainage systems in the district — an estimated $177.8 million. That could increase taxes to about $2.66 per $1,000 of assessed taxable property value, or about 73 percent higher than the $1.54 tax rate planned for the coming fiscal year.

But officials said that's far off and would likely not happen for more than 10 years, if at all.

The district covers part of Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Kenneth City, the unincorporated Lealman area and the unincorporated area between Pinellas Park and Seminole that includes the Bayou Club and Wagon Wheel Flea Market.

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Park Water Management District might lower tax rate 23 percent 09/11/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:30am]

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