Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rate hike concerns put Pasco sheriff's plan for special tax district on hold

DADE CITY — Commissioners put the brakes Tuesday on setting up a special taxing district for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office after questioning the increase it could impose on most taxpayers.

By setting up a separate property tax for the sheriff, the potential tax increase for a home in unincorporated Pasco with a taxable value of $100,000 would be about $40.

That projection had been reported multiple times in the Pasco Times. Budget director Mike Nurrenbrock provided the same figure during a commission discussion in New Port Richey this month.

The basic reason is that municipal residents would no longer be on the hook for the sheriff's law enforcement functions, so county residents would pay a little more to make up the difference.

At previous meetings, no commissioner pressed Nurrenbrock for more details about a potential increase.

But on Tuesday, Commissioner Jack Mariano, who had earlier suggested the setup would not increase tax bills, said a resident complained to him about the potential for the new district to raise taxes.

Now, after seeing an analysis of the projected tax impact on homes of various values, he no longer supports the municipal services taxing unit, commonly known as an MSTU.

"I'm not going to be supportive of this," Mariano said. "It's pretty clear to me it's a tax shift."

Chairwoman Pat Mulieri said she didn't know there would be a tax increase for unincorporated Pasco property owners.

"When we did all this discussion about the MSTU, the main argument was we're going to make it more transparent," she said. "Maybe I was sleeping; I don't know."

The reason is a little complicated, but it goes like this:

Officials estimate that if they move $52 million — the cost of Sheriff Bob White's law enforcement duties in the current year — out of the countywide general fund, they could reduce that tax rate by about $2.57 per $1,000.

They wanted to create a separate taxing district to pay for those functions, so property owners could see on their bill how much money was going to the sheriff.

But in order to raise $52 million through the special taxing district, that tax rate would have to be $3 per $1,000.

That's because city residents, who pay into the general fund, cannot be charged for the special taxing district. They already pay city taxes for police services.

Commissioners postponed a vote on the ordinance that would create the taxing district. They asked county staffers to gather more details, including whether Tax Collector Mike Olson could show the sheriff's budget as a line item on bills.

"My main goal is to let the people of this county know what they're paying for," said Commissioner Michael Cox. He said he supports the separate taxing district, but said showing the sheriff's spending as a separate line item might accomplish the same intention.

Mariano said in an interview that he'd been aware that unincorporated Pasco property owners could see slightly higher bills due to the MSTU. (He maintains that it's not a "tax increase" but a "tax shift.") But he said he had grown uncomfortable with the projected figures.

"I saw it and it didn't bring a lot of comfort to me," he said.

Commissioner Ted Schrader said he, too, wanted to get more information after hearing the figures from Mariano.

"I was aware there'd be a shift," from city property owners to unincorporated property owners, he said in an interview. "But I didn't go into the depth of analysis he's gone."

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

Rate hike concerns put Pasco sheriff's plan for special tax district on hold 06/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  3. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

    Blogs

    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.