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Port Authority trims tax rate

Hillsborough County residents will get a small break on the property tax rate they pay to the agency that runs the Port of Tampa.

The Tampa Port Authority Board voted Tuesday to cap the rate for next year at 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, a half-cent below the current rate.

But that may not mean a reduction in your tax bill. Property assessments for the county are increasing an average of 13 percent, officials said, and the port expects to collect an additional $1.1-million in property taxes next year even with the lower rate.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Frank said she might push for a further reduction of the port tax when the commission votes on a final rate in September if port officials can't justify they need the extra revenue for new construction.