Voters will decide in the Nov. 8 general election whether Penny for Pasco, a local infrastructure surtax, should be extended for an additional 15 years.
If approved, the extension is expected to yield about $1.9 billion in revenues, which would be split between the school district, the county and the county’s municipalities.
The school district and county each would receive 45% and the municipalities would share the remaining 10%.
The special 1-cent sales tax initially was adopted in March 2004, and was in effect from Jan. 1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2014. Voters extended it for 10 years, with that renewal going from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2024.
The proposed renewal would be from Jan. 1, 2025 to Dec. 31, 2039.
The Pasco County Commission and the Pasco County School Board both took action June 21 to ensure the initiative could be placed on the general election ballot.
The Pasco County School Board has identified a list of projects that the tax extension would support and Pasco County has identified a similar list.
The school board’s list includes new schools, school expansions, school renovations, additional technology, school safety enhancements, athletic facility improvements, improvements in the driver pickup areas at schools, and other projects.
The county proposes to spend its portion of the tax revenues this way: 40% for transportation, 20% for economic development, 20% for public safety; and, 20% for environmental lands, as well as park infrastructure.
Economic development funds will be used to attract new companies, enhance the potential for existing companies, stimulate redevelopment of blighted areas and help develop the work force, among other things. The funds also will support business incubators and locally owned small business assistance.
In general, the aim of these programs is to help businesses of all sizes to be successful, to generate more high-paying jobs in the county and to broaden its tax base.
A portion of the county’s proceeds also would be used to acquire environmentally sensitive lands. It is estimated that 3,000 to 3,700 additional acres could be acquired with future Penny for Pasco revenue.
The funds also would support infrastructure projects at Baillies Bluff Wilderness Park and at the Len Angeline Wilderness and Recreation Park.
The county’s allocation also would include 20% for public safety.
Fire Rescue would receive boats, life-saving emergency response equipment, in-vehicle computers, facility upgrades and some new vehicles, including utility terrain vehicles.
The Sheriff’s Office would receive new vehicles and in-vehicle computers and equipment.
Transportation and engineering services would receive 40% of the county’s share of the proceeds.
A portion of that money would be spent on a countywide multimodal needs study.
Tax proceeds also would go for a wide array of projects in specific areas around the county, including sidewalks, multi-use paths, bicycle lanes, intersection improvements and roundabouts.
Published July 06, 2022
The Pasco County School Board made a deceptive move by placing the new (2022) Pasco School millage tax on the primary ballet so that now they will be double dipping into your wallet each year for hundreds more tax dollars. The board slipped the millage tax into the primary ballet so it would take very few voters (school employees) to vote it in, and so it would not be obvious to voters that the Pasco School Board was double dipping. In fact, the millage tax was approved by very few Pasco voters due the the boards trickery, definitely not the majority of voters.
As a result, voters should say NO to the Penny for Pasco tax in November. Not simply because of double taxation, but also because Pasco County schools funding is used very unwisely and inefficiently. Much of our tax dollars are waisted on non-value programs.
While I see your point that was sneaky, however, the main difference is that the millage taxes homeowners and the Penny for Pasco taxes everyone including tourists, so there will be more funding for our roads & teachers etc. We are bursting at the seams in Pasco and homeowners shouldn’t be the only source of income to help repair and build this county.