The Pasco County Commission has adopted a proposed budget topping $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2020.
The property tax rate did not change, but revenues collected by the county will go up because of an expanded county tax base due to new construction and property value increases.
Also, property owners will pay additional taxes to generate revenues needed to pay for four bond issues voters adopted to support a jail expansion, additional fire stations, park improvements and upgraded libraries.
The tax rates adopted by a 4-0, with Commission Chairman Ron Oakley absent, were:
- Property tax: 7.6076 mills
- Municipal fire service unit: 1.8036 mills
- Jail (bond issue): 0.0277 mills
- Fire rescue (bond issue): 0.0222 mills
- Parks (bond issue): 0.0100 mills
- Library (bond issue): 0.0096 mills
The aggregate millage rate is 9.3666 mills.
“The county realized a 9.3% increase in taxable assessed values over the past year,” said Robert Goehig, county budget director. Overall, the county’s budget is $1,465,713,041.
“Compared to the current fiscal year, the final general fund expenditure budget represents an increase of $44 million,” Goehig said.
This year’s budget includes a $20 million increase in the county’s reserves, the budget director said.
The budget also:
- Fully funds the sheriff’s budget request
- Includes a 6 percent wage increase for the board and constitutional officer employees
- Includes $6.8 million for initiatives, including the restoration of library hours, an emergency generator replacement plan and other items.
Also, Goehig noted, there’s $6.6 million for investments in infrastructure, such as the Starkey Ranch District Park baseball fields; two roller hockey rinks in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning; various information technology projects; and, the facilities master plan.
No transportation millage was levied last year and none was proposed this year.
The county’s Municipal Fire Service Unit Fund, which has a tax levy of 1.8036 mills, will generate an additional $4 million because of an increase in property values.
Those funds will be spent to support the negotiated firefighter wage increase and staffing for new fire stations.
No one spoke for or against the budget during the comment period of the public hearing.
Published October 2, 2019