The Pasco County Commission has adopted a list of projects the county intends to pursue with proceeds of a proposed 15-year extension of the Penny for Pasco government infrastructure surcharge tax.
Voters will decide in the Nov. 8 general election whether they want to extend the tax for a third round.
The first Penny for Pasco, approved by voters, was in effect from January 2005 through December 2014. Voters approved extending the tax, from 2015 until 2024.
This time, voters are being asked to approve a 15-year extension of the tax, through 2039.
The tax proceeds are shared between Pasco County, the Pasco County School Board and the county’s six municipalities.
Of the county’s share, 20% would go for economic development; 20% for environmental land acquisition and recreation improvements; 20% for public safety; and, 40% for transportation.
Here are some of the ways the county said it would spend the tax proceeds:
- Environmental Lands: Acquisition of an estimated 3,000 to 3,700 acres of environmentally sensitive lands; additional amenities such as picnic areas, campgrounds, hiking trails, observations towers, and associated infrastructure throughout the county; improvements at Baillies Bluff Wilderness Park and Len Angeline Wilderness and Recreation Park
- Economic development: Efforts to support workforce development; rejuvenate semi-blighted economic corridors; encourage entrepreneurs through business incubators; provide economic incentives to attract businesses and jobs
- Public safety: Funding for Pasco Fire Rescue and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. Both Fire/Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office would receive for new vehicles and new in-vehicle computers and equipment. Fire Rescue also would receive specialty vehicles, including utility terrain vehicles and boats, life-saving emergency response equipment and facility upgrades
Transportation projects: This category stands to receive 40% of the proceeds, so that list is lengthy. Here’s a summary of some proposed projects:
- A county-wide study to determine its multi-modal transportation needs
- Proposed multi-modal improvements, including sidewalks and multi-use paths. Specific improvements, within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area include:
- Eiland Boulevard A , from north of State Road 54 to Handcart Road, a multi-use path
- Eiland Boulevard B, from Handcart Road to U.S. 301, a multi-use path
- Starkey Trail bike/pedestrian overpass at State Road 54
- Wire Road, from Pretty Pond Road to County Road 54, sidewalk
- Sidewalk projects near schools, including Curley Road, near Wesley Chapel Elementary, Thomas Weightman Middle School and Wesley Chapel High School; Cypress Creek Road, near Denham Oaks Elementary School; and Parkway Boulevard, near Pine View Elementary School
- Numerous other types of improvements including projects to improve connectivity and safety, including bicycle lanes, bicycle trail connections, bridge rehabilitation, accessibility improvements, roundabouts, paved shoulder safety treatments, roadway lighting and transportation technology and acquisition of right of way
- Improvements for GoPasco: The list includes new buses, improved accessibility to bus stops, park and ride locations, and improved bus stops
Published June 20, 2022