ANOTHER NON-ADVALORUM TAX IN THE WORKS FOR PASCO COUNTY TAX PAYERS
On November 16, 2017, Pasco County announced that they would be holding 3 Parks & Libraries Funding Workshops. All were held within the same week and in different areas of the County.
The first one was held in West Pasco on November 28, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. This was the same day the 7 Diamonds Mine Permit hearing was being held in the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners room. This 7 Diamonds matter went on until after 9:00 pm. So if you were passionate against the County allowing a company to blast next to the Weeki Wachee watershed, and attended the 7 Diamonds hearing, you missed this Libraries meeting.
The Second one was held the very next day, November 29, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in Land O Lakes. I attended this workshop.
The Third workshop was on November 30, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and was conducted in Dade City.
Consider that Thanksgiving was November 23, so if you were out of town for this Holiday you had no chance to hear any of the information on the Libraries. This was reflected in the number of people that attended the Land O Lakes Meeting. There were more Pasco Employees than taxpayers.
Proposal from County:
A new MSBU (MSTU) is being proposed by Pasco County to fund the Parks and Libraries. This would be throughout the County and would affect all property owners. The question to the property tax payers is whether to pay an extra $6 to $ 10 per month per $100,000 property value. On the low end, for a house worth $200,000 you pay $12 per month, and so on.
Pasco County’s Method for Survey/Polling and Results
The County hired Clearview Research to do their polling. The polling methods were controversial because one of the questions asked your Political Affiliation. The survey was comprised of 401 telephone interviews done late November 2016, and 605 responses to an on-line survey. The total 1,006 responses had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%. Were the responses qualified?
However, Pasco County says “Survey says: Yes for parks and libraries.” (see Pasco County website for original Posts)
Important Fact to Know:
Pasco County has been purchasing land to create Parks and Preserves for the last several years. In many cases an MSBU is created for part of the purchase price as well as for the maintenance for these parks / preserves. It appears that since this is an MSTU (county wide), all who already pay extra on their property taxes for the MSBUs in their area, will pay again if the MSTU is passed.
Take a look at what is already included on our Property Tax bills:
- County Commission Operating
- School Operating State Law
- School, Capital Outlay
- SW FL Water Management District
- Pasco County: Mosquito Control
And then there are the Special Assessments based on the individual areas
(these extra taxes are not limited to the maximum annual increases that homesteaded properties enjoy)
- Stormwater assessment that was increased 66% this year.
- For Flooding issues in your neighborhood, regardless of the problem, an MSBU is created
- Road/ Paving issues, regardless of the usage that may have created the problem, a Paving assessment is created for the homeowners that front that street.
- County Street Lights: yes there is “street Light” assessment.
- County Solid Waste: yes we pay extra for that too.
Facts for Pasco County:
Pasco County has a population of just under 500,000. Per Pasco County’s website as well as the United Way, 36% of its population is AT or UNDER the poverty level. Pasco County’s administrator was hired last year at $250,000 per year + perks. The Parks and Libraries director’s salary has just been increased to $105,000 per year. Pasco County has 12 attorneys on staff. What keeps them so busy that they need 12 attorneys? These are just the ones that I am familiar with. Pasco County’s budget has salaries available for all to view.
I have heard many times, that Pasco County does not have enough money and that is why they have to create these new taxes. I boldly suggest, “ Maybe the real issue it is HOW the County SPENDS their tax dollars”