On June 3, the Pinellas County Commission voted 6-1 to eliminate the PSTA portion of property taxes for Pinellas County homeowners, a key element of the Greenlight Pinellas plan.
"Eliminating PSTA property taxes is a critical part of the Greenlight Pinellas plan that will save Pinellas County homeowners over $32 million per year," said Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller. "We thank the county commission for taking this important step as we move to a fairer, more broad-based revenue source to fund Greenlight Pinellas and transit in our community."
"I'm proud of this step that the County Commission took today to protect Pinellas taxpayers from double taxation," said County Commissioner Ken Welch. "This agreement will help usher in a new era of tax fairness and fund vastly improved transit options through Greenlight Pinellas."
"I'm glad my fellow County Commissioners agree the sales tax is a fairer way to fund public transit, paid by tourists and non-homeowners versus the current property tax on residents only," added County Commissioner Janet Long.
Known as the transit surtax interlocal agreement, the agreement takes a number of steps that will provide strong accountability between PSTA and the County Commission following passage of the Greenlight Pinellas initiative in November. Most notably, the agreement eliminates the 0.7305 mill property tax levied to fund transit in Pinellas County, which brings in $32 million per year.
A central part of the Greenlight Pinellas plan, if approved by voters, will be a 1 percent increase in sales tax to replace the eliminated PSTA property tax, known as the tax swap. This revenue will fund a 65 percent increase in bus service across the county, increased evening and weekend service to Tampa, Bus Rapid Transit service on major Pinellas corridors, future passenger rail service, and more.