Editor: A recent letter from Ernest Bach regarding the proposed funding change for Greenlight Pinellas and our transit system included some exceptionally dubious tax figures – for which the author never provides attribution.
He assigns a figure of $18.26 as the property tax amount currently paid to PSTA by “a Clearwater resident.” PSTA currently levies a property tax of .7305 mills (that’s 73.05 cents for every $1,000 of taxable property value), so a bill of $18.26 would be for a parcel with a taxable value of only $25,000. If the owner is claiming a homestead exemption, that would be a home value of $75,000.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value in Clearwater is $179,900. With a homestead exemption, the owner of such a home would pay $94.89 in property taxes to PSTA – not the $18.26 that the letter writer claims.
The Census Bureau also lists the median household income for Clearwater as $41,986. According to the IRS online sales tax deduction calculator, that household would pay $101.74 for a 1 percent sales tax. Less than $8 a year more than the current property tax for PSTA, which will be eliminated if the Greenlight 1 percent sales tax is approved.
That’s less than $8 a year more for a vastly improved transit system that will in many, many ways benefit the members of his Largo-Mid Pinellas County Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.
Bob Lasher External affairs officer Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority