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Pinellas County School Board passes tentative tax rate for upcoming fiscal year

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County School Board members unanimously approved a tentative tax rate Tuesday that is a slight decrease from the current rate.

The proposed rate is about $7.32 per thousand dollars of assessed, taxable property value. That’s about 5.8 percent less than the current overall rate of about $7.77 for school property taxes.

The reduced rate means a homeowner with a home assessed at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $915 in property taxes for Pinellas schools next year. Under the current rate, that homeowner would pay about $971.25.

The proposed rate is expected to bring in about $525.3 million in property taxes, or about $4.3 million more than the approximately $521 million brought in this year. The lower tax rate is expected to raise more tax money because Pinellas property values have increased.

Board members also approved a tentative budget of about $1.5 billion.

That figure includes about $928 million for the operating budget and about $322 million for capital – or bricks and mortar – projects. Among the projects proposed for the new tax year, which begins Oct. 1, are major renovations and construction at 12 schools.

Among those 12 are Pinellas Park Middle ($28.4 million); Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg ($19.4 million); the Career Academies of Seminole ($11.3 million); and Tarpon Springs High ($10 million).

The tax rate and budget will not become final until Sept. 13 when board members are scheduled to give their final approval.

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