Comparison of Costs - Pinellas County vs St. Petersburg
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The table below was provided by Mark S. Woodard, Assistant County Administrator Management & Budget. Notes to be read with this analysis follow the table footnotes. This schedule is also available as an Excel spreadsheet.
Comparison of Estimated Taxes, Fees and Charges    
Feather Sound & City of St. Petersburg        
Assumed Taxable Value: $172,300          
  Feather Sound   City of St. Petersburg  
Rate Amount   Rate Amount Diff. 
Property Tax:            
MSTU/City 2.356 405.94   7.09 1,221.61  
Library 0.5 86.15     0.00  
Feather Sound - Comm. Services 1.0 172.30     0.00  
Fire (High Point Fire District) 3.674 633.03     0.00  
Total Property Tax 7.53 1,297.42   7.09 1,221.61 (75.81)
Other Fees and Taxes:            
Electricity 0.00%     16.00% $353.28  
Telephone/Cable 5.10% $47.12   5.50% $50.82  
Gas 0.00%     16.00% $0.00  
Water  0.00%     10.00% $30.00  
Fuel Oil (per Gallon) 0     $0.04 $0.00  
Total Other Fees & Taxes   $47.12     $434.10 386.98
Charges & Assessments:            
Refuse              23.00     276.00   $16.35 $196.20  
Stormwater (monthly)             -     $5.00 $60.00  
Total Charges & Assessments       276.00     $256.20 (19.80)
Total All   1,620.54     1,911.91 291.36
Assumed Monthly Utility Amounts:            
Electricity $184.00          
Telephone/Cable $77.00          
Gas $0.00          
Water  $25.00          
Sewer $51.00          
Fuel Oil (gallons) 0.0          
>  Millage rates reflect FY04 adopted rates.
>  Fees and charges based on FY04 rates.
>  Feather Sound Community Services District is a special taxing district formed by the residents of Feather Sound.
    It was established to provide funding for street lighting, recreation and green space acquisitions, and 
    development and maintenance.
>  CST (Telephone/Cable) tax rate reflects County rate of 5.1% effective 1/1/03, and City of St. Petersburg rate of 5.5% 
    effective 1/1/03.  Excludes 0.12% non-levy of permit fees.        
>  Assumed monthly utility amounts are estimates, actual use may vary.      
>  Feather Sound is located within the County's Water and Reclaimed Water Service Area and  the City  
    of Largo's Sewer Service area.  Annexation would increase water bills by the 10% utility tax imposed    
    by the City of St. Petersburg.  The County does not impose a utility tax on water.    
>  Unincorporated residents may contract with the private refuse hauler of their choice for curb-side pickup.  
    Rates vary.  The City of St. Petersburg charges $16.35/month.      
>  Stormwater for the Unincorporated area is included as part of the MSTU tax rate.  The city of St. Petersburg
    assesses a $5.00 monthly fee             

Notes on the spreadsheet above by Mark S. Woodard Assistant County Administrator Management & Budget

The spreadsheet is presently populated with a taxable value which reflects the average for single family residential units in Feather Sound ($172,300) and monthly utility assumptions based upon an average of actual amounts incurred by two of the CSA's Board members. These assumptions show a $291 financial benefit of remaining unincorporated. A Feather Sound resident called me and asked what the tax and fee impact would be in his case. His taxable value was lower than the average ($108,200) as were his monthly utilities ($70/mo for electricity). In his case, the financial benefit is about $100. As you can see, the financial benefit of remaining unincorporated is a function of each individuals own unique set of circumstances. The spreadsheet attached can be used to calculate this comparison by inputting one's own amounts into the cells shaded in green.

 As noted in the Mayor's letter, the City's property tax rate is slightly lower than that presently paid by residents in Feather Sound. This differential of 0.44 mills equates to $0.44 (44 cents) for every $1,000 of taxable value. What wasn't noted were the various utility taxes and franchise fees that the City imposes on electricity (16%), water (10%), natural gas (16%) and fuel oil as well as the storm water utility fee ($60/year). None of these taxes/fees are imposed within the unincorporated area. All of this information is detailed in the table below. Each resident will need to "do the math" in order to quantify what a potential annexation may mean to them. I can't think of a taxable value/monthly utility scenario, however, where a resident would realize a financial benefit. Ultimately, the decision to be annexed is influenced by both financial as well as non-financial factors. The County believes that it's best to provide the citizens with accurate information so that they can make their own educated decisions.

 Mark S. Woodard

 Assistant County Administrator

 315 Court Street, Room 601

 Clearwater, FL 33756

  (Voice) 727.464.3093

 (Fax) 727.464.4384

Pinellas County Office of Management & Budget
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL  33756