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Voters to Decide if Penny for Pinellas Will Be Extended for a Fourth Time

1/10/2017 1:51:44 PM

Contact: Jason Beisel

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The city of Clearwater wants to know what residents think about the potential fourth extension of the Penny for Pinellas sales tax. The city is asking people to take a short survey, and give us their opinions. People can access the survey by visiting Answers will help guide city officials about the future use of Penny dollars if the tax is extended again.

Since its inception in 1990, the Penny for Pinellas tax has provided nearly $21 million for roadway improvements, and more than $2 million to make sidewalks more pedestrian friendly in Clearwater. The one-percent sales tax has also played a major role in helping fund neighborhood and citywide infrastructure improvements, public safety, helping purchase vehicles and apparatus for Clearwater’s police and fire departments. Beach Walk, four fire stations, the Memorial Causeway Bridge, the Bayside Bridge and more have also been funded by Penny for Pinellas dollars. On Nov. 7, 2017 Pinellas County voters will get a chance to vote whether to extend Penny for Pinellas a fourth time.

The Penny for Pinellas tax is a one-percent sales tax surcharge on taxable commodities sold in Pinellas County, dedicated to capital improvement projects such as roads, bridges, stormwater improvements, facilities, public safety, parks and more. These improvements help enhance the quality of life not only in Pinellas County, but right here in Clearwater. Criminal courts and jail facilities receive 10 percent of the funds, which help make up the 52 percent that goes to the county. The other 48 percent goes to the county’s 24 municipalities. Since Penny for Pinellas is a sales tax, approximately one-third of Penny for Pinellas funds is paid for by tourists and seasonal residents.