Pasco Introduces Road Tax To Pay For Paving Projects

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Pasco County officials say a new way of paying for road paving projects will lead to a more systematic method of roadwork.

They held a news conference Wednesday to explain commissioners' plans to implement a general road tax in the new county budget later this year.

Most counties in this part of Florida already use a general tax to fund roadwork. Pasco County has up till now used a system of paving assessments (PVAS) that directly charge homeowners and property owners along a given street for road improvements. The system began in the mid-20th century when West Pasco was growing but East Pasco remained rural. East county residents didn't want to pay for West Pasco roads. But now, officials say, both east and west Pasco are dealing with growth and are mostly suburban. "There's a new way of doing business here, and more importantly, it's a fair way of doing business," County Administrator Mike Carballa said.

Homeowners could be charged thousands for road improvements, sometimes billed over several years' worth of property taxes, under the old system. Improvements could be stalled if they didn't get sufficient support.

Pasco administration staff says going to a general road tax will mean that road improvements will happen more systematically and logically. The county will begin drawing up a schedule of roads needing maintenance.

The new road tax will amount to $51.84 for each $100,000 in assessed value. Property owners will see the figure in their TRIM notices later this year. Homeowners who were being assessed for old projects are getting a total of $13 million in debt relief. Commissioners voted on the new taxing structure in June.

Photo: Canva

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