Factors Affecting Revenue
Many factors contribute to the amount of revenue collected to fund Pinellas County programs and services. These factors are influenced by the general health of the economy, as shown in the housing market, population, tourism and overall consumer spending.
Property taxes are the largest source of revenue, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total revenue collected for the General Fund. The health of the real estate market has a huge effect on the budget. Fortunately, Pinellas County has seen an increase in taxable values for the last nine years. In FY22 taxable values increased 6.6% to $97.8B.
The number of tourists visiting the county is another factor that directly affects the budget in several ways. The County’s revenue from the local share of the state’s 6% sales tax grew by 5.3% in FY21 and is projected to increase another 5.3% in FY22.
The Tourist Development Tax, a 6% tax collected from rent on temporary lodgings, is used to enhance the economy by increasing tourism through marketing and promoting the county as a tourist destination. The revenue is used to fund national and international advertising campaigns, eligible capital projects such as improvements to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Facilities, and the local match for grants to renourish various beaches within Pinellas County. As the country recovers from the near shutdown of travel due to COVID-19, the Tourist Development Tax revenue increased 43.4% in FY21.
Penny for Pinellas Sales Tax
Our visitors also contribute approximately one-third of the Penny for Pinellas 1% sales tax revenue. This source funds capital improvement projects such as facilities, preservation land purchases, roads, bridges, public safety and parks.