Parks & Libraries MSTU Funding
Parks & Libraries MSTU Funding | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU)?
A Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) is a funding mechanism for community members to create, through approval of the Board of County Commissioners, a special taxing district to make improvements to their neighborhood and/or community area. Providing additional services based on community desires. The creation of an MSTU allows a County to levy an ad valorem tax on property in order to fund municipal-type services. Inclusion of part, or all, of a municipality requires the consent of the municipality’s governing body. Counties may levy up to 10 mills for municipal services.
Why are Pasco County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources & Libraries considering an MSTU?
Parks & Libraries are currently unable to keep up with demand. We have identified deferred maintenance issues in both departments and there are inadequate capital resources to address the growth of our county. Additionally, we are facing a pending 3rd Homestead Exemption which will put further pressure on Libraries and Parks that are competing with the growing needs for funding. While property values, thus property tax revenue, are increasing, this growth has been offset by a decline in other revenues. Although an MSTU will move expenditures out of the General Fund we should not expect a $1-for-$1 reduction because of the needs in other areas.
How are parks & libraries currently funded?
The county’s total budget is $1,334,093,264. Parks and Libraries currently receive 1% of the total county budget - shown as 1% Culture/Recreation in graphic (PDF).
What funding does the MSTU propose?
Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources current level of service costs the average household (based on $100,000 property value) $2.47/ month. In order to meet the basic level of service for our current population, Tier 1 funding proposes $3.92/month/avg. household, and Tier 2 funding proposes $5.41/month/avg. household for the premier level of service.
Libraries current level of service costs the average household (based on $100,000 property value) $13.89/year. In order to meet the basic level of service for our current population, Tier 1 funding proposes $25.36/year/avg. household, Tier 2 funding proposes $32.58/year/avg. household for library expansion and capital & operating expenses for two new branches, and Tier 3 funding proposes $44.91/year/avg. household providing enhanced technology, expansion and 2 additional branches, for a total of 4 new facilities.
How does an MSTU get funded?
The Board of County Commissioners could vote to establish an MSTU for parks and libraries and/or the question could also be put to voter for a ballot decision and/or the board could increase the amount of general funds that are given to parks and libraries and/or any combination of all three.
Commissioners have asked to find out the appetite of our residents. A series of workshops were held in November 2017 to gauge resident support of a Parks & Libraries MSTU. Additionally, an online opinion survey is available for residents to provide input.
Citizens are encouraged to voice their opinions to our County Commission. Should you be interested in providing your feedback, please email the County Commission
Recent news coverage of the MSTU funding options for Pasco County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources & Libraries: