March 27, 2023

Supreme Court to Hear Pinellas, Pasco Tax Case

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday said it will take up a dispute about whether Pinellas County should be required to pay property taxes on land it owns in neighboring Pasco County.

Pinellas County went to the Supreme Court after a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that Pinellas was not immune from taxes on the land.

“Neither the trial court nor Pinellas County has identified any case law or constitutional provision that supports the proposition that counties are immune from taxation of their extraterritorial properties,” the appeals court said in a September 2019 ruling.

But in asking the Supreme Court to consider the issue, Pinellas County pointed to potentially far-reaching effects of the case.

“The Second District’s decision and reasoning recedes from long-standing case law relative to taxing ability and sovereign immunity to taxation,” Pinellas County attorneys said in a brief.

“As a result, the Second District’s decision requires that property appraisers assess property held by political subdivisions of the state based on whether or not the property is within the owner’s jurisdictional or geographic boundaries and, where the property lies outside of the political subdivision’s jurisdictional or geographic boundaries, determine what, if any, ad valorem exemptions apply; a previously unnecessary determination.”

An order from the Supreme Court did not set a date for arguments.

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