Money Under the Mattress
In the new year county commissioners are looking to revisit an increase in Pasco’s tax rate on hotel rooms, or “bed tax,” in order to generate more revenue to help the county’s tourism development office. This would enable the county to devote more to sports marketing and other important programs. Currently, Pasco enjoys the region’s lowest bed tax at 2 percent, compared to 3 percent in Hernando and Citrus counties, and 5 percent in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Count on the debate to continue.
The 536-acre former Behnke Ranch, covering a mile on State Road 54, has been sold to Houston developer Hines for $21 million. The master-planned community will be a mixed-use development comprised of 550 single-family homes, 200 townhomes, 440 multifamily units, 300,000 square feet of commercial space and 530,000 square feet of office/industrial space.
Homebuilders have not yet been announced nor has the name of the new community. Construction is expected to begin early this year.
This is another positive sign that developers are excited about the potential for growth in Pasco. There have been large land deals taking place in the county in the past two years, including the 2,500-acre Starkey ranch and 543 acres north of State Road 52.