Hillsborough County government currently assesses applicable property owners a one-time annual residential street lighting assessment to pay for operation and maintenance of street lighting special purpose districts throughout the unincorporated County. Pass-through costs for utility street lighting service (approximately 96 percent of the assessment) are determined by Tampa Electric (TECO) rates, which are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
Residential Street Lighting Districts
Neighborhood street lights in unincorporated Hillsborough County are paid for by property owners as a separate Hillsborough County Consolidated Street Lighting Special Purpose District assessment on their property tax bill or as a fee within their Homeowner’s Association assessment. There are nearly 800 street lighting districts that include more than 125,500 parcels.
The amount each property pays depends on the number of poles and lights installed, the style of equipment selected, and the number of properties included in the service area. Street lighting is billed annually in advance. Property owners in neighborhoods without street lights do not pay the assessment.
Proposed Consolidated Street Lighting Special Purpose District Assessment
The proposed special assessments for the 2017 Tax Year vary based on the types of street lighting equipment installed and maintained by TECO in each District. Cost of the Residential Street Lighting Program includes: planning and engineering, installation, maintenance, tree trimming, and energy to operate the lights. Each property owner within a Consolidated Street Lighting Special Purpose District was mailed a notice that includes their specific proposed rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the increase being proposed?
The street lighting rates and assessments have remained unchanged since 2002. Staff is recommending a 16 percent increase in the non-ad valorem assessments to provide adequate revenues for the Districts. The recommended rate increase includes: 1) the pass-through costs from the service provider Tampa Electric Company (TECO), which implemented a Florida Public Service Commission-approved rate increase effective January 2017, and 2) recovery of increased operation costs due to inflation and phased replenishment of program reserves, which funded the TECO cost increase during the current fiscal year (FY 17).
The recommended rate and assessment adjustment will be applied uniformly to the street lighting customers. The cost of utility street lighting service provided by TECO accounts for approximately 96 percent of the total operating expenses incurred by the program.
Who can I call to discuss this increase?
Questions regarding the proposed assessment can be addressed with Hillsborough County Public Works at (813) 635-5400. Questions regarding TECO rates can be addressed by TECO Customer Care at (813) 223-0800.
What period of time does the annual assessment cover?
The Street Lighting Special Purpose District assessment period is October 1 through September 30 (fiscal year) and is billed in advanced.
What are the proposed rates?
The following annual proposed rates are provided for “per year per platted lot” (per lot) and “per front foot per year platted lot that exceeds 150 front feet, or per front foot unplatted” (per front foot):
- Ornamental or concrete poles served by underground wiring (OCU) - $63.92 per lot; $0.426 per front foot
- Ornamental or concrete poles served by overhead wiring (OCO) - $48.08 per lot; $0.305 per front foot
- Wooden poles served by overhead wiring (WO) - $32.69 per lot; $0.218 per front foot
- Mixed service (MS) - $57.83 per lot; $0.386 per front foot
- Premium post-top plain (PPP) - $127.38 per lot; $0.844 per front foot
- Premium post-top decorative (PPD) - $386.16 per lot; $2.575 per front foot
- Premium concrete shoebox (PCS) - $196.71 per lot; $1.312 per front foot
- Premium fiberglass plain (PFP) - $249.01 per lot; $1.646 per front foot
- Premium fiberglass decorative (PFD) - N/A at this time
- Premium decorative type 1 (PD1) - $546.93 per lot; $3.634 per front foot
- Premium decorative type 2 (PD2) - $148.12 per lot; $0.987 per front foot
- Premium mixed decorative type1 (PM1) - $227.34 per lot; $1.500 per front foot
- Premium mixed decorative type 2 (PM2) - $139.99 per lot; $0.923 per front foot
- Premium mixed decorative type 3 (PM3) - $756.68 per lot; $5.030 per front foot
- LED/Wooden poles served by overhead wiring (LEDWO) - $37.87 per lot; $0.252 per front foot
- LED/Ornamental or concrete poles served by overhead wiring (LEDOCO) - $50.31 per lot; $0.335 per front foot
- LED/Ornamental or concrete poles served by underground wiring (LEDOCU) - $64.66 per lot; $0.431 per front foot
- LED/Mixed service (LEDMS) - $63.18 per lot; $0.421 per front foot
- LED/Premium post top plain (LEDPPP) - $116.30 per lot; $0.775 per front foot
- LED/Premium fiberglass plain (LEDPFP) - $98.42 per lot; $0.656 per front foot
- LED/Premium decorative type 2 (LEDPD2) - $163.08 per lot; $1.087 per front foot
- LED/Premium mixed decorative type 1 (LEDPM1) - $135.36 per lot; $0.902 per front foot
- LED/Premium mixed decorative type 2 (LEDPM2) - $114.62 per lot; $0.764 per front foot
- LED/Premium mixed decorative type 3 (LEDPM3) - $711.59 per lot; $4.744 per front foot
Are there any discounts for senior citizens, non-profit organizations, or churches?
No discounts are available for this assessment.
When is the hearing to adopt the rates?
A public hearing to consider adoption of the annual rate resolution for the residential street lighting assessment for 2017 is scheduled August 2, 2017, at 10 a.m. in the 2nd floor Board Room at the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. You have the right to appear at this hearing and to file written objections within 20 days of the notice mailed to each affected property owner. Written objections can be submitted by mail to Residential Street Lighting Assessment Objections, Residential Street Lighting Program, Hillsborough County, P.O. Box 1110, Tampa, Florida 33601; or in person to the Public Works Department, 22nd floor at the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa.