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What is Annexation?
Annexation is the process of adding unincorporated property to the boundaries of an incorporated municipality, such addition making such real property in every way part of the municipality. Municipal annexations are governed by Chapter 171 of the Florida State Statutes.
Throughout Pinellas County there are properties that are in unincorporated Pinellas County meaning they are not incorporated into any municipality, regardless of their mailing address, therefore their form of local government is Pinellas County itself. Annexation allows these unincorporated properties to incorporate into a municipality in order to become a part of the city and receive certain city benefits.
The City of Largo, under Florida State Statutes, has what is called a "Planning Service Boundary", or PSB. Any unincorporated property within the PSB is eligible to submit an annexation agreement in order to incorporate into the City.
View our Planning Service Boundary map.
What is the Annexation process?
Annexation is a two-step process. The first step is to have a completed Annexation Agreement between a property owner and the City of Largo. Under an Annexation Agreement, in-City services will be given to the property within two weeks of submission.
Once the annexation agreement is recorded by the City Clerk's Office you will receive a copy of the annexation agreement in the mail. Although you have received a completed agreement in the mail, you are still in unincorporated Pinellas County for the time being.
The second step is the actual annexation of the property which involves bringing the Annexation Agreement in front of the Largo City Commissioners to authorize the annexation and formally bring the property into the municipal boundary. In order for a property to be annexed, it has to be contiguous to property that is in the City of Largo and does not create a new enclave. Largo usually conducts annexations on a quarterly basis. When the City is ready to begin the official annexation process the property owner will receive a letter in the mail notifying them the City is moving forward with the annexation of the property.
Once the City Commission has approved the annexation, the property will officially be recognized as being part of Largo, and at that time will have complete access to all of Largo’s City services including the Largo Police Department. The property owner will begin to pay Largo taxes, can vote in the Largo election cycle and have a say in what happens in their community. They will have enhanced local representation from leaders and decision-makers who are focused on your community.
What benefits do I receive by submitting an annexation agreement?
Within two weeks of submitting an annexation agreement, the property owner will have access to the following municipal services:
City's garbage service at $23.30 a month (billed bi-monthly on your Pinellas County water bill). This includes twice a week pick-up for regular trash, once a week pick-up for recycling and yard waste, and four free bulk pick-ups a year
In-City rate to the City's sanitary sewer service (if applicable)
In-City rate to the City's recreational facilities and programs
Access to reclaimed water (if applicable)
What do the following terms in the Annexation Agreement mean?
Annexation: is the process set forth in Florida Statutes that allows unincorporated properties that are outside the current city limits to incorporate and become part of a city. Annexation allows unincorporated Pinellas County properties to incorporate into the City of Largo. As such, the City of Largo would be your local government.
“Binding upon, and inure to the benefit of, the PARTIES and their respective heirs, successors, or signs”: refers to the fact that the annexation agreement is also binding to any individuals who inherit or come to own the property, who were not necessarily the signatories of the agreement but now own the property.
“Shall run with the land”: refers to the fact that the annexation agreement remains tied to the land (property) regardless if there is a change in ownership as the land is sold from one owner to another.
Why does my Annexation Agreement have language on City sanitary sewer service if I am connected to Pinellas County sanitary sewer?
The Annexation Agreements that the City provides to residential properties are template agreements and therefore may have language that speak towards receiving the in-City monthly sanitary sewer rates. The provisions in Section 3 of the agreement related to the City’s sanitary sewer service only pertain to properties located within the City’s sanitary sewer district. If the property is within Pinellas County’s sanitary sewer service area then this benefit does not apply.
Can I email the Annexation Agreement to staff?
No, staff needs the original signed Annexation Agreement. Please make sure to have all property owners sign in the appropriate blocks, have each signature witnessed, and have a notary notarize each property owner’s signature separately in the appropriate blocks.
Once I turn in the Annexation Agreement, how long will it take to begin trash service?
Once the agreement is received by Staff, it takes approximately two weeks to begin service. Largo provides a City issued garbage container and a blue recycling container for free. Staff will arrange for the containers to be dropped off so there is no need to contact the Solid Waste Department (727-587-6760). When the containers are delivered you will be provided with your pick-up schedule dates. The cost is $23.30 a month and is billed bi-monthly on your Pinellas County water bill. The following is included in the cost:
Regular garbage is picked up twice a week
Recyclables are picked up once a week
Yard Waste is collected once per week as part of your standard curb side service. Please bag or containerize yard waste for easy collection.
Largo provides a four (4) times per year bulk-service pick-up.
Will I receive a copy of the Annexation Agreement?
Yes, once it is recorded by the City Clerk’s office you will receive a copy in the mail. Although you have received a copy of the agreement and are receiving certain municipal services, your property is still a part of unincorporated Pinellas County and not the City of Largo. The City will send a letter in the mail notifying you when the official annexation process is beginning.
I've received a letter in the mail telling me my property is being annexed, do I have to do anything?
No, you do not have to complete anything on your end. When the City has decided to move forward with the annexation of your property you will be notified before and after the annexation is complete via mail. The annexation involves bringing the property in the form of an ordinance in front of City Commission for their approval. Two readings are required, a first reading and the second being a public hearing. You do not have to attend the City Commission meetings, however you are more than welcome if you choose to. After the Commission has approved the annexation, you will be notified by letter of the approved annexation, along with a copy of the ordinance and a brochure on City services and how to get involved in your community.
Is there a way to estimate the difference in annual taxes and fees before and after annexation based on my property information?
Yes, Forward Pinellas has established a Truth in Annexation worksheet where the property owner inputs their financial information and it will estimate the difference in annual taxes and fees before and after annexation, based on the information you provide.
The City has also created a sample Cost Benefit Analysis for the High Point Fire Tax District and Largo Fire Tax District.
What taxes, fees, and services change after annexation?
In unincorporated Pinellas County you pay three separate fees on your tax bill that will no longer be part of your Largo tax bill: MSTU, Library Service and Fire fee. After annexation, these three fees will go away and be replaced with Largo's tax rate fee.
Depending on what tax district your property was in before annexation, your property taxes may slightly go up or down. See below the comparison of millage rates for property taxes:
|Millage Code||Millage Rate||Total Millage Rate|
|Unincorporated Pinellas County||LTF||5.2092||19.8655|
|Unincorporated Pinellas County||HPTF||5.2092||19.6223|
The stormwater fee will change. Unincorporated properties pay their stormwater fee at the end of the year on their tax bill, this shows up under the Non Ad-Valorem Assessment as Surface Water Assessment. After annexation, property owners will begin paying a Largo stormwater fee bi-monthly on their Pinellas County water bill instead. A single-family property on average pays $117.74 annually in unincorporated Pinellas County versus $106.92 annually in the City of Largo.
In unincorporated Pinellas County rates are determined by a tier system, where the average single-family property calls under the Medium Tier (1,577 - 4,368 SF of impervious surface area). The Medium Tier equals 1 Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) and where 1 ERU = $117.74.
The City of Largo does not use a tier system but rather the monthly fees are based solely on ERUs, where one ERU is based on an imperious surface of $2,000 SF for an average single-family property. The monthly fee is based on 1 ERU = $8.91.
Properties may be eligible for a refund on the County's Surface Water Assessment after annexation into the City of Largo. Property owners may be reimbursed, on a pro-rate basis, from the date of annexation to the end of that fiscal year.
|Largo||1 ERU = 3,000 impervious square feet
1 ERU X $8.91 a month
$8.91 X 12 months = $106.92 annually
|Unincorporated Pinellas County||1 ERU = 1,577-4,368 impervious square feet
1 x $117.74 = $117.74 annually
Utility Tax & Franchise Fee
The City of Largo levies a utility tax on the purchase of electricity, metered or bottled gas, fuel oil, and water service. This tax is levied at the state-allowed maximum of $0.04 per gallon of fuel oil, and 10% of services provided for the remaining utilities. This 10% tax appears on your Duke Energy utility bill and Pinellas County water bill when officially annexed into the City.
Public Utilities must pay a franchise fee to the City in return for the right to use public rights-of-way for transmission lines, pipes, wires, etc. This 6% fee appears on your Duke Energy and Clearwater Gas (if applicable) utility bill when officially annexed.
|Utility Tax||Franchise Fee|
|Unincorporated Pinellas County||N/A||N/A|
Local Communications Service Tax
Each local taxing jurisdiction (municipality, charter county, or unincorporated county) have a specific local tax rate. Communications services tax is imposed on each sale of communications services in Florida. An example of communications services is cable and satellite television and landline telephone.
|Adopted Rate||County Surtax Conversion Rate||Total Local Rate|
|Unincorporated Pinellas County||5.22%||0.60%||5.82%|
When you reside in unincorporated Pinellas County, the emergency provider is the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Once annexed into the City of Largo, the emergency provider switches to Largo's Police Department.
Code of Ordinances
Unincorporated property owners follow Pinellas County's Code of Ordinances and Comprehensive Development Code. Once annexed into the City of Largo, property owners will be required to follow Largo's Code of Ordinances and Comprehensive Development Code.
You will now be able to vote in Largo's local election cycle and have your voice heard. You may also apply to sit on the various advisory boards the City offers.
What does not change after annexation?
There are properties that have a Clearwater, FL mailing address even though they are inside Largo's PSB. Following annexation into Largo, these properties maintain their Clearwater, FL mailing address, it does not change.
Largo Fire Rescue is your service provider while in unincorporated Pinellas County. Once annexed into the City they remain your service provider, this does not change.
Your water service will always remain with Pinellas County.
How can I request an annexation agreement? Who can I speak to if I have more questions?
Please feel free to contact Bryan Pederson, Economic Development Coordinator, at 727-586-7360 Option 1 or at [email protected] to obtain an annexation agreement and for any additional questions you may have.