Penny IV: Policy Guidelines and Program Implementation Support

As a largely built-out county, Pinellas County has limited land for new residential, office and/or industrial development. Recognizing these challenges, the County engaged SB Friedman to assist in crafting policy and implementation strategies for the deployment of Penny IV Funds, a voter-approved 1.0% sales tax, to support redevelopment.

In 2017, voters approved a referendum to allow a portion of the county’s Penny sales tax to support investments in affordable housing and economic development capital projects. SB Friedman provided the following services to Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) support the strategic deployment of Penny IV Funds:

  • Conducted various market analyses to inform policy regarding the deployment of Penny IV Funds to support housing for 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), 80% AMI households and 120% AMI households within the County;
  • Utilized a customized market analysis approach to estimate economic development potential of and identify barriers to target industry office and industrial development;
  • Crafted policy guidelines to strategically invest in capital projects to ameliorate barriers to workforce housing and economic development;
  • Provided implementation advisory services to support PCED staff in the development of more specific procedures for the review/scoring of projects seeking the use of Penny IV Funds for economic development capital projects;
  • Assisted the County in creating the Penny IV Employment Sites Program, the first major economic development initiative to fund capital projects that support real estate redevelopment to attract higher-wage target industry employers.

Results: Our residential and commercial market findings were presented to the County in April 2019. Our analysis informed the policy guidelines for Penny for Pinellas IV, which were adopted December 10, 2019.

In January 2021, four affordable housing projects received conditional approval from the Board of County Commissioners through the Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program. Additionally, in January 2021, the County announced availability of funding for the first round of the Penny IV Employment Sites Program.