Pinellas County Tax Collector Offices Collecting School Supplies for Local Students in Need
Offices Support Education, Promote School Bus Safety During Back to School Month
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – Getting a new license or ID card in August? You may want to bring a backpack and notebooks along with your identification documents. Throughout the month of August, all Pinellas County Tax Collector locations are official school supply donation sites. All school supplies will be accepted, including binders, notebook paper, pencils, highlighters, and more. Items will be provided to the Pinellas Education Foundation to assist local students who are homeless or in financial need. According to the Foundation, 13% of families in Pinellas County are at poverty level and more than 3,000 children in our community are homeless.
“It is a privilege to serve the community and help fuel opportunities for Pinellas County students. We are proud to support students and their families and wish everyone a happy, safe, and successful school year,” said Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas.
In addition, the office is promoting the red apple Support Education license plate in honor of back to school month. The plate’s $20 annual fee benefits the Pinellas Education Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public school education in our own community. The Foundation is rated four stars by Charity Navigator for transparency, accountability, and financial practices. It provides grants to teachers as well as college scholarships to students in financial need. The Foundation also operates the Take Stock in Children mentoring program as well as Enterprise Village and Finance Park, which teaches fifth and eighth graders about economics and personal finance.
While you’re at the Tax Collector, you’ll also see a bus safety video playing on tv screens to remind drivers about what to do when they approach a stopped school bus. According to a Florida Department of Education survey, 645 Pinellas County drivers were spotted illegally passing a school bus during a one-day survey last school year. On two lane or multi-lane roads, drivers moving in either direction must stop for a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off children. If the road is divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least five feet wide, you do not have to stop if you are driving in the opposite direction of the bus. Drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus face a minimum fine of $165 to $265, must complete a basic driver improvement course, and four points on their driver license.
The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is partnering with six Florida nonprofits throughout 2018. Charitable organizations were selected through an application process with an emphasis on each organization’s mission and local impact. For more information about the Pinellas Education Foundation, visit PinellasEducation.org.
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ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit taxcollect.com.