PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A number of Pasco County businesses have been incorrectly charging customers when they ring up. Customers have been paying am 8.5 percent sales tax when it should have only been seven percent.
For Pasco County tax collector Mike Fasano, the whole situation is frustrating.
"It's truly a mess for the people who are in Pasco who are having to deal with these issues," Fasano said.
The issue stems from confusion in Odessa and Lutz. Even though parts of these two towns are in Hillsborough County, there are significant portions in Pasco.
For Fasano, he said he believes the responsibility should be on businesses, not customers to be aware of what county a store is operating in.
"What I say to the corporate companies, get your act together. Know where your company stores are located. And what county they are in and what sales tax they should be charging."
Fasano pointed to one local business that had just reached out the day before.
"Heck, you had somebody from the Hyatt. The Hyatt Place that was just built reaching out to us asking us if they should charge the Hillsborough 8.5 percent or the Pasco 7 percent. And they are miles away from Tampa and a couple of miles away from Hillsborough County."
Fasano responded to the General Manager for the Hyatt Place, Steven Giovanniello, at 4:25 p.m. on Feb. 15. He said, "Steven – your Hyatt is in Pasco County and not Hillsborough. Pasco sales taxes prevail."
Giovanniello said Saturday he said he was still charging his customers an 8.5 percent sales tax because he believed that to be the right thing to do based off of the zoning he had looked into.
This concerned visitors of the hotel like Eric Harwood who had just checked in for his three-day stay.
"From being out of state, right, I'll never recoup that money if I am mischarged. I'll never know. So it was interesting to hear from you that there was such a discrepancy in that tax number."
Just across the street are the Tampa Premium Outlets. Despite the name, the mall is fully located in Pasco. When 10News checked there Saturday, the handful of customers we spoke to showed us they had been properly charged 7 percent.
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