Once known as the “Venice of the South,” Tarpon Springs was named for the abundant fish found off its coast and is hailed as the “Sponge Capital of the World.” The oldest town in Pinellas County, Tarpon Springs is located along the Anclote River where it intersects with the Gulf of Mexico. Past Indian history in this beautiful coastal community dates back to the 1800s with the arrival of the first settlers.
Soon after, the advent of the railroad and the building of the Anclote Key Lighthouse brought many positive changes to the area; wealthy Northerners flocked here creating a winter haven, while numerous fishing vessels navigated city waters. Industrious entrepreneurs improved the city’s economy and reputation with the harvesting of sponges. The Greek immigrants, who came to the area to continue their traditional trade of sponge diving, greatly enriched the city’s cultural composition with their customs and families.
With more than 50% of its population of working age, Tarpon Springs offers many employment and business opportunities
The greatest proportion of the population is made up of families with children and the median household income of $38,251 reflects an upwardly mobile populace.
Employers range from small mom and pop operations to mid-size manufacturing plants. Those with the largest number of employees include Innisbrook Resort, Florida Hospital North Pinellas, the City of Tarpon Springs, Tarpon Springs Schools and A-B-C Packaging Machine Corporation. The leading industry is tourism, with approximately one million visitors each year. A wide range of businesses cater to this market: from restaurants and gift shops to charter boats and resorts.
The Chamber of Commerce offers Business Assistance to help business owners with business and marketing plans, zoning issues and training.
Incorporated in 1887, Tarpon Springs is the oldest city in Pinellas County.
It has a city manager that conducts the day-to-day business and carries out policies directed by four elected Commissioners and the Mayor. The City Commission holds public meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall, located at 324 East Pine Street. These sessions are televised on the local public service cable channel and citizens are allowed to address the commission, as well. Tarpon Springs has its own local police department and fire department that also provides emergency medical services.
Homestead Exemption Homeowners whose Florida home is their primary residence are entitled to a homestead exemption of up to $50,000 on that property's assessment. The application filing deadline is March 1. New residents must file in person. Legal immigrants must produce proof of legal residency.
The most convenient filing location for Tarpon Springs is:
Property Appraiser's Office North County Branch
29269 U.S. Hwy 19 N Clearwater, FL33761
Any child 5 years old by September 1 st of the school year may be admitted to kindergarten. Children not previously enrolled in Pinellas schools or children changing schools because of a move, must register for school. Registration must occur at the child's attendance area school. Location can be determined by calling: 727-588-6000
Taxes There is no personal state income tax in Florida; however, there is a 7% sales tax in Pinellas County.
New residents from outside Florida must obtain a Florida drivers license within 30 days of establishing residency.
The examining office in Tarpon Springs is located at:
Manatee Village Shopping Center 743 S. Pinellas Avenue