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August 14, 2009

At its August 13 meeting, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Coastal Rivers Basin Board adopted a fiscal year 2010 (FY2010) millage rate of 0.1885 mill, which is the same as the current fiscal year. The Coastal Rivers Basin Board covers portions of Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.

This millage rate, combined with a reduction in taxable property values as certified by the county property appraisers, will result in an estimated 10.91 percent decrease in ad valorem property tax revenue from FY2009.

The budget for FY2010 is $8,086,164, which is a decrease of $1.47 million from the approved FY2009 budget. The main reasons for this decrease are reductions in ad valorem revenue and balances available from prior years. FY2010 will run from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010.

For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the FY2010 Basin Board tax would be $18.85, or about $1.57 per month.

The District has seven regional Basin Boards that provide guidance for local programs that are specific to the watershed basins they protect. The District’s eighth basin, the Green Swamp, is administered by the Governing Board. Basin Boards work with local governments and other entities on water resource projects that have an impact in local communities. Basin Boards often provide partial funding for these projects in partnership with a local government or local cooperator.

Basin Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. They serve three-year staggered terms. Each of the Basin Boards includes a minimum of one person from each county within the basin, and there must be at least three members on each Board. Each Basin Board has at least one of the 13 members of the District’s Governing Board that serves as the Board’s chair.

In September, the Governing Board will adopt millage rates for the District’s General Fund and the seven Basin Boards after two statutorily required public Truth in Millage (TRIM) hearings have been held. The first will be Sept. 15 at 5:01 p.m. at the District’s Tampa Service Office.

The Governor’s office will review and approve the budgets of all five water management districts before the second and final public hearing.

The District’s second and final TRIM hearing will be Sept. 29 at 5:01 p.m. at the District’s Tampa Service Office. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Governing Board will formally adopt the final millage rates and budgets. The public is welcome to attend any Governing Board or Basin Board meetings to provide comments on the proposed budgets.

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