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July 31, 2012

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday adopted its proposed fiscal year 2012-13 (FY2012-13) millage rate.

The Governing Board adopted a proposed FY2012-13 millage rate of 0.3928 mill, which is the same as the current fiscal year. FY2012-13 will run from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013. With taxable property values declining by 2.9 percent, this rate will result in a $3 million reduction in ad valorem property tax revenue.

The total proposed FY2012-13 budget for the District is $159.7 million, 2.6 percent higher than the adopted budget for FY2011-12, which was $155.5 million. The $4.2 million increase in the budget is primarily due to additional funding requests from local governments for water resources projects. The increase is funded from additional balances available from prior years due to the cancellation of projects and projects completed under budget.

The proposed budget includes $83.4 million for capital/infrastructure and other District projects. The District’s funds leveraged with its partners will result in a total investment of more than $134 million for water resource management projects benefitting the region.

Over the long term, the District has identified adequate fiscal resources to address the core mission areas of responsibility for water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems. The District’s fiscal resources supplemented with project reserves will adequately maintain a healthy investment in the economy and water resources during the next 5 to 10 years.

For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the FY2012-13 District tax would be $39.28 a year, or about $3.27 per month. The proposed FY2012-13 millage rate adopted by the Governing Board will be used by county property appraisers when mailing out Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices of proposed property taxes to residents.

Two statutorily required public TRIM hearings on the District’s total budget will be held in September. The first will be Sept. 11 at 6 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. 25 at 6 p.m. at the District’s Tampa Service Office. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Governing Board will formally adopt the final millage rate and budget. The public is welcome to attend any Governing Board meeting to provide comment on the proposed budget.

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