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August 1, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday adopted its proposed Fiscal Year 2008 (FY2008) millage rate and the millage rates for its Basin Boards.

The District adopted a fiscal year 2008 (FY2008) millage rate of 0.3866 mill, which is .0354 less than the current fiscal year. This reduction is in accordance with the tax reduction mandated by the Florida Legislature. FY2008 will run from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008.

The FY2008 millage rate has been set equal to 97 percent of the rolled-back rate in compliance with House Bill 1B, the tax reform legislation signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist on June 21.

The total proposed FY2008 budget for the District is $395.2 million. The FY2007 budget is $383.3 million. The total budget includes the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds and Capital Projects Funds. Special Revenue Funds include the Basin Boards, Surface Water Improvement & Management (SWIM) Program and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Mitigation program.

For the owner of a $125,000 home with a $25,000 homestead exemption, the FY2008 Districtwide tax would be $38.66 a year, or about $3.22 per month. The Basin Board taxes would range from $14.84 per year in the Manasota Basin to $37.01 per year in the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin. The proposed FY2008 millage rates adopted by the Governing Board will be used by county property appraisers when mailing out Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices to residents.

The District’s FY2007 budget includes:

  • $111.3 million for Water Supply and Resource Development projects and reserves. This funding includes $8 million in state funding. Based on the long-term water supply needs, the Governing and Basin Boards collectively determined that they must maintain the financial course through 2025 to meet regional water supply and resource development needs.
  • $63.5 million in cooperative funding. The Cooperative Funding program began in 1988 and offers a 50/50 dollar cost-share for water resources projects approved by the Basin Boards. This funding includes $10 million of outside funding from state and local sources. Cooperative funding is funded by the District’s Basin Boards and is available to local governments, associations and individuals for water management projects that support the District’s responsibilities of water supply, flood protection, water quality and natural systems.
  • $11.0 million in New Water Sources Initiative (NWSI) funding. The NWSI funding includes $5.5 million in the General Fund, which represents Basin Board matching funds. This is the 14th consecutive year of funding with Basin Board matching funds. This funding includes $6.2 million in state funding. The NWSI program provides a financial incentive for local governments to develop regional, alternative sources of water, such as reclaimed water or desalination. These alternative sources are necessary to ensure a sustainable water supply for west-central Florida.
  • $12.8 million for the SWIM Program. The Florida Legislature established SWIM in 1987, requiring the state’s five water management districts to maintain a priority list of water bodies of regional or statewide significance. The districts develop plans and programs to improve these water bodies.

Two statutorily required public TRIM hearings on the District’s total budget will be held in September. The first will be Sept. 11 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 public TRIM hearing will be Sept. 25 at 5:01 p.m. at the District’s Brooksville headquarters. At the second hearing, the Governing Board will formally approve the final millage rates and budgets. The public is welcome to attend any of the Governing Board or Basin Board meetings to provide comment on the proposed budgets.

The adopted proposed FY2008 millage rates and proposed budgets are as follows:

FY2008 Millage Rate FY2008 Budget (millions) FY2007 Millage Rate FY2007 Budget (millions)
Total General Fund 0.3866 $ 195.1 0.422 $ 188.1
Alafia River 0.2163 $7.6 0.240 $8.4
Coastal Rivers 0.1885 $10.0 0.205 $8.3
Hillsborough River 0.2547 $18.1 0.285 $21.1
Manasota 0.1484 $25.3 0.160 $25.0
Northwest Hillsborough 0.2421 $10.8 0.268 $9.3
Peace River 0.1827 $17.8 0.195 $16.0
Pinellas-Anclote River 0.3701 $49.3 0.400 $41.4
Withlacoochee River 0.2308 $11.9 0.265 $10.2
FDOT Mitigation N/A $2.0 N/A $1.8
SWIM N/A $12.8 N/A $7.4
Partnership Trust Fund N/A $0 N/A $15.1
Total Special Revenue Funds N/A $165.6 N/A $164.0
Total Capital Projects Funds N/A $34.5 N/A $31.2
Total Budget N/A $395.2 N/A $383.3

N/A = not applicable

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