Your Questions Answered
If you received your property tax assessments recently, you may have noticed a line item from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District.) The District manages the water resources through a variety of activities that support water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems. The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Budget Manager Mike Cacioppo explains how your tax dollars are spent to protect Florida’s water resources and to improve Florida’s economic vitality.
Q: What is a millage rate?
A: Property taxes in Florida are implemented in millage rates. A millage rate is one-tenth of a percent, which equates to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in home value. A number of different authorities, including counties, municipalities, school boards and special districts, can collect these taxes. You will see your millage rate on your property tax assessment.
Q: How much millage will I pay to the District?
A: The adopted fiscal year 2021 millage rate is 0.2669 mill, 4.7% lower than the current fiscal year. This reduction will help lessen the tax burden for Florida residents by saving taxpayers approximately $6 million in property taxes. For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the District tax would be $26.69 a year, or about $2.22 per month.
Q: What is the budget for the District this year?
A: Last month, the District’s Governing Board adopted a $183.5 million budget for fiscal year 2021, including more than $65.7 million for the Cooperative Funding Initiative and District grant programs for water resource projects.
Q: What is the District’s Cooperative Funding Initiative?
A: The District’s Cooperative Funding Initiative (CFI) is a matching grant program that allows the Governing Board to jointly participate with local governments and other entities to incentivize proper development, use and protection of the water resources in the District. Since 1988 the CFI, along with other cooperative programs efforts, have been highly successful, resulting in a combined investment of more than $3 billion in funding assistance for a variety of water resource projects in the region.
Q: What is the budget funding this year?
A: The District budget includes a healthy investment in water resource projects such as $20.9 million for development of alternative water supplies to ensure an adequate supply of water resources for all existing and future reasonable and beneficial uses; $15.9 million for springs initiatives to restore springs and spring-fed rivers to improve water quality and clarity as well as restore natural habitats; and $26.3 million for Watershed Management Program plans to support floodplain management decisions and initiatives as well as address potential and existing flooding problems.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: For more details on the District’s budget, as well as the programs and initiatives it supports, visit WaterMatters.org/business/finance/budget.