Although the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) increased its operating budget by $4.5 million for the coming fiscal year, property owners will not pay a higher tax to state agency responsible for flood control and surface and groundwater quality in the Tampa Bay area.
Tuesday night the Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board approved the 2012-13 fiscal year budget and millage (or tax) rate. The fiscal year starts Monday, October 1. The budget includes a millage rate of 0.3928 mils, the same as the current fiscal year. One mil represents one dollar per thousand dollars of taxable value; a property with an assessed value of $100,000 will pay SWFWMD $40. According to Robyn Felix, spokesperson for SWFWMD, property values in the SWFWMD service area went down 2.9 percent, so property owners will pay the district $3 million less than they did in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Felix says the additional $4.5 million in the budget stems from “additional funding requests from local governments for water resources projects”. The District plans to fund the increase as well as the $3 million decrease in property taxes collected from money it did not spend in prior years.
In the next 12 months SWFWMD will spend $83.2 million for capital and infrastructure projects as well as other water resource management projects.
The District governing board answers directly to the governor.