Water Management District reduces tax rate again

Teresa Monson informed local Historic City News reporters that, for a sixth consecutive year, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board approved a tentative budget that reduces the millage rate for taxpayers while continuing to provide significant funds for programs and projects to ensure sustainable water resources, increase water conservation and protect water quality in springs and other priority water bodies.

“This tentative budget reflects the district’s continued commitment to our core missions of water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We continue to invest taxpayer dollars and focus our efforts on cooperative projects that are helping to restore and protect our water resources.”

The tentative 0.2562 millage rate would result in nearly $87 million in revenue toward a total $142.5 million budget for fiscal year 2018‒2019, which begins Oct. 1, 2018. The budget is also funded through state, federal and other district sources (including timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings and permit fees).

The millage rate adopted by the board is approximately 6 percent less than the current year’s tax rate. Under a 0.2562 millage rate — 25.62 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value — the owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $38.43 in the coming year in property taxes to the district.

The proposed budget will fund the district’s major programs, such as priority water body and springs restoration and continued cost-share partnerships.

Public hearings will be held at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 11 and 25. Final budget adoption will occur at the September 25th Governing Board meeting.

About the St. Johns River Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville and Palm Bay.