Title: Water boards seek tax rise
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00050784/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water boards seek tax rise
Alternate Title: Newsletter article, by David Olinger, "Water boards seek tax rise," Times
Physical Description: 2p.
Language: English
Creator: Olinger, David ( Author )
Publication Date: Aug. 22, 1994
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 1, Folder 7 ( FUNDING WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS ), Item 87
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00050784
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

at boards seek tax rise
r IS -see.

i 3.;-^^r-^-r 'Your chance
If you ow property anywhere inhe Tmpa Bay t comment
aea, you are about to get a tax increase from an agency c m
you probablyhv ever hed of.itizens il vea chance to comment n the
SIt is called a basin board, and its joisohelp manage Cipropoied basin oard cabdgne tos e
the water resources within your local watershed.
SEight of th es' ds are yo with I he Southwest hearings. The first will begin at 5 p.m. Sept.
S"Eigh't of these -I yards are. Wthin e ,Southwest
Florida Water Manageent District Swiftud-and 13 at Swiftmud's office inTapa, 7601 U.S.
to' increase th' r by "as301 N.'The sedonbid will begin'at 5 p.m. Sept.
they propose to increase their tax rates by as much as 37 at ft he dwll begin at 5 p.m. Set.
158 percent this 'year. Six of those boards are in 27 at Swiftmud headquarters 2379 Broad St.
Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando arid Citrus (U.S..4), south of Brooksville.
counties. The tax increases would help finance a
long-range plan to bring more water to homes and
businesses in the Tampa Bay region. .;. The technology of converting sewer system water
"The new watei ,sources would differ 'significantly into drinkable stuff is rather new, but it is becoming
from our current' supply, which consists mainly of popular in places with chronic water shortages.
groundwater pumped from the Floridan Aquifer. The Bruce Kennedy, acting general manager, at West
blend of the future may include desalinated water from Coast, expressed confidence that the water piped from a
the Gulf of Mexico and disinfected wastewater from sewage treatment plant to the Hillsborough River will be
Tampa' sewage treatment plant. ;i safe for human consumption.
While several asirboards are seeing hefty prcent- "The water that would come out of the process is
age increases, tat will not change tax bills greatly better than the raw water quality of the river," he said.
because they are siall agencies. I i. '; Other Swiftmud and basin board projects would
For example, "in the Pinellas-Anclote basin, which divert storm water and treated wastewater onto public
covers Pinellas County and a wedge of southwest Pasco, well fields, where it would seep back into the aquifer.
the board wanis a 51 percent increase. Eventually, the district also hopes to add desalinated
That would raie the basin board tax bill fr the ocean water to its supplies.
owner of a $100,000 house with a $25,000 homestead Together, these projects are expected to add about
exemption by $10.20, from $19.87 to $30.07. In addi- 100-million gallpns of water to the regional supply. Most
tion, the homeowner would pay $31.65 to Swiftmud, would be based in theTampa Bay, area, where the
which is not seeking a tax increase this year.. principal supplier delivers 120-million gallons a day.
Why is Swiftmud holding its tax rate steady while its The projects already have their own acronym: NWSI,
subsidiary basin boards clamor for more cash? for New Water Source Initiatives. (Or newsy, in Swift-
Joe Davis Jr., Swiftmud's new chairman, says the mud lingo.)
explanation lies in the timing of a $200-million plan to Their cost to taxpayers will vary.
solve regional water-shortage problems with a dozen Property owners throughout the 16-county Swift-
projects that would nearly double our water supply. mud district pay the same tax rate to Swiftmud. Tax
Swiftmud raised its tax rate last year to begin setting rates and proposed budget increases vary considerably
aside money for the new water projects, he said. This among its basin boards, however.
year, basin boards that want a share of those future Among the boards in the Tampa Bay region, the
water resources also are raising their rates. highest proposed rate is in the Pinellas-Anclote basin,
Davis says the basin board tax increases are needed which plans to participate both in the Hookers Point
because no new water sources have been added since project and a separate project to spray treated wastewa-
1985 to a system straining to meet the demands of a ter on Pasco County well fields.
growing population. For the owner of a Pinellas home assessed at
"After this year, neither one of us should have any $100,000, the combined bill from Swiftmud and the
sizable increases," he said. basin board would total $61.72.
The new water projects are being financed from Other basin board rates for a house assessed at the
three sources: 25 percent from Swiftmud, 25 percent same value:
from participating basin boards, and 50 percent from a Northwest Hillsborough: $20.10, a 158-percent
participating local governments. That means their costs increase from this year, plus $31.65 to Swiftmud. The
will appear in future water bills and property taxes. combined bill: $51.75.
The biggest of these projects is Hookers Point, a Hillsborough River: $21.45, a 94-percent in-
$100-million plan to pump super-treated water from crease. The combined bill: $53.10.
Tampa's sewer plant back to the Hillsborough River, the Coastal Rivers: $18.15, an 81-percent increase.
city's primary water supply. Thus, water from the sewer The combined bill: $49.80.
system would get reused as drinking water. Alafia River: $18, a 76-percent increase. The
Ultimately, Swiftmud hopes to connect the Tampa combined bill: $49.65.
system to the pipelines of the West Coast Regional Withlacoochee River: $22.42, a 22-percent in-
Water Supply Authority. That could bring water from crease. The combined bill: $54.07.
Hookers Point and the Hillsborough River to a region-
wide delivery system.

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