4-B THE TAMPA TRIBUNE. Tuesday, September 18, 1984
Commission won't join lawsuit
against water management board
A judge likely will decide how final village that Hsboough and Pinells ou
ties have two members each," Kubl
rates are balanced between the eight basin retorted. Both counties are guaran-
teed two seats on the governing
boards and the Southwest Florida Water board. The other five members, In
Management District. effect, represent the remaining 14
Management District. ^^ ^ ^e souuiwesi r
counties in the southwest region.
Platt also said that although the
By PATRICE FLINCHBAUGH bers had asked the commission to commissioners may be sympathetic
Tribune Staff Writer become a party in a lawsuit filed to the basin boards' plight, "So much
against the water management dis- of this belongs to the local legislative
Hillsborough County commis- trict by Hardee, DeSoto and Her- delegation to sort out what they want
sloners won't be joining the fray be- nando counties, a citrus growers' to do with basin boards."
tween the Southwest Florida Water group and the Northwest Hillsbor- The governing board earlier this
Management District and its eight ough Basin Board. The Hillsborough year discussed turning the basin
local basin boards. board refused to get involved in the boards into local advisory panels
It's a tangled mess for the area's lawsuit, citing demands on its staffs with no taxing powers. Basin board
legislative delegations to sort time and resources in connection members and legislators opposed
through, the commissioners decided with a dispute over the home rule that plan.
Monday. charter and U.S. Department of Jus- In lieu of outright abolition of
At stake is whether the local tice intervention into the local basin boards in their current form,
water boards continue to control a County Commission election. the governing board voted July 11 to
measure of ad valorem taxation, or "This belongs in the legislative rearrange and drastically reduce
whether the bulk of that levy passes hands," said Commissioner Matt Jet- the local water boards' budgets.
to the district's governing board in ton. "I believe very strongly in the That move sought to consolidate
Brooksville. The two groups together local (government) concept and I property tax revenue under the cen-
cannot levy more than one mill. Due believe very strongly that ground tral board's budget.
to current litigation over that issue, a water will be a bigger problem and Due to the subsequent lawsuit, a
judge likely will decide how final more regional in nature than we Hernando circuit judge has ordered
millage rates are balanced between could ever dream of." the water management district to
the basin boards and the parent Commissioner Jan Platt told the advertise its budgets according to
panel. (One mill equals $1 for each district's executive director, Gary the basin boards' original wishes.
$1,000 of assessed valuation.) Kuhl, that she believed in the idea of Until the lawsuit is Settled, property
By unanimous vote, the five a regional approach to managing taxpayers in 16 counties will be pay,
Hillsborough commissioners passed water. But she said that the "whole ing an additional $7 million into a
a resolution Monday that urged the tax issue needs to be sorted out" be- holding account. Depending on
Legislature to review the issue "as cause taxes are levied on behalf of which budget is finally implement-
expeditiously as possible for a com- the water district in counties that ed, that excess revenue could be car-
plete solution to the problems raised have no representation on the gov- ried into the next fiscal year or re-
in the dispute." earning board, funded to the counties, according to
Several local basin board mem- "On the other side is the concern district officials.