4-B THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, Wednesday, July 4,1984
Basin board members seek delay
Southwest Florida Water Management District Basin boards, however, look at
spending as an investment in their
officials will consider a request to delay a respective areas, Feaster said.
move to cut the boards' taxing powers. Removing tax controls from the
mOVe tO cut the boarOds taxing powers, basin boards would create "gutless
committees" with no powers or
By AMES ARNOLD coming basin budget items should input, Alafia River Basin Board Vice
Tribune Staff Writer fall under water management dis- Chairman John Lee said.
trict tax control. Elimination of Changing or eliminating basin
Members of three basin boards basin boards' would shorten spend- boards is wrong, others said, be-
Monday asked for a one-year delay ing procedures and erase tax inequi- cause for years the boards have
of a recommendation by water man- ties, Kuhl said. been praised as the water district's
agement officials to cut the boards' Basin board members are as- strongest local arm.
taxing powers. signed by the governor to watch "Southwest Florida Water Man-
The governing board of the over water study projects in their agement District has got a better
Southwest Florida Water Manage- watershed areas and set tax rates mousetrap. Why destroy the mouse-
ment District will hear the recom- for residents in those basin areas. trap?" Manasota Basin Board mem-
mendation Thursday. If the manage- They said lifting their power to tax ber Buster Longino queried.
ment district's proposal is approved, would take away local input in the Rather than removing all taxing
it can redefine basin board duties system. powers completely, board members
without legislative approval. Some felt outrage that recent asked Kuhl to consider revising his
About 20 representatives of five legislation allowing the governing request to juggle the percentage of
of the district's eight basin boards board to change basin board author- millage assigned to basin boards and
heard district Executive Director ity was not made more public, the southwest district.
Gary Kuhl explain the recommenda- "It's a railroad attempt to wipe The proposal passed Monday
tion to lift the boards' property tax- out the basin boards," former south- asks the governing board to consider
ing powers. west director Donald Feaster said. delaying for one year any change in
Kuhl told governing board mem- Feaster said a governing board basin board operations.
bers June 28 the concept of local in Tallahassee was too far removed The request was approved by the
basin boards was inefficient and from problems,. Northwest Hillsborough, Alafia
confusing. "They only see the expense in- River and Withlacoocee River basin
Monday he said 90 percent of up- volved," Feaster said. boards.