| Material Information
||Water agency abandons quest to limit ground-water pumping
||Newspaper article by Anne Bartlett in Tampa Tribune, "Water agency abandons quest to limit ground-water pumping," and Board proposes tax increase."
||Bartlett, Anne ( Author )
||June 30, 1988
||North America -- United States of America -- Florida
||Box 4, Folder 12A ( FIVE - THREE - ONE RULE ), Item 10
||Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
Water agency abandons quest
to limit ground-water pumping
By ANNE BARTLETT
Tribune Staff Writer
BROOKSVILLE The region's Board proposes tax increase
water agency has abandoned its
fight to revive a rule that set specif- By ANNE BARTLETT assessed at $80,000 after the
ic limits on the amount of ground Tribune Staff Writer homestead exemption, for exam-
ple, will pay $26.40 to the district
water that can be pumped from BROOKSVILLE Water offi- this year. That would ncreas
well throughout west-central Flori- cials Wednesday proposed rals- $2.80 under a .365 village rate.
da: ing by about 10 percent taxes In addition to the district tax
The governing board of the paid by property owners to the rate, water officials proposed
Southwest Florida Water Manage- region's water agency. that six of the district's eight lo-
ment District voted unanimously The governing board of the cal basin boards set millage rates
Wednesday to drop its appeal of a Southwest Florida Water Man- for next year.
state hearing officer's decision to agement District set a proposed Those mileage rates would be:
overturn the rule. h property tax rate of .365 mills Alafia River, .01; Hillsborough,
District officials said they have Wednesday. Board members said .03; Northwest Hillsborough, .41;
decided they don't really need the they hope to reduce that to .36 Pinellas-Anclote River, .06; With-
socalled "5-3-1 rule, because they mills if property values through- lacoochee, .18; Manasota, .03.
can adequately protect water users out the region have gone up as The governing board is
and the environment with existing much as they estimate. scheduled to set a final mileage
regulations. They also can continue Water officials say the hike rate Sept. 27, following a Sept. 13
to use the rule's provisions as an would help pay for 40 new jobs public hearing.
InTormal guideline. and the agency's increased de- The proposed millage would
The rule "is in no way essential centralization, pay for about half of a $73.7 mil-
to our permitting program," said The proposed rate would be lion budget up from the cur-
distct general counsel Daniel Fer- an increase of about 10 percent rent $63.9 million spending plan.
nandez. over the current .33 millage rate. Various other sources of reve-
The decision to drop the appeal A mill equals $1 in taxes for ev- nue, such as state and federal
represents an about-face for the dis- ery $1,000 of assessed property grants and permit fees, would
tric?, which earlier this year joined valuation. The owner of property pay for the other half.
representatives of the phosphate
an'd citrus industries and Pasco
Coucpty to defend the rule against a
challenge mounted by the West ed by the governing board. for water among public suppliers,
CQast Regional Water Supply Au- But West Coast the agency the owners of property near well
tholtty and Pinellas County. that supplies water to 1 million peo- fields, citrus growers and phosphat'
The rule said the district must pie in the Tampa Bay region said companies.
closely examine applications for a more strict interpretation of the During the course of the deb'
pumping that would reduce the lev- rule would jeopardize its ability to several legislators unsuccessfulP
el of water in nearby wells by 5 operate. tempted to make the administ
feet, lower the water table by 3 feet The authority exceeds the rule's rule a state law.
or decrease the level of lakes by 1 limits at several of its well fields State hearing officer
foot. but continues to operate them under Conn in May upheld Wer
District officials said they used exceptions. challenge, saying that th
the rule only as a guideline, and al- West Coast's challenge of the ceeded the district's st
lowed water suppliers to exceed rule became the recent symbolic fo- thority and was too
those limits under exceptions grant- cus of the longstanding competition arbitrary.