County Opposes Taxing
Power For Water Board
By MARYANNECORPIN Attorney Clint Brown, special counselor
Tribuse Staff Writer matters, told the Hillsborough commission
they could support the amendment.
Hillsborough County commissioners went on record yester- Brown said that many lawyers believe
day unanimously opposing a constitutional amendment giving would authorize both the Southwest Florid
water districts the power to levy property taxes, after being ment District and the watershed basins ea
warned it probably would mean an increase in local taxes. at the rate of one mill. or $1 for every
The amendment will be on the Presidential Preference assessment.
Primary ballot March 9. he authority to do it would be there in
S PINELLAS COUNTY commissioners also expressed con-
S cern about the amendment and are having a resolution to op-
pose it drawn up. They will vote on the resolution next Tues-
on water district
he didn't see how
e the amendment
la Water Manage-
ch to tax property
$1.000 of property, .
the amendment." .
THE ATTORNEY said the description of the amendment
as it will appear on the ballot "is very misleading. It's not
See BOARD OPPOSES, Page 2
Board Opposes Taxes
;., ".* From Page I
*hal'tti amendment says."
-Wi W t the voters will see when they
etler the- voting booth March 9 is a pro-
posal to amend the state constitution, by
_ekiauthoting and limiting local taxes for,
water-management purposes to not more
otfi[ said that Hillsborough taxpay-
ersa' uld be required to support the
watet-management district. But plans
callr& Sarasota and Manatee counties
t4b' 'included in the district, although
taiesoer the district couldn't be collect-
ed l. Sarasota and Manatee unless
voteot in the two counties specifically
V '!gihborough tax funds would be
spes lj' other counties which were not
taxe.V-'Brown said. "We already con-
tribute about $900.000 to the district."
I H SAID A "whole host of agencies
withowater management capacity" could
spring up, and levy taxes without the ap-
prov)d 0O the voters, if the amendment
l: esently there is a countywide tax of
.15 4f a mill (15 cents on every $1.000 of
property value) for the Southwest Flori-
da 4Water Management District. And
three watershed basins collect either 65
cents or,69 cents per $1.000. In specific
areas of the county.
Hillsborough. commissioners are e
scheduled to meet with the Pinellas com-
mission today, to talk about their com-
mori coicern on bills which will come up
in the 1975 session of the state-legisla-
ture, and also about the Southwest Flori-
da Water Management District. Each
county has one member on the 15-county
But the Hillsborough commissioners
had second thoughts yesterday about the
meeting, after learning that the Pinellas
commissioners were critical Tuesday of
Hillsborough County's stand on water
wellfields affecting both counties.
HILLSBOROUGH WON its fight
to prohibit Pinellas from pumping water
from phase two of the East Lake well-
field. The Southwest Florida Water Man-
agement District told Pinellas that while
the district's permission for pumping
from Cypress Creek still is. in effect,
Pinellas can't draw from phase two of
East Lake. The decision was made al-
though a court injunction has halted the
Cypress Creek pumping until a regional .
impact statement is made.
Hillsborough contends that pumping
from phase two would severely lower the
water levels in lakes in northwest Hills-
borough County, and cause the water
table to drop. ,
The district also reduced the amount
Pinellas can withdraw from East Lake
phase one wellfield, Which also affects
Hillsborough water levels, -. .
"We have traded our traditional
role." Brown said with humor. "In the
past we, have been the sappees.' This
.time we were the zappors and they (Pin-
ellas) wree the zappees." ,
'" y~r '
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