By RANDY LOFTIS
Herald Staff Writer
The cost of managing South
Florida's water is going up 17.6
percent, to a new high of $58.1
million, under a budget and prop-
erty tax rate tentatively approved
Friday by the South Florida Water
The agency's governing board,
meeting at its suburban West Palm
Beach headquarters, set a tentative
tax rate of 7 r4- t.-c er $1.000 in
assessed property va ue.
For the owner of an $85,000
home with a $25,000 exemption,
the district tax bill will be $25.62.
Last year's bill for that home
would have been $23.94.
The 7 percent tax increase does
not match the 17 percent increase
in overall spending because funds
are being carried over from this
year's budget. /
The largest single increase is
$1.78 million for land acquisition
in environmentally sensitive areas.
An additional $1.3 million will pay
for a 5.5 percent increase in pay
for the district's 921 employees.
Residents of 16 counties with
a total tax base of $137.5 billion -
pay taxes to support the district. It
includes all of Dade, Broward,
Palm Beach, Collier, Glades, Hen-
dry, Lee, Martin, Monroe and St.
Lucie counties and portions of
Charlotte, Highlands, Okeechobee,
Orange, Osceola and Polk coun-
In an area designated as the Big
Cypress Basin all of Collier
County and a small part of
northern Monroe the tax rate is
lower because that area was added
after the district was formed.
The tax rate there will be 2
cents per $1.000 of $e. An
exemption will carry a tax bill of
$12.90, up from $10.70 this year.
The district's formal budget
hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Sept. 13 at the district office, 3301
Gun Club Rd.