PALATKA, Fla. -- The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board approved a tentative budget Tuesday. They say the budget holds steady on its tax rate and reflects a budget that will support District core mission priorities and projects.
The tentative 0.3313 millage rate would result in $80.1 million in revenue that would be part of a total $120.8 million budget. The budget is also slated to be funded with state, federal and other district sources. This includes timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings, permit fees and fund balances.
Under a 0.3313 millage rate -- 33.13 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value -- the owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $49.69 in the coming year in property taxes to the district.
Additionally, the Board approved a revised budgeting method that provides funding to support only the expenditures anticipated during the fiscal year. "We are taking a responsible approach that is more in line with the way we and other taxpayers spend during tighter budget times," said Governing Board Vice Chairman John Miklos of Orlando. "By taking a pay-as-we-go approach to project spending, we will budget as we anticipate expenses to occur."
Through this process, the District budget for fiscal year 2012 - 2013, which begins October 1, 2012, will more accurately reflect the work being accomplished on an annual basis. The budget considers the total needs for District priority projects, ensuring that projects are sufficiently funded to achieve completion.
The proposed budget includes funding for priority restoration projects at Fellsmere Water Management Area and provides funds for continued water supply planning, including water conservation, minimum flows, levels prevention and recovery strategy projects. The tentative budget also supports the district's assessment of groundwater supplies and reflects a continued commitment to increased use of reclaimed water in the lower St. Johns River Basin.
Public hearings on the tentative budget will be held at 5:05 p.m. on September 11 and 25. The final budget will be approved at the September 25 meeting.