District Board votes to reduce tax rate for fifth consecutive year

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PALATKA, Fla., July 11, 2017 — The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board Tuesday approved a tentative budget that reduces the millage rate for taxpayers for a fifth consecutive year while continuing to provide significant funds for programs and projects to ensure sustainable water resources, increase water conservation and protect water quality in springs and other priority water bodies.

“The tentative budget shows the direction the district is headed and where we plan to focus our efforts in the coming fiscal year,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We are looking forward to another exciting year as new projects kick off while others are completed to restore and safeguard our water resources. This tentative budget reflects the continued commitment of our Governing Board to our responsibilities of water supply, water quality, flood protection, and natural systems.”

The tentative 0.2724 millage rate would result in $85.3 million in revenue toward a total $160.4 million budget for fiscal year 2017?2018, which begins Oct. 1, 2017. The budget is also funded through state, federal and other district sources (including timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings and permit fees).

The millage rate adopted by the board is approximately 1 percent less than the current year’s tax rate.

Under a 0.2724 millage rate – 27.24 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value – the owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $40.86 in the coming year in property taxes to the district.

The proposed budget will fund the district’s major programs, such as water supply planning, priority water body and springs restoration, and continued cost-share partnerships.

Public hearings will be held at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 12 and 26 at district headquarters. Final budget adoption will occur at the Sept. 26 Governing Board meeting.