Manasota Basin board revenues take dip

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Manasota Basin Board this week adopted a fiscal year 2010 budget of $15.7 million, which is a decrease of $8.24 million from the current budget.

For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the basin board tax would be $14.84, or about $1.24 per month.

The smaller budget is due to less property tax revenue, and balances available from prior years and state revenue for the West-Central Florida Water Restoration Action Plan.

The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010.

The millage rate of 0.1484 is the same as the current fiscal year. The Manasota Basin Board area includes Manatee and Sarasota counties.

This millage rate, combined with a reduction in taxable property values as certified by the county property appraisers, will result in an estimated 11.31 percent decrease in property tax revenue for the board.

The district has seven regional basin boards that provide guidance for local programs that are specific to the watershed basins they protect.

Basin boards work with local governments and other entities on water resource projects that have an impact in local communities.

Basin boards often provide partial funding for these projects in partnership with a local government or local cooperator.

In September, the governing board will adopt millage rates for the district’s general fund and the seven basin boards after two public Truth in Millage (TRIM) hearings have been held. The first will be at 5:01 p.m. Sept. 15 at the District’s Tampa Service Office.

The governor’s office will review and approve the budgets of all five water management districts before the second and final public hearing.

The district’s second and final TRIM hearing will be at 5:01 p.m. Sept. 29 at the District’s Tampa Service Office.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Governing Board will formally adopt the final millage rates and budgets. The public is welcome to attend any governing board or basin board meetings to provide comment on the proposed budgets.