LIVE OAK – The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board this week approved the tentative FY 2012-13 budget as well as a new budgeting method that more accurately reflects and supports the agency’s core mission and includes significant funding for cost-share programs.
The 2012-13 budget represents a revised standardized approach to budgeting and fiscal responsibility. For the first time, the District has developed an annual operations budget. This approach, consistent with other water management districts, allows for improved tracking of costs and performance evaluations.
“This budget includes targeted expenditures that are expected to produce tangible results in effectively addressing the fundamental issues of water supply and water quality,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle.
One change involves the designation and funding of reserves. Rather than carrying over each year, the bulk of reserve funds – which currently totals $44.6 million – will be spent down over a four-year period. The District has chosen to designate funds to support projects and cost-share programs that will benefit the citizens of the District.
The proposed millage rate of 0.4143, or 41.43 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, is unchanged from last year. The owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $62.15 in property taxes to the District and will see no increase in taxes.
In 2012-13, the District will set aside $3 million for agricultural and interagency-local government cost-share programs. Examples of agricultural programs include installation and implementation of water conservation and nutrient management improvements and practices. Local government projects may include alternative water supply, water quality improvement, and flood control projects.
The District will hold public hearings on the budget at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 25. Both hearings will be held at District headquarters in Live Oak.