Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Florida in focus: South Florida Water Management District to propose tax cut

By Watchdog News - July 11, 2017 at 05:34PM

South Florida Water Management District to propose tax cut; Audubon to oppose

When the South Florida Water Management District board considers cutting taxes Thursday, they’ll hear opposition from environmentalists who say the agency needs all the money it can get to help pay for water projects.

The board is scheduled to vote on a tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year and a property tax rate to help fund it. Specifically, the board will be asked to either maintain the current tax rate or approve a “rollback.”

Rollback means cutting taxes to the point where the lower rate generates the same amount of revenue as the previous year because of increased property values and new construction.

In each of the last six years, the district has recommended cuts, and the board has complied — although it took two votes in 2015.

Florida hunting, fishing licenses not keeping up with population

Florida may proclaim itself the “fishing capital of the world,” but wildlife officials say they need more anglers to help cover costs of running state programs.

The same goes for hunters.

The number of people buying hunting and fishing licenses hasn’t kept pace with population growth in the state, and wildlife officials are concerned that could impact the future management of public lands.

Seven men are facing a slew of charges after Florida officials say they were caught illegally taking lobsters and possessing undersized lobster tails.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news release Monday that the men were taking lobster out of season off the Florida Keys and also illegally spearing them. Officers also found out-of-season stone crab claws and an undersized black grouper on the men’s boat.

Each of the seven men, all from Alabama, is facing hundreds of felony and misdemeanor charges.

from Watchdog.org