Bonita Springs News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
12/17/2013 General

Water Bill Prepares For Florida’s Growing Population

Water Bill Prepares For Florida’s Growing Population

Florida’s population will soon experience tremendous growth. According to the Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida will soon pass New York to become the third largest state in the nation and six million new residents will call Florida home by 2030. To secure Florida’s future, we must plan smarter for the next six million resident and help ensure that Florida has adequate water available to meet the forthcoming needs.
The Florida Chamber believes in a reliable and sustainable infrastructure to support the health and prosperity of all Floridians. One way to ensure Florida’s future water needs are met is through water storage, and efforts are underway in the Florida Legislature to encourage water retention and storage.
On Monday, the Florida Chamber voiced its support for SB 312 by Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-New Port Richey) – a bill that encourages public-private partnerships for water storage. Sen. Simpson’s bill includes opportunities for water storage and water quality improvements on agricultural lands to facilitate or further the restoration of surface water resources and the need for water retention and recharge.
"This legislation will give much-deserved tax relief to Florida's family farmers," said Senator Simpson. The bill passed unanimously and will now go to the Senate Community Affairs committee next.
BILL SPECIFICS: SB 312 will provide reduced tax liability for land owners who are helping water management districts with water retention programs to provide groundwater recharge for water supply, potential for water quality improvements and rehydration of drained ecosystems. It will also allow flooded land to be considered non income-producing if payments to the landowner do not exceed expenses associated with program participation. This change enables participants to maintain their greenbelt agricultural classification which typically results in a significant ad valorem tax savings.

We Want To Hear From You
Contact me at ladams@flchamber.com to share your comments on this effort and to learn more about the Florida Chamber’s water and infrastructure policies.