Poll: Floridians willing to pay for clean water; coalitions: here’s how they should do it

Article reference: Poll: Floridians willing to pay for clean water; coalitions: here’s how they should do it

, Treasure Coast Newspapers
Published 5:00 p.m. ET April 18, 2020 | Updated 6:21 p.m. ET April 18, 2020

Florida voters cherish clean water and are willing to pay for it.

In a recent statewide poll of registered voters, 62.4% said they’d be willing to pay an extra $2 a month for projects to clean up Florida’s waterways.

So the poll’s sponsors, the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition and the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County, are asking the state’s five water management districts to raise their property tax rates by 0.1 mills, or 10 cents for every $1,000 of taxable value.

That would be an extra $18.70 a year, or $1.56 a month, for a $237,000 home (the median assessed value for a house in Florida) with a $50,000 homestead exemption.

For each of the last nine years — under the direction of Gov. Rick Scott for the first eight and last year under Gov. Ron DeSantis — the water management districts have “rolled back” property tax rates to a level that, considering increases in property values and new construction, would generate the same revenue as the year before.

So instead of a tax increase, the proposal would really mean just not “rolling back” the rate so far, Fafeita said. “All we’re proposing is putting back in place a very small part of the tax rate that’s been taken out.”


Clean Water Poll

More data gleaned from the statewide FAU poll conducted for clean water coalitions in Brevard and Indian River counties:

  • 87% think it’s very important or important to clean up Florida’s waterways
  • 83.7% think healthy, clean waterways are very important or important to Florida’s economy and the health of its citizens

Asked if state and local governments need to do more to protect water quality in lakes, rivers, springs and estuaries:

  • 81% agree or strongly agree
  • 84% of Democrats agree or strongly agree
  • 79% of Republicans and independents agree or strongly agree

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