SFWMD Governing Board approves $1.15 billion budget

budget deficit
The budget is down about 6% year over year.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board has signed off on a final budget for fiscal year 2021-22 totaling more than $1.15 billion. That’s a 6% decrease from the district’s budget last fiscal year.

The largest chunk of the 2021-22 budget — just under $638 million — will go toward land acquisition, restoration and public works. Nearly $390 million will be used for operation and maintenance of lands and works, according to the proposal discussed at a Tuesday evening SFWMD Governing Board meeting. Those two areas make up nearly 90% of the overall budget.

Nearly $58 million is set aside for water resources planning and monitoring, while close to $42 million will be used for district management and administration. Just over $22 million is earmarked for regulation and another $1.25 million will go toward outreach.

This year’s $1.15 billion budget is down from the nearly $1.23 billion budget approved for the 2020-21 fiscal year. That reduction is due mostly to a 16% cut in land acquisition, restoration and public works, down to $638 million from $759 million. The agency did increase its allotment for the operation and maintenance of lands and works by 16%. That sector is getting a boost from $335 million last year to nearly $390 million this year.

The pot for water resources planning and monitoring dropped about $11 million this year, or by around 16%. District management and administration funding will go up about 4%, while regulation and outreach funding will remain about the same year-to-year.

The 2021-22 budget does still exceed the SFWMD budget from two years ago, which sat just shy of $990 million.

SFWMD will pull around 55% of necessary funding — just over $632 million — from state sources. Ad valorem taxes will cover another quarter of the budget — just over $291 million.

Around 13% of the budget — nearly $150 million — will be paid for using the existing fund balance. Another 4% — nearly $45 million — comes from district revenues.

Federal sources will account for just over $16 million, or 2% of the budget. Another 1% — nearly $11 million — comes from agricultural and privilege taxes. The remaining funds come from investment earnings ($3.8 million) and local sources ($762,000).

The Governing Board gave its unanimous approval to the budget Tuesday evening.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]ail.com.


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