Polk Environmental Lands Tax Will Not Be Cut

Questions about whether the Polk County Commission would cut the amount of taxes that would be levied to preserve land were answered Tuesday.

The majority of commissioners agreed during a budget work session not to cut the voter-approved tax of 20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value of real estate.

Commissioner Rick Wilson, who chairs the committee that will oversee spending the tax’s proceeds, said he would “fight (cuts) to the bitter end,” Commissioners Bill Braswell and George Lindsey agreed not to cut the tax, cementing a majority.

The discussion came after Marian Ryan, conservation chair for Ancient Islands Group of Florida Sierra, addressed commissioners at the beginning of Tuesday’s regular meeting.

She said although the county ordinance was indefinite about the exact tax rate, the ballot language was clear that the levy should be 0.2 of a mill.

During the budget work session county staffers said the tax will produce an estimated $11.3 million in the 2023-24 fiscal year.


Posted in Group Conservation Issues.