Despite clear frustrations of some justices, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday declined to invalidate Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of $37.4 million that lawmakers approved to compensate homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were cut down by the state more than a decade ago.
A decade ago this figure might have been unimaginable: $6,048,000.
That’s how much money the Halifax Hospital District plans to collect in property taxes next fiscal year. That’s an 88 percent drop since 2007, when tax revenues climbed to a peak of $52 million.
Board members agreed to cut the current tax rate in half this week at their bi-monthly meeting, pushing the organization closer to a goal set more than 10 years ago of collecting zero property taxes.
The final forecast of the 2016-2017 season for Florida’s struggling citrus industry shows the orange crop falling 16 percent from the previous season — which, itself, had been at a five-decades low.
And after a season of severe drought, combined with the continued fight against a deadly citrus disease and the expansion of residential development, the news wasn’t any better for grapefruit farming, where production dropped 28 percent from the prior year.