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Can Tampa water management district run tax-free for two years?

Here's a new one: The Senate budget committee chairman says the water management district that includes the Tampa Bay area is so overflowing with money that it could run for two years without collecting a dollar more in taxes.

Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, is making the claim as part of his proposal to fold the Southwest Florida Water Management District budget -- along with the budgets of the four other water management districts -- into the general state budget. "When I see $850 million, half of which is not reserved for anything, and we've essentially allowed them to collect taxes on people when they really didn't need the money, I don't understand that," Alexander told reporters on March 29, 2011.

Is he right? PolitiFact Florida looks into Alexander's claim.


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