The total preliminary budget is $17.5 million
BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Citrus Commission approved a preliminary 2017-18 budget for the Florida Department of Citrus based on an estimate of 61.65 million boxes of oranges and 7.02 million boxes of grapefruit.
Presented Wednesday, the Department’s total preliminary budget is $17.5 million with an overall budget reduction of $4.93 million, or 22 percent, over the previous year.
The preliminary budget includes an accelerated spend down of excess fund balance over three years, an international funding split of 30 percent orange juice and 70 percent grapefruit and $4.65 million general revenue funding from the State of Florida.
The budget is based on a tax assessment rate projection of no more than $.07 per box of processed oranges and under $.07 for all other varieties. The projected use of fund balance to support this budget is $3.2 million.
The budget also includes $3.9 million in Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program funds from the United States Department of Agriculture to be used on international programs.
Budget reductions reflect decreases in scientific research, economic and market research as well as global marketing programs.
Commissioners will set tax rates in October, after the initial USDA citrus crop forecast. Several factors will be used to determine the appropriate final tax rate for the season, including crop size, import projections, carryover and fund balance.
By approving a preliminary budget, Commissioners authorize Department staff to begin work immediately on programs for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which begins on July 1. Grower assessments will not be collected until after the rate is set in October.
About the Florida Citrus Commission
The Florida Citrus Commission is the governing board of the Florida Department of Citrus, an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. The commission is a nine-member board appointed by the governor to represent citrus growers, processors and packers. FDOC activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs more than 45,000 people and provides an annual economic impact of $8.6 billion to the state. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.