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Special tax to support ‘Conservation Collier’ will be on the ballot this November

Get ready Collier County taxpayers.

In November, you’ll decide whether to bring back a special tax to support Conservation Collier.

“This is a chance to bring it to the voters and have them tell us how they feel about this issue,” said Gladys Delgadillo.

She said voters supported the measures twice before in 2002 and 2006.

“They do provide water quality protection, they do recharge our drinking water aquifers, they provide wildlife habitat, they provide recreational opportunities,” she said.

This time, the quarter mil tax would run for 10 years, starting in 2022. That translates to $75 a year for people whose homes are worth $300,000.

Commissioner Bill McDaniel is against the tax. He says supporting Conservation Collier should be optional.

“How great of an opportunity to survey 100% of my population that pays taxes with a voluntary contribution in lieu of a mandated tax,” he said.

Eloise Penn lives in Naples, but she and her husband own a horse farm in Kentucky, so land conservation is near and dear to them.

“Me, personally, I’m totally for land conservation, whether it be wetlands or Kentucky farmland,” Penn said. “There are a lot of people that are not from Florida…I think they should be given the choice.”

McDaniel said Collier County spends $1 million a year to manage its conservation lands.

While it costs the county seven figures to manage its conservation lands, the commissioner said Collier County has $30 million set aside to handle those costs and much more.

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Briana Harvath
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