Bush Signs Bill to Provide State Money to Rural Counties

Gov. Jeb Bush has signed legislation that will provide state money to help “fiscally constrained” rural counties pay for basic government services.

Many smaller counties have had trouble making ends meet in part due to low property values and state limits on local taxing powers.

The new law in its first year will distribute $17 million from Florida's communications services tax to 30 counties with low tax bases or within state designated rural areas of critical economic concern.

Bush says infusing additional funding into these communities will further develop these local economies.

The qualifying counties are Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okeechobee, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla and Washington.