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Bay area tops Turkey list for Gulf Coast

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  • | 5:08 p.m. May 16, 2013
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TALLAHASSEE — Florida TaxWatch identified 107 projects and items worth $106.8 million in its annual post-legislative session Turkey Watch Report. The organization says this is smaller than last year's, when 159 items worth $171 million found their way into the state budget.

TaxWatch defines turkeys as local member projects and other items put in the state budget “without public review and debate, which circumvent lawfully established procedures, or which non-competitively benefit a very limited special interest or local area of the state,” it says in the report. It notes that the turkey label doesn't judge a project's worthiness, but merely the matter in which it was approved.

On the Gulf Coast, the bay area had the most turkeys on the list, with Hillsborough County leading the way with five. Pinellas County had three projects on the list, and Pasco County had two. Lee, Charlotte and Manatee counties each had one project on the list.

Below are the projects and items, listed by county, along with the money included in the budget and which department they are overseen by. To see the full report, click here.

$75,000 Punta Gorda feasibility study for a research education aquarium, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

$350,000 Mary Lee's House, Department of Children and Families
$250,000 Museum of Science and Industry, Department of State
$185,000 Tampa Crossroads, for 11 residential beds, Department of Corrections
$100,000 Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Department of Education
$50,000 Northdale Civic Association — senior center, Department of Elder Affairs

$750,000 Friends of Florida Parks Inc., Department of Environmental Protection

$2.3 million IMG Academy, Department of Economic Opportunity

$120,000 Pasco County Sheriff's Office
$36,000 Pasco Association of Challenged Kids Summer Camps, Department of Juvenile Justice

$4 million Clearwater aquarium film project, Department of Economic Opportunity
$1 million Clearwater Marine aquarium, Department of Economic Opportunity
$78,750 Fannye Ponder House, St. Petersburg

Tampa Bay
$200,000 Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, for consolidation study, Department of Transportation


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