- Associated Press - Thursday, May 14, 2015

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Department of Citrus is seeking relief from the state’s taxpayers for the effects of the deadly citrus greening disease.

The agency is pushing for a $5.75 million appropriation from the state’s general fund for the Citrus Department’s 2015-16 budget.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday that Florida’s orange crop dropped to 96.4 million boxes, the lowest in 50 years, while the predicted grapefruit harvest of 12.9 million is the lowest in any non-hurricane season since 1931-32.

The Lakeland Ledger reports (https://bit.ly/1K6yiua) that the Citrus Department, a state agency charged with marketing Florida citrus products, has seen an equivalent decline in its annual budget, financed mostly by a grower-paid state tax on that harvest.

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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), https://www.theledger.com

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