TAMPA — Is government bellyaching over the pain of forced property taxes cuts leaving you, the poor taxpayer, with a bitter taste?
Try cleansing your palate with some private-label bottled water, compliments of Hillsborough County government and, well, you the taxpayer.
The folks at County Center are preparing to pay a South Tampa company to bottle county drinking water. The company, Ultra Pure Bottled Water, will slap county labels on the bottles, which officials will then distribute at public events to promote its good deeds.
The cost: $7.22 per 24-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles. That's 20 percent more than some of the name-brand offerings at Publix.
Deputy County Administrator Wally Hill said the idea emerged after the county won a regional taste test comparing local water sources.
"We're proud of the water that we produce, and we want our customers and visitors to be aware of the excellent service that our utilities provide," Hill said.
At 30 cents a bottle, the cost is cheaper than other promotional items distributed at town hall meetings, including low-flow shower heads and throwing discs, Hill said. He said the initial purchase is likely to be about five pallets of 72 cases each.