Digest and Analysis of Senate Bills relating to the Everglades Drainage District.

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Title:
Digest and Analysis of Senate Bills relating to the Everglades Drainage District.
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Everglades Drainage and Other Water Issues
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Box: 32
Folder: Digest and Analysis of Senate Bills relating to the Everglades Drainage District.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Everglades (Fla.)
Drainage -- Florida -- Everglades.

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University of Florida
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DIGEST A-ND ANALYSIS OF SENATE BILL. N.O.

Relating to Everglades Drainage District



INTRODUCED BY SENATOR JOHN W. WATSON, THIRTEENTH DISTRICT a
PREPARED BY W. I. EVANS, OF MIAMI, FLORIDA, FOR SENATOR WATSON



PREPARATION OF BILL:
This bill was prepared in collaboration w~ith Mr. Arthur E. Morgan, of the
Morgan Engineering Company, and Mr. E. J. B. Schubring, an attorney, of Madison,
Wisconsin. By way of introduction, it may be said that Mr. Morgan has been in
charge of some of the largest flood control projects in this country. He had charge
of the construction of the flood control works in andi around Dayton, Ohio, shown to
be necessary by the great flood of 1913. In that project what is recognized to be the
greatest system of flood control works in America was constructed and completed
within a period of four (4) years, involving the expenditure of $37,000,000. klr.
Morgan also had charge of the Pueblo (Colorado) flood control project, which in-
v'olvred the expenditure of more than $10,000,000. These are two notable engineer-
ing achievements. To the engineering and financial world Mr. Morgan needs no
introduction, but it may be enlightening to quote a telegram, dated April 16, 1927,
to Senator John WV. Watson, signed by H. C. Sylvester. Jr., President of the National
City Bank of New York, one of the largest dealers in bonds in this country. Mr.
Sylv'ester says:

"Arthur E. Morgan in my opinion is the best authority on flood
control in the country today. His reputation and standing are of
the best. His work in the Miami Conservancy District, Ohio,
stands out as one of the engineering feats of the day."

The same opinion has been expressed by other large bankiing interests. In drawing
the bill advantage has been taken of the experience of Mr. Morgan and his associates
in the practical operation of drainage and flood control districts under more than
fifteen different State laws.

M~r. E. J. B. Schubring collaborated in the preparation of the Conservancy Law
of Ohio, under which the Dayton control project was operated. In litigation which
ensued after the passage of the bill, involving appeals to the Supreme Court of the
United States, Mr. Schubring represented the District. He is recognized as one of the
outstanding attorneys in this country upon special assessments and drainage districts.
THE BOARD:
The bill provides for the appointment of a Board of Commissioners of Ever-
glades Drainage District, to be composed of five (5) persons, who shall be residents*
of counties in the State of Florida wholly or partly embraced within the limits of
the District. The Board is to be appointed by "Drainage Court of Everglades Drain-
age District," which Court is to be composed of one Circuit Judge from each Circuit
in which there are lands wRithin the District. It has long been recognized by persons
familiar with the operations of Everglades Drainage District that the project cannot
be properly managed by a Board composed of State officers, who are already over-
.burdened with duties and responsibilities. There has been much discussion within





the past few months as to the method to be used in selecting the members of a new
Board. Some drainage districts select their governing board by an election, at which
each landowner within the District is entitled to one vote for each acre of land
owned by him; the governing boards of a few districts are appointed by the Gov-
ernor. Each method has its disadvantages. The method of appointment provided
by Senator Watson's bill contemplates such appointment by non-political authority,
and it is believed that this method will be satisfactory to all persons interested and
will insure a board composed of business men residing within, or adjacent to, the
District. Many States, after experimenting with various systems for the selection of
drainage officers, have adopted the system provided for by this bill. In some of
the States appointment is made by one Judge, and in others by a board of Judges.
The writer is informed by authorities upon the subject that in Ohio, Indiana, M/inne-
sota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico and W~isconsin, the system of
having drainage officers appointed by a Court has been adopted and found most
satisfactory.

THE DRAINAGE COURT:

The Drainage Court is to be composed of one Circuit Judge from each Circuit.
containing lands within the district, insuring representation on the Court by every
section of the Evdrglades. All hearings provided for by the bill are to be had before
this Court. The Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county containing the larg-est
acreage of land located within the District is to be Clerk of the Drainage Court.
THE OFFCIAL PLAN:

The Commissioners are directed to cause to be made by three (3) eminent
hydraulic engineers of national reputation a comprehensive plan for the develop-
ment of the District. The said plan shall contain the following general features:

(a) It shall outline and define the work which should be done by the District
as a whole and which cannot effectively be done by sub-districts. The chief item of
such work shall be the control and regulation of the waters of Lake Okeechobee.
Said plan shall go into detail only as far as is necessary to insure that the sub-
districts shall be able to develop and execute plans harmoniously and effectively
with a maximum of mutual help and co-operation and with a minimum of inter-
ference and loss of efficiency.

(b) It shall divide such portions of the District as are not embraced within sub-
districts into tentative sub-districts which, as nearly as possible, shall be the best
main divisions into which the said territory can be divided for actual reclamation.
Lands which may be necessary for Everglades Drainage District to hold for right-of-
way, or for other necessary purposes, may be withheld from any tentative sub-
district.

(c) The plans of Everglades Drainage District shall not extend to the construe-
tion by said District of main or lateral channels, or to any other works which rea-
sonably can be left to the sub-districts. Everglades Drainage District shall not un-
dertake the actual reclamation of lands except as such reclamation of limited areas
may be incidental to the purpose of providing general control of the waters of the
District.

(d) Said plan shall define, in whatever degree of detail is necessary and practi-
cable, the entire program of works and measures which will be necessary in its ex-
ecution. It shall also outline a program of development which will indicate the time





I


and manner in which the extecution of that plan, shall be carried into execution, or
it may indicate that the execution of certain parts is indefinitely postponed; anld the
plan shall include an estimate of the expenditures necessary for the, various steps;
and the hearing on said plan shall go into the matter of the practicability of the
time and rate of execution as well as into all other features, and the adoption of the
plan shall bind the District as to the time and rate,as well as to the characters of the
improvement.

There is no provision in any statute now in existence requiring the Board to
adopt and execute a plan and binding it to the execution of that plan and no other.
Senator Watson's bill provides that upon the- adoption of the Official Plan, after a
hearing before the Court, if objection be made thereto by any landowner, the plan -will
bind the Board not only as to the works to be constructed, but as to the rate of
progress specified by the engineers. If this bill shall be enacted into law no con-
siderations of expediency can influence the decision of the Board upon any. matter
within its provinces. The sole question to be determined by the. Board when any
request or demand is made upon it is, what does the Official Plan provide? The
adoption of this plan and binding the Board to its execution will provide a systematic,
businesslike form of operation.
HEARING ON OFFICIAL PLAN:

When the Official Plan has been prepared, the Board shall give notice by publi-
cation and hold a hearing thereon, at which all landowners and persons interested
may be heard. If the plan is adopted by the Board any person who objects to the
same will. have the right to file exceptions, in writing, specifying the features of the
Plan to which objection is made, and thereupon notice is given and a hearing had be-
fore the Drainage Court, with full power to adopt, change or reject the Plan. When
the Plan has been adopted, the Board shall proceed to execute the same and is given
full power to effectuate that purpose.

LETTING CONTRACTS:

Ample protection to the landowners is afforded by requiring the Board to adver-
tise for bids before letting contracts which will involve the expenditure of more than
$5,000.00; but, at the -same time, provision is made for the immediate -construction of
works which may be rendered necessary by reason of sudden emergencies, in that,
with the approval of the Drainage Court, or a Judge thereof, in such cases the publica-
tion of notice may be waived.

CO-OPERATION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:
The Board is given full power to co-operate with the Federal Government in
the, construction and control of any works contemplated by the Official Plan.
THE TAXING FEATURES:

The Court is required to appoint three (3) appraisers, who shall be residents of
counties located wholly or partly within the District, but no two of whom shall be
residents of the same county. These appraisers are directed to appraise the lands or
other property within or without the District to be acquired for rights of way or other
works of the District, and to appraise all benefits and damages accruing to all land
within or without the District by reason of the execution of the Official Plan.
The Supreme Court of Florida has held the present acreage taxes levied by the
District to be "Special assessments for benefits" as distinguished from "taxes." The
underlying theory of this form of assessment is benefits; that every owner of land





_ _


shall pay for the improvement only in proportion to the benefits which will: be re-
ceivIed -by him, and not in excess thereof. The bill, by adhering to this theory, pro-
vides a just, equitable and fair method of taxation. No man will be :required to pay
in excess of the benefits which he will receive. .This method of taxation wTould en-
cour~age, rather than stifle, improvement and development. W 7hen lands have been
appraised for benefits the owner thereof may proceed to improve the same by the exu-
penditure of millions of dollars, and yet he will pay the same proportion of the cost
of improvements as the owner of unimproved land. Ample provision -is made for
hearings before the Drainage Court, at which all landowners may have an oppor-
tunity to express their objections, and these objections are required to be considered
by the Court and determined. There is no effort made to shut off objection by land-
owners, and in accordance with the best traditions of Democratic Government, every
man who is to be taxed has an opportunity to protest and is assured a full and fair
hearing by judicial authority.

After the appraisal of benefits and damages has been~confirmed, the Board shall,
as the affairs of the District may demand, levy on all property upon which benefits
have been appraised an assessment of such portion of said benefits as may be found
necessary by said Board to pay the cost of executing the Official Plan and adminis-
tration, but the- amount of such assessments SHALL NOT EXCEED THE APPRAISED
BENEFITS SO ADJUDICATED. Upon the making of this assessment every owner
is giv-en the right to pay at once the amount assessed against his land and thereby save
interest; or he may elect to pay the same in installments over a period of not more
than forty (40) years, to be fixed by the Board. The installments will bear the same
rate of interest as the bonds, viz: not more than six per centum (6 fo).

After the total assessment has been made the Board shall fix, annually, the amount
of such assessment to be collected in that year. This annual tax is apportioned ac-
cording to benefits and goes on the State and County Tax Book and is enforced
by sale in the same manner as now provided by law with reference to taxes assessed
by Everglades Drainage District.

PRESENT OUTSTANDING INDEBTEDNESS OF DISTRICT:
The appraisers are required to apportion the indebtedness of the District exist-
ing at the time of the passage of the bill over all of the lands. within the District in
proportion to benefits received from existing works.' When this apportionment shall
have been made the Board is required to collect, annually, such portion thereof as will
be sufficient-to meet the requirements of present bond issues and other debts of the
District. The acreage taxes as they now exist are continued until such time as the
apportionment shall have been made.

EXTENSION OF BOUNDARIES:

If the appraisers find that any land not embraced within the District will be
affected byv the proposed improvement, or should be included in the District, they
shall appraise the benefits and damages to such land and shall file a special report
in the Court, in which event a notice is given, a hearing had before the Court, and
the Court has full power to enter such order as may be necessary, including an or-
der to include the land within the District.

SUB-DISTRICTS :

Everglades Drainage District is given the right to pass upon the plans of all
sub-districts after conference with the officials thereof, solely to determine w\hether




I


such plans are reasonably consistent with the general plans of Everglades Drainage
District. From the. decision of Everglades Drainage District in any such case, the
sub-districts may appeal to the Drainage Court. There is at present in existence what
is known as the "Control Statute," which gives to- the Board of Commissioners of
Everglades Drainage District power to pass upon the plans of sub-districts and pr~o-
hibits sub-districts from constructing works without the approval of said Board, but
the weakness of the statute is that no method is ~r~ov.ided whereby the sub-distr~ict may.
obtain a review of the decision of the Boar~d of Commissioners of Ever~glades Drain-
age District.

In case of any conflict of policy of interest or of rights between Ever~glades
Drainage District and one or more sub-districts, or between two or more sub-dis-
tricts, the issue may be presented by Everglades Drainage District, or any sub-dis-
trict, to the Drainage Court for adjudication and determination.

ISSUANCE OF BONDS:
The Board. has the right to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed ninety per'
centum (910%4) of the total amount of the assessments levied for construction purposes.
These bonds are to bear interest at a rate not to exceed six.per centum (6%~) per
annum, payable semi-annually, to mature, at annual intervals, within fifty (50)
years, commencing not later than five (5) years after the date of their issuance, as
may be determined by the Board. Bonds must be sold at not less than ninety-five
(95%0) per centum of par and must be sold after the publication of a call for bids
in a newspaper of general circulation in the District, and in recognized financial
journals published in the cities of Chicago and New York, once each week for four
successive weeks preceding such sale.

The Board has ample power to borrow money on temporary loans.

ANNUAL REPORT:
In the month of June in each year, or oftener if the Court shall so order, the
Board shall make a report to the Court of its proceedings and an account of receipts
and disbursements to that date, which shall be filed with the Clerk of the Drainage
Court. Thereupon the Court shall order the auditing of said accounts by competent
public accountants, who shall file their report thereon with the Clerk. At the ex-
pense of the District the Clerk shall cause a reasonable number of copies of the
audit to be printed for distribution to persons interested.

LANDS OF TRUSTEES OF INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT FUND:
In furtherance of the trusts upon which these lands are held by the State, the
lands owned by the Trustees within the Distict and all notes and mortgages received
by the Trustees in connection with the sale of lands located within the District are
granted to the District. The bill insures that twenty-five per centum (25%0) of the
price for which such lands shall be sold, and twentjr-five per centum (255) of the
notes and mortgages, shall be paid into the State School Fund, in pursuance of the
Constitution. The State assumes no obligation whatsoever with reference to the ap-
propriation of funds for the payment of dainag~e taxes upon these lands, and those
taxes must be paid, if at all, from the proceeds of land sales.

EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS:
The theory of the bill is that Everglades Drainage District shall construct all
works designed to control Lake Okeechobee, but shall not undertake the sictual re-
clamation of any lands except as such reclamation may be incidental to the purpose

(5f





-.i ~L -W


of providing general control of the waters of the District. This system is designed
to eliminate dual control of drainage works by Everglades Drainage District and sub-
districts and to permit each sub-district within the area to proceed with its own de-

velopment and reclamation as it shall be able to finance itself. It is recognized
that the control of the waters of Lake Okeechobee will benefit all of the lands within

the District, but the works to be constructed for that purpose are the only works which
w~ill benefit all of said lands.

If this bill should be enacted into law there would not be any doubt as to where
the moneys of the District are to be expended: The Board would be compelled to

expend those moneys only in the control of Lake Okeechobee according to the plan
of the Board of Engineers provided for. .


.
,


- -- ...


**- --
-Is


NO OBLIGATION UPON STATE:


This bill does not place any obligation upon the State of Florida for the payment
of taxes or the redemption of bonds, or for any other purpose. Everglades Drainage
District, if it shall be reorganized in accordance with the plan provided by the bill,
will be entirely divorced from the State, and the people wrho ow'n the land and must
necessarily pay the cost of its reclamation will be permitted to work out their own
salvation.


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DIGES D ilLLYSIS e
.-- -SF SEET BIL 147------- "~


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whic co paybl orlsvl u fth acg o::

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.4. The Ed valoromT toCX is 1-crvilca onl ...11 red p:.co~Lor0;~ty

wlithin thc Di stricti, i ncelutd ing impsrovomnt iit;ihii ron, imn propor-

.ti nt~ its full and. jusit value, to be d~ctor~mlicod s providod

. the Bill.

clC it 5. ph -jull and juset va.lue of the landrs in3 the

District 8shll be detennineicd, c.s the basEis for the l.d v-lorom

taxc, by the Bocar of Commrissioniors of E~vorgl .dis .Drainage

District, before the issucnco of ran: now ~b--ids, "lnd therea~fter

c-och yea"r, or fo~rm timeL to timei, as ay be nuLcocy-q, within

the taclvo months prcrailing the flinal lev;y of :.n, tax bcsed

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6, Lands hold by TrustGOS Of IntTernl ImprovcmonJd

?und shall be subjoot to all Drainago Taxes, and the Trustoes

trcT Tegaired -f0 pay such taxes out of funds in hand "OR TCO BE~
A2~PROPRLATED BY THE STATE FOR SUCH PURPOSES".

7. Until all Bonds shall be paid the proceeds of

all sales of lands in the District the Title to which is held

by the Trustoos of Internal Improvemecnt Fund, excepting

(A) 85/o To be paid into the State

School Fund;

(B) K~onoys used to pay Drainago Taxes

to the Distriot;

(C) Coneys used to purchase larnds upon

which Drainage Ta-xes are not paid,

%;1711 be p--id by the Trustees to Evorglades Drainago District

to be hold adn usedi as a roeomp~tion or sinking fund.for the

principal of 189 Bonds.

8. If, at anyr sale of lands orr the non-paymont of

Taxrs assessed by the Distriot,thore shall not be a "Satisfactory"

bi~dcr for nan percol of land, Trustoos of Internal Improvomont

Falil~ shall pjurcha~se the same, using for that aurposo "Any Funds

:in heral, OR TO BEi A32ROJRIATED 9Y THE~ STATE FOR SUCHI PUR20L~SES 'n

9. No New- Bonts shall be issuoC, nor shall Bonds be

issucl anicor ?.ny future Act, if, at the timze thoy are issued

the aggrogzto ~cot of the Distriot, including such Bonds, but

Godsucti 3, fania i nnc ha pplion~blo to the paymolnt of the samne,

sh'l c::cctr 25/o of the vclu~t~ion of theo.10Izcs nithin the

District, CeterminoE by the BoarC, as provitai bys the Bill. The

Boare is given the ~rigCht to refund or convert old Bonl's.

10. Hon Bon~s shall bour inforost at a rnto not to

excecoE sixr por oca~t~u per annnumi, payable semli-annua~illc. ly, and

sha~ll be "soll1 -t such pricr a~s coi". ED-r'-. me;l- "rttorraice?'

11. It is proviol~e thnt the lovios antc v21actions

authorizol by the Bill, any, "if nooossary", be me~o by or

unL~ar thO oTE~r of any Ccourt having Juriscietion to Enfobrce

the paymocnt of szit Bon~s, or of any Juignant thoroon against

the D istrio t.





~ill,


18, The Bill Provides:


"AlDDITIO~N;L L~EGISLTTION~ WILL~, IF NECEISSARY,

BE ENACTED TO ADSURE TIO TH~ ~PUTCRCHASERS AND

HOLERS OT; THE~ BOEDS H~;9BY KUTHOIRIZE>, THE

SUfFF~ICIEN~CYTlu O'i THE~ TAXINI G POWER ANrD THE 00M~-

PLETE SECURITY OF SUCH BON~DS EDTUic'LrD3 TO BE

ASSURE~iD BY TH4IS AiCT. N0 LEGISLATION WILL BE

ENACTED WHIGH WrILL IN ANCY WAY INTAIR SUDE

SEQUREITY".


13, All taxes nowi on lands in the Distriot, both

aoreage and ~afl,vlem are continued in force and effect





BNACLYSIS



EPECT OF PkSSaGEii OF BILLI ONJ TAES:


In his special message to the Legislature, delivered

on AprlJ 15, with which Senate Bill 147; was presented, the
Governor said:


"Under our present Law, the money derived from the

Drainage tax is used to pay the interest on the (10,250,000,

of Bonds now issued and to- create a sinking fund for their

retirement. After this is paid, we have l~f~t around $750,000,,

which we have been using for work. This $750,000, will enable'

us to pay the interest and create a sinking fund on $10,250,000.

more in Bonds and will permit us to use the money derived

from the bond sales for work alone".


Accepting as correct tbo cal~culations o~f th~e

Governor, tbo inevitable result of the Passage of Senato Bill

No. 147 would bo:





Bonds outstanding $10,850,000.

NCwi bonds to 'ro issued E0,000,000


Total old and now bonds$30,250,000,


Present acreaec tax is sufficient to supporge (20--,500000

Icaving jo 750,000,00 to bc sup3ported i;y the newr Ad Valorem tax

and thereby inorcasing the taxos upon lands in the Distriot,

approximately 50 fl.
METHODD1 OF Ta:liTIONf:


The Bill provides for an AR ValCorom tax upon the rea~l

property in the Distriot, "in such amount or amounts as shall

be ntCcsEecry for the paymenCt of such (now) Bonds"., This tax

is to to besca unon valuations to be fixed and determined by

the Board of Commissione~rs of Everglades Druinag~e District.

It will be noted that the Ta5~X ilS to 5c levieda Annually,

or fromn time to time". Undoubtedly the letter provision muLst

be construed to mean that the- Board must lev~y an annu~al tax

on the lands, and, if snob tax in any yeasr is not sufficient

to mont the rootuiremcnts of the newn Bond leave, the Board must

levy an additional tax in the- sa~me year. A similar provision
orists with refernce to the valuation for tbc nurnosc of

levyingr thze tax. The Board muist fix the~ v,.,lutions bef..ore

the is~suanoc of ntwv Bonds, and ann1YuallyJ therTcafterY, and,if

nrccesary to meet the requirements of the Bond Issue, must

fix siai valuation as ofton ,s may bc nccess;ry- in ainyT year,

and may increase or-dcrease the sa~me.

While notice nd he..ring are provided un~der the

provisions of the Bill, both as to the tax and the valuation,

no provision is made for ascertaiinin the amount of benefits

to acoruc to 1.-nds in the District, nor for cn zp:portion-

ment of the tax or vraluations a!ccordingp to benrfits. The

basBis of the. taZx is va;lustion, zrnd not l.ene fi'ts, The: -owr

to ta-x is wh'olly unlimited.,

Section 8 of the Bill provides tha-t the Irvics n





vailuations authorized may "If Nescessaryg; be mrade- by or under

Th~e D3irection of a Courlt. Wh~le the pu~rpose o~f th~is sectionl

i~s no, clear, I aesi7sue it: in i.1tended3 t~o poideTi~ for a COm-

pulsory evaluation and ~~levya in the) evenit any va.l~uati~on cnd

leve~ made by the Boar. is no~t sufficient to afford absolute

security for the bonds,


99FFECT ON CEVTELJOP-T-ET

Lands in Everg~lads Crai~nagec Cist~riot vary in value

according to location, drainage facilities and the nature

and extent of .improvements thereon. Lands bordering Lake

Okeechobee,. because of their grdat productivity and present

Crainagle Facilities, arei probably the most valuable unimnproved

lands ;iitani The Cistriot. There a~rd cities and towns con-

taining homus, public buildings, do,, and railroad shops

and yards and other large industrial establishm;nts located

within the Cistriot. It is proper to consider any proposed

LsgislaLtiron in th3 light of its effort, if a-nactud into lawN,

upon the future growth and development of the State. Under

this Bill, contrary to the established and well recognrizad

theory of special 1ssessmeZnts,1 the cost of drainzge wi.11 bz

assessed upon lands not in proportion to the benefits which

will be derived by rea~son of the improvement, bat solely on

thu basis of vazluation. The result of this system of: taixation,

if it is adopted, will immediajtely be that the gr;bt burden of

reclaiming ths Evjrgl:ados will be plaiced upon th3 improved latnds.

The cities and Towns, industries -ind improvements locatedj within

the Distriot w~ill: bj pelnlized nand Surdejni with? a t-tx wholly

out of proportion to the benefits to be receirst. Linds locatsd

cadjzcent to Latke OkeOCho.bsoG an~d other:l lan.ts whinjch arec highlyr

productive and which haves ilraingag It th;.s t:i..;e- tol: c cusid .rable

textent, will p23y a tax wholly out of propor~tion to thel ban.-.fits

whiFCh2 they will recejiv,.





In ,cdditioni to t.:Cs ;?:o~ffse o thills njystem cf

t3.xation upon jSot~iatin impro,~v-ves M;Iis antd developmun11;Y~ ts, it

would pena2lize fu~rther- dejvs;1pmnt knd improvements to

such an extent that espitarl nveded for ths same would not

be avriila~ble. Assume, for instance, that two men each own

a section of unimproved laznd in the Svjrgljdss, uach section

being of th3 same valuei .n having th;; same drainage fazcilities,

One man his thj capital iand is de~sirous of improving his sico-

tion by the installa~tion of intunsiv, drainage systems, the

construction of a manufacturing plant, the building of houses,

Gt~o If he makes the improvement, immediately his ilran becomes

more valuaible than the adjoining section ;ind, conseqgrrntly, becomes

subject to a greater tzx. Each section will receive the

sam3 benjfit from the expenditure of funds by the Ulstriot,

but that question is wiholly disreig:rded in the lev~ying of the

tLX. It follows that the man with the caPital ;;nd the desire

to develop his land is discourageda Ind foregoes th~e construe-

tion of improvements a-nd the: cstjblishmunt of an industry which

would redound to the good of the entirej state.


We may go further with illustrations@ Assuma thalt

one of the sub-drainage districts located within Evargllades

Craiinage District is able to finance itself to thei ;xtejnt

of two or three millions of Collars for the construction of

interior drainage works. The cohstruction of thesz works

will improve aInd rende~r more v;lualtion the lands locat~d

within that Arott, but will a~lso render thosG 11EndS subject

immediately to ; taix la~rger than thalt upon.th.J idjoining 1 nda

and consequently will result ina theJ ;b.,ndo;.nm~nt~ uf thl; imero-

vement program.

It is conrfias-idenlji Dredicted Yinc~t -.if Senziae E111

147 shall be dniote~d into law the immed~iicL-uac-~Ute result 6 wi b

th3 abandsnmeht by sub-arain9lag districts :,nd private


-,6-





-7-


enterprises of all~imcpr.rovemen programs w'i~thin the Dis~ctriot,

becau7s je i may safe~ly be1 aisE~r -le IrR that~P to in is ping~ to)



of suc.h. improvsementss he Is goiFng t~o render hS1,i:mself l.aiab

for the gyment ifiof a3 ta~Y hbase in parjt, uponi. vaj~~lues creaS~td

by -the m~prulitutre of h~i.8spl- own funs andB wholly ou~t of nPro-n

po~rtion~ to a~y tensofit whi'~ch heo will8 received fom, thEe rx-

ponditure of thec avatl.s of the 'tax.

ETPrP.' :1T -r UPON ~THE BFSTTE

Under tho-p~rovisionzs of oxisting 7~law7s, lands the

title to which~n is hcld by Trusatoos of IntGTEDo.1 Imp~~~TOVcmcntt

FPand c~ro subGcot to tS~iXOS 107101~c by Etvt7~Br3.lad DrainbyO~c

Dietriot cnd thG TTR~StGOS CTO diTO00tCid t0 Pay sRch itXuss

"out of a~ny funds in th~oir: possecsion derivod~ from the sale

of lands, or othicui~sc" Plrsina~go taxes hLVC bcmn paid by

the Trustcas upon said lanuds out of funds adcrivod from the

sale of lcnds, iand the Logislcturo of Floride~, si~noo the

inception of the Everzglcads prot~cot, hcs declined -to pl...ce

cany rceposnsibili-ty upon the Stato for theo pc~aynt of such
t ixce.S

Under the prcacnt system, whenm lands cro sol~d

for the non~-payment of Drcincgo trcros and no ono bide thorcior

the rm3ount of the tLx the Collcotor dcolrarc the landas sold

to Truestcs of 'Internal Improvomonzt kund ad tumir ocrti-fic~tc

is issued i.n the nuino of fiaid TIrustoca in the same manner as

:. taxr ocrtifictc undcr likC GonditiOns is issued in the

ncmc of the StataG Trc;;SUrTor

In dchcrmining whether or not cany obligation

would be ceasumed by the Stato in thG GYent Of thO OE,0.tmcnt

of Scnetc Bill 1471, the provisions of tho Bill must bc

ourrcfully OOns110Ted. Wie find that in Scotion 2 i~t is pEro-

vidod thzt ltjnds hold by Trustoos of Intcrnal ImprovemGnt

Fund within the District shcall bc subjoot to the drcaincgo

tttxes anyd the T~rustCG8; cTG Tquired t0 pcy such itcXCS Out





of funds in h:nd. Up to this points there is little or no

differenceF be~tween Sena~te Bill 147 Lnd thre present leD7;,

but Section 2, cEfter requriring the Itrunsees !;o pay the -t:xes

out .of _funds in handl, conta~rins the furthzer provi?.sion "OR TO



The question rcrises ;s; to thrat is mecnt by the
provision quoted. Ma~cy the Bill, if pcss~d, nOt b6 oOHstru66

by a purchaser of bonds, Lnd L;ith reason, to meany that the

State bonds itself to apro~fpriiate funds "for such purp~losos"?

Yeiled though it is, it seems to the w.r~iter1 thait, the cleacr

intent of the6 Bill is to ml~ake" it man~dnta;or upion thez b'SCtGt to

provided funlyds for thec pcayment of d~rr.aina.ge tone~i on th~e lands
of the trusteos if the Tru~iStiGBs Zshll.j 3t here~i :,if.ls in its

hands9 deorivdci from the sol.o of lands s7ffi~c~iente f'or thatt


And the Bill. gose fu~rther. It p~roviaoE in Section

4 that if ot anyJ s(;le of 2landS for .the';c nionl-Slcymet of~: t;axes

L=seG ssd by~ thG District thorflc; d'hull.. ri 50% r, C ,j:ut~i. f;,uoLOg7"

biddelr for myl3 Excel of l.;,d Trusto cei of Intornall. la rovo--

mont Fu~nd shrall purchC.SG the srame, using for thact pu~rposo

"Lnyg funds in hand, OR TOQ B3I ?g:~~OP:E Jrif STiT.TESdlf j ggR

SUGH~ PURPOSE~~C"

W~e ha.vo bcr o gain the sexmo difficulty in
dotormining t~hat is meanYt by the la~nguagG "ORjl TCO EE~ A~~nPPROPRSIATE

BJ1TE S.^ Egg(gg)PI, Pssilng thcat q~ucation for the
moment we~ find thrtl if an~y prilvato ovwincr or the ownolrs of Cll

of the land in the SDis'tri t, cOxroopt the; Stcte lou~d., shacll

de~fcultJ in the paymencrt of taxos~GE Iht j.~is maO mandatory uponz th1o

Trusi8cos to purTChaecS th~O leJd Lt tche sale and, LotuallT T;Y

the amount of the tix. elthraonon Thisl moons t~h..t, so l~ongr ce
thoroC Cre funds in the handiis of the. PTlrustGCS there c,-n bc; no

deflault in the payr)mont o-F intarcat c;nd- prLinci.Pel of tbor bonds,

brconu1Jse the Tru:cto~Cas bzcoame6 .Fue.rantors of all1 t,:xes 1cv-iod

by~ the Distriot. Ite is mel..tcZital tha~n to actermi~nc from~ whact

souro-~:c. thc~gone~ys are to comGr 'chcrchyr to epuble cthe Trusi~cocs




-'to-dischargc- their guaranty. First, we finda that ~any funds

in -thatr hands must bc used for that purpose; and, second,

th~t funds". to be approprictod by the Sta;tc"' must to used

for that purpose. If this provisions moons, and it is undoubtedly

sanLcoptible of that construction, that the State will to

obliged to appropriate funds for the purposes mentioned, we

htDvO a clear Stato guc~ron~tyof the bonds to be issued under

the Bill mad consGqRGenly a ViOlatiOn Of the Constitution of
Floride.,

It will bG SOri0R817 argued by proponents of Senato

Bill 147 that no State au~ranuty will roault from the pass=.gc

of the bill, but it scome to the w~ritor~ tha~t the answ;LOr to

this aLrgumcnt'is.s foun in section 9 of the Bill, wJhich provides

that "additional Logisl:,tion will, if necessary, b c ncotodl

to assure the purchasers a;nd holders of the bonds hcroby

cuthoriacd, the sufficioney of the turing p~oaer and the com-

plate security of such bonds intended to be LssureC:d b this


The quoted provision is tantamount to a con~trrct

'be'twoon the Stcto noting .through the mcmbecrs of the prcsonat;

Logislcturc thcat it will ocuse to to cmooted by all Logislcturce
in the future such statutes as may bc dGemed nCOCSScry7 by thC

bondholior to assure to him the sufficioney of the tiring

power rand the complete security of the bonds. If this pro-

vision is withili the pOnoT Of thG prG80nt LCgislcturG t0

onoOL it fO110WS thcat if it moone canythin~g it moons that if

private oijnors of landC? fail to P3Y their taxes a:nd it booomas

ncossary in oract to cassure the payment of the -bon3ds

suOGGeding Zegis18turTs vwill ta~kc whatcyc~r stcpe mcy b

nooosscory to rodccm the sunGi..

The writorts opinion is th:;t the scvorzl sections
of the bill montionod t~kGHu tOgothcr constituto an attempt

to plcoc the orcidit of th~e Stcta of Florid~a bahinel tho bonds

of Ev~orglt ace JDra~inago IDistrict, bult eveon if gOntlomon trG

inclined to dtiffierit Lith--ti_S DISIinien:, i-t, oCun~o b e denLi ed

Sthat.the ma~nnig of the seve-ral ;ri:j'.vciaoe discussedl is






shrou.lot in? Coubt, one3' sUSCeptibl-e--Mf h constru~ction

thatc the Lo~gislCurer iltonioZC; to placoC fanl obi~~Gatio upo~3n

the Steto for thO TCOGG~pti~ Of the BODES, thOTeby pro~cuing

n eitlration Trhich wo~-ultC be ombarra~ssing .in the oxtromo and

orpable 0.? bringing Ciscrolit to the name of the Stato.



The1~ Bll. co~ntaIins aioquarte provision for thec issuance

ani sa~lo of thc Cou-is at any- p~i~ce satisfactor-y to -the- Board.

The rate of interest is not ~coinitoLy statc~, but must not

exocoE 6/0 por annum.,



Th szeo ABi~niistration of Evergrlaces A~fferis is

c ntinuc. P public officorE alread"yover-buri~ooc~ 7with tultiCS

and rosponsibilities are continuot in chnrgG Of 8 grCQA

prJojoot,. Luacato several hunt.rc~ i-iles .romr their offices.

The Boari is not rcquirol to exponi the DraccoLs of the szlo

of tok~ Hon BonCs in the ox~cution of 3nY Latinito plan of

ree cd'n. 21ion. Therer is no asrance~O,, thrlt $20 ,000,000r nill

comploto the roclr~-.tion of the SvorglRios. In very statute

passcL sinoo: 1915 provircing for thze issue?,yo .sfct aitioncr.1l

Bants3 by the Distriot, it hIs beenr roo.itai th~t; thec sallitio~nal

bonc's noroT au.tho~rizeC: for thie pu:irposse cf onab.ling~ the BoRdc17

to; prosscou.te the wo~rk to~ fi~n. l compleirjo~n". Thnti Innguagl~o'

aoppoors ill Chacptor 100C26, Aicts~ of 1.985. An Grgi3EO~ing 0031-

miission is nowj c.t nrk~r unior circotionr of the:: morre, roe,

itis:suc, th reo;7rt of 'I~~tha LCoadesion n~i._ll contain

Cofd:~init plans fo~r theL comleZtion~ ofr 'the projoot,'i ar' ocn

estcimarte of cost-. M~ighlt i-: not be noIll toI C:Teineil thatj

report before possing a bil~l nhich i~s.proliantol upon tihe
assump~tinn thatl ~$20,000,000r~ tmi.ll' coup7loto the work? If it

till. inz f.ct .Oequiror~ 0!10 Kani~rotC 1:l111.on Dollrars to~ complato

the pro'jct, as sonoe borlievc, thenl tranty n5jllion7 eollors spread

oIver theC ontiro Distrio; till accom1Plish? k.l-tle,

but t~he li:;it of tax e c. raL~nli: 'i-I2iri have~l ioC.Ia r Ceced





























































































I


Neitherc~ thei i.Ll!r:i!landownere nrlii the menters of the Legi~s-

laturo halve bacnl adJvised, as to the prica for 75hi~ch the bonds

arg~ O 'toC cold, nor as .to the ractc' of int-orca-t thoy are~to

bcgr or the tone~s of" solo. -ither ha15s anYi in7fo.rma~tion -bac n

;jgiypn~~, as 1to -what w-~ork~s cro to to ~consSuUtGBrucjted i the; pro-

. cords of -the bond. eGCla Th0 peoplc; rrho would havoC to payr

tho anormsous tens contionfl:a1~ted .yt~h~e bsill are entitled to'

this.inforact'?~C~ i on, andr, it i;~a-compc-tfully_.. s~u.ggoated., the

'mon'obcre of .th~e A7cg~.~e;.isktur shoui.ld~ her;,TO it before)iJ( i~t~ is



"--f.sons of- thisi S'rtcte








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