Title: Florida Attorney General's Opinion
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Title: Florida Attorney General's Opinion
Alternate Title: Florida Attorney General's Opinion: Does Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061 proposing to amend Art. VII, Sec. 9(b), State Const., give specific taxing authority to WMDs as constituted under Sec. 373.069 Fla. Stat.? Attached S.J.R. No. 1061, and two memos. 8p.
Physical Description: 8p.
Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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General Note: Box 3, Folder 3D ( LEGISLATION - BOX 3, FOLDER 3 ), Item 109
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STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
/ OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
'- THE CAPITOL
ROBERT L. SHEVIN TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32304
Attorney General

January 8, 1976



076-7


Mr. Herbert M. Webb
District Counsel
St. Johns River Water
Management District
Route 2, Box 695
Palatka, Florida 32077

Re: Constitutional Amendment-Finance and Taxation--
Ad valorem taxes for water management purposes--
specific authority to tax not given to water
management districts by proposed amendment to
Art. VII, 9(b), State Const. Senate Joint
Resolution No. 1061, Chs. 75-125, and 75-245,
Laws of Florida, Art. VII, 9, State Const.

Dear Mr. Webb:

Your recent letter requests my opinion on essentially the
following question:

Does Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061
proposing to amend Art. VII, 9(b),
State Const., give specific taxing
authority to the water management
districts as constituted under
373.069(3), F.S.?

Your question must, in my opinion, be answered in the
negative.

Chapter 75-245, Laws of Florida, provides that Senate Joint
Resolution No. 1061, "proposing the amending of Section 9 of
Article VII of the State Constitution, to establish a limit on
local taxes to be used for water management purposes," shall be
submitted to the electors of Florida for approval or rejection









Mr. Herbert M. Webb 076-7
Page Two


in a special election to be held concurrent with the Presidential
Preference Primary Election, March 9, 1976. The proposed amend-
ment to Art. VII, 9(b), State Const., is indicated by the under-
scoring:

(b) Ad valorem taxes, exclusive of
taxes levied for the payment of bonds and
taxes levied for periods not longer than
two years when authorized by vote of the
electors who are the owners of freeholds
therein not wholly exempt from taxation,
shall not be levied in excess of the
following millages upon the assessed value
of real estate and tangible personal
property: for all county purposes, ten mills;
for all municipal purposes, ten mills; for
all school purposes, ten mills; for water
management purposes for the northwest
portion of the state lying west of the
line between ranges two and three east,
0.05 mill; for water management purposes
for the remaining portions of the state,
1.0 mill; and for all other special
districts a millage authorized by law
approved by vote of the electors who are
owners of freeholds therein not wholly
exempt from taxation. A county furnishing
municipal services may, to the extent
authorized by law, levy additional taxes
within the limits fixed for municipal
purposes.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061 does not propose any amend-
ment to Section 9(a) of Article VII, State Const., which provides
the authorization for the legislature to grant special districts
ad valorem taxing power:

(a) Counties, school districts, and
municipalities shall, and special districts
may, be authorized by law to levy ad valorem
taxes .. (emphasis supplied)

In contrast to the ad valorem taxing authorization provisions
of Section 9(a) of Article VII, State Const., Section 9(b), which
Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061 proposes to amend, contains
limitations on the exercise of ad valorem taxing powers by the
various taxing powers. See AGO's 069-26, 069-71, and 075-160.
Section 9(b) of Article VII, State Const., has been characterized








Mr. Herbert M. Webb
Page Three7-7


as a "tax relief section," State ex rel. Dade County v. Dickinson,
230 So.2d 130, 134 (Fla. 1969), because it contains limits on the
maximum village which can be levied for the various designated
purposes. Therefore, it is my opinion that if the proposed
amendment to Section 9(b) of Article VII, State Const., is
approved, it will not give specific taxing authority to the water
management districts as constituted under 373.069(3), F.S., as
amended by Ch. 75-125, Laws of Florida; rather, it will limit
the ad valorem taxes which may have otherwise been authorized
by law to be levied

for water management purposes for the
northwest portion of the state lying
west of the line between ranges two
and three east, [to] 0.05 mill; [and]
for water management purposes for the
remaining portions of the state, [to]
1.0 mill .


SUMMARY


If the amendment to Article VII, Section 9(b), State
Const., proposed by Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061, is
approved by a vote of the electors in a special election
to be held March 9, 1976, it will not give water manage-
ment districts as constituted under 373.069(3), F.S.,
as amended by Ch. 75-125, Laws of Florida, specific
authority to levy ad valorem taxes. If adopted, the
proposed amendment would limit the maximum millage which
may be levied for water management purposes in the north-
west portion of the state lying west of the line between
ranges two and three east to 0.05 mill and for water
management purposes for the remaining portions of the
state to 1.0 mill.

Sincerely,



TBERO L. SH1VIN
ATTORNEY GENERAL

Prepared by:




David Hudson
Assistant Attorney General

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MEMO

TO: LMB March 11, 1976

FROM: TEC

Re: Telephone conversation March 9, 1976
with Don Caparello, member of the staff
for the House DNR Committee


Don Caparello called me on March 9, 1976, to
discuss briefly several items of pending litigation and
to request our assistance. Mr. Caparello can be reached
at phone number (904) 488-1564.

Mr. Caparello indicated three general areas for
potential new legislation. These areas are those in which
he has been instructed to prepare legislation on behalf of
the House DNR Committee. The areas of interest are:

1. A method of preventing new water management
or drainage districts from forming under the provision of
Chapter 298, Florida Statutes. This would also involve a
method of terminating those existing districts organized
under Chapter 298 that are no longer active.

2. A means of exempting state owned lands
(either trustee of the Internal Improvement Fund or DNR)
from taxation for water management purposes by either water
management districts or drainage districts organized under
either Chapter 373 or 298, Florida Statutes.

3. A means of subjecting lands owned by drainage
districts organized under Chapter 298, Florida Statutes, to
county ad valorem property taxes.

Mr. Caparello has solicited our advice and sugges-
tions concerning these proposed areas of new legislation.

Additionally, Mr. Caparello has asked us to respond
to several specific questions, namely:









a. Where, how many, and what are the names for
any drainage districts organized under Chapter 298, within
the territorial boundaries of the Southwest Florida Water
Management District?

b. Which drainage districts are still active
within the territorial boundaries of the Southwest Florida
Water Management District?

c. Are any of these drainage districts claiming
exemption from county taxation? If so, which ones?

d. Is the Southwest Florida Water Management
District paying property taxes to any counties within its
territorial boundaries?

I advised Mr. Caparello that we would be happy to
assist him in any way that we could. I would appreciate your
advice on the best means of reacting to Mr. Caparello's requests.


7^^~







(Charge time to SWF 10-0001)


January 2, 1976



TO: DBM
FR: LMB
RE: Ad Valorem Tax Amendment to Constitution


Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061 passed during the 1975
legislative session proposes an amendment to Section 9(b)
of Article VII of the Florida Constitution. This will be
voted on in March, 1975 as directed by Chapter 75-245,
Laws of Florida.

It appears that in drafting these two bills, I may have
omitted a very important provision, namely, specifying
in the amendment the date upon which it becomes effective.
In the absence of this, it appears that the constitutional
amendment, if approved by the electors in March, 1976, will
not become effective until the first Tuesday after the first
Monday in January, 1977 (January 4) in accordance with
Section 5, Article XI, of the Florida Constitution.

I believe that the present law requires that the authority
to impose ad valorem taxes be vested coincidently with or
preceding the beginning of a calendar year in order for the
taxing authority to validly levy taxes for that year. Taxes
are assessed as of January 1, although, the millage is not
set until the late summer or early fall and the taxes are
not due and payable until November 1.

All of this appears to be pursuant to statutory as set out
in Chapters 192-197, Florida Statutes.

I, Please review the State Constitution, especially Article VII,
to be sure that there is nothing in the Constitution that
requires a use of a calendar year beginning on January 1 for
ad valorem tax purposes.

. Then consider what amendments would have to be made to the
statutes to provide that taxes can be levied for water manage-
ment purposes during 1977 if the constitutional amendment passes
at the special election in March, 1976.

3, Review this as quickly as possible, xerox pertinent parts of the
Constitution and statutes and let's discuss this before you
expend any great amount of time on it. We need to do this as
quickly as possible, since I have a feeling that the question
is going to come up most any time, probably next Monday in
Tallahassee.



LMB/gw

















CHAPTER 75-245
Senate Bill No. 223
AN ACT relating to a special election to be held on the second Tuesday
in March, 1976, pursuant to Section 5 of Article XI of the State Con-
stitution for the approval or rejection by the electors of Florida of a
joint resolution amending Section 9, Article VII of the State Constitu-
tion relating to local ad valorem taxes; providing for publication of
notice and for procedures; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Pursuant to Section 5 of Article XI of the State Constitu-
tion, there shall be a special election on the second Tuesday in March 1976
to be held concurrent with the Presidential Preference Primary Election,
at which there shall be submitted to the electors of Florida for approval
or rejection Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061 proposing the amending of
Section 9 of Article VII of the State Constitution, to establish a limit on
local taxes to be used for water management purposes.
Section 2. Publication of notice shall be in accordance with Section
5 of Article XI of the State Constitution. The special election shall be
held as other special elections are held.
Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, if. passed
by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the membership of each house.
Approved by the Governor June 29, 1975.
Filed in Office Secretary of State June 30, 1975.












This public document was promulgated at a base cost of $20.34 per page
for 1,500 copies or $.01356 per single page for the purpose of informing
the public of Acts passed by the Legislature.












1
CODING: Words in etreek through type are deletions from existing law;
words in italics are additions.




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