SJR 1061 proposes a constitutional amendment which would
authorize and limit to not more than one mill ad valorem
taxes for water management purposes.
The proposed committee substitute does the same thing but
eliminates some of the language that might tend to create
confusion as to what the bill does.
On May 9, 1975 a circuit judge ruled that the change in
boundary of S IF'MD is of such magnitude that when the boundary
changes on July 1, 1975, it will no longer be the special
district which exists today and which existed when the 1968
Florida Constitution became effective. Therefore, the
provisions of the 1968 Constitution would become operative
and prohibit levy of ad valorem taxes by SWF4'MD without
prior voter approval. SWFMD is currently raising $9 million
from local taxes in its 15-county district.
The case is being appealed but we have no assurance that
the decision will be reversed.
The current ruling also affects C,%SPFCD. The Flood Control
District is currently raising $16 million from local taxes
in its 18-county district.
In 1973 the legislature amended the Wtater Resources Act to
require that on July 1, 1975 all of the state is to be
divided into five water management districts. This requires
transfer of territory from SWvFMD and from FCD to other
districts. It also requires annexation into S FWMD and FCD.
However, the court ruling makes it mandatory we delay the
transfer until we can do something about financial support
of these districts, both the old ones and the three new ones.
S? 223 is now on the Senate calendar. It merely defers the
transfer for 18 months.
CS/SP 1280 is also on the Senate calendar. It defers the
transfer and makes it contingent upon passage of a consti-
tutional amendment authorizing ad valorem taxes for water
CS/SJR 1061 is necessary in connection with CS/SB 1280.
However, we need to have the Constitutional Amendment voted
on prior to the next legislative session. Therefore we
propose that S 223 serve as a vehicle for calling for a
special election to be held next March in conjunction with
the Presidential .reference Primary.