Title: Water Board Tax Okay Seen Doubtful
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001973/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water Board Tax Okay Seen Doubtful
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Tampa Tribune
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Water Board Tax Okay Seen Doubtful, 1/26/1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 1 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1975 - 1975 ), Item 21
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00001973
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text









Water Board Tax




Okay Seen Doubtful


TALLAHASSEE (AP) Top officials
in state government are stumping for a
proposed constitutional amendment to
allow water management districts to set
a property tax of up to one mill. But
they concede it is going to have a hard
time passing.
"The whole issue is so complex that
the average citizen doesn't understand
it." said Sen. Philip Lewis, D-West Palm
Beach, a leader in the campaign to have
the measure in the March 9 presidential
primary.
"IN THE FIRST place, it contains the
word tax and most people don't under.
stand it," Sen. Robert Graham, D-
Miami, said in a separate interview.
Gov. Reubin Askew, Lt. Gov. Jim
Williams, Agriculture Commissioner
Doyle Conner, Atty. Gen. Robert Shevin
and leaders of legislative environmental
committees all have endorsed the pro-
posal.
Opponents include Art Marshall of
Gainesville, former chairman of the St.
Johns Water Management District and a
semiretired biologist; Johnny Jones, ex-
ecutive director of the Florida Wildlife
Federation, and Sen. Kenneth MacKay,
D-Ocala.
"THE BASIC GUT item is, do you
favor water management and do you
want to use ad valorem tax to pay for
it," Lewis said. "A lot of opponents are
going to bring up a lot of side issues that
won't be changed whether or not this
amendment passes."
i Jones said he expected to see a revolt
,"so maybe it will send a message to the
legislature that the water management
districts should be state agencies under
the Department of Natural Resources
with direct appeal to the Cabinet."
SThe six present water management
districts were shifted to the Department
of Environmental Regulation, which is
controlled by the Environmental Regula-
tion Commission.


JONES ALSO objected to having ap-
pointed officials set taxes, but Lewis said
the amendment would place the water
management boards ncore under legisla-
tive control. Any tax they set must meet
legislative approval, he said.
Besides, Lewis said. 65 per cent of
Florida's population already is required
to pay property taxes set by appointed
water management boards.
The Central and South Florida Flood
Control District, which can levy up to
one mill or $1 for each $1,000 in property
value, is levying .375 mills.
The Southwest Florida Water Man-
agement District is levying to its .3 mill
limit. Each basin within the district can
levy up to one mill and they range from
.1 to .69 mills.
THE FOUR OTHER districts St.
Johns. Suwanee and Northwest plus in-
terim Ridge and Gulf Coast do not
now levy property taxes. The amend-
ment limits the Northwest District to .05
mills.
Marshall said none of the districts
need any property tax money because
the state is required to pay for adminis-
tration, planning and "permitting" from
general revenue.
The property tax would go for con-
struction, which is the cause of the
states water problems through ditching
and draining wetlands, straightening
rivers and otherprojects, he said.
"We derive a lot of benefits from nat-
ural systems without putting in a lot of
public work projects," he said.
BUT GRAHAM SAID the ditches and
pumps, which have been installed. "are
not going to go away."
The Central and South Florida Dis-
trict, in existqece since 1949. has a budg-
et of $21 million and almost 900 em-
ployes. The Southwest Florida District
has. a $13 million budget and about 300
employes. The others have budgets as
high as $400,000, all paid by the state.


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Water Board Tax




Okay Seen Doubtful


TALLAHASSEE (AP) Top officials
in state government are stumping for a
proposed constitutional amendment to
allow water management districts to set
a property tax of up to one mill. But
they concede it is going to have a hard
time passing.
"The whole issue is so complex that
the;average citizen doesn't understand
it."-said Sen. Philip Lewis, D-West Palm
Beach, a leader in the campaign to have
the measure in the March 9 presidential
primry..
"IN'THE FIRST place, it contains the
word tax and most people don't under-
stand it," Sen. Robert Graham, D-
Miamdi,said in a separate interview.
WGv. .Reubin Askew, Lt. Gov. Jim
Williams' Agriculture Commissioner
Doyle Conner, Atty. Gen, Robert Shevin
and Iea'ders of legislative environmental
committees all have endorsed the pro-
posal.
Opponents include. Art Marshall of
Gainesville, former chairman of the St.
Johns Water Managemeqt District and a
semiretired biologist; Johnny Jones, ex-
ecutive director of the Florida Wildlife
Federation, and Sen. Kenneth MacKay,
D-Ocala.
ITHE BASIC GUT item is, do you
favor water management and do you
want to use ad valorem tax to pay for
it," Lewis said. "A lot of opponents are
going to bring up.a lot of side issues that
won't be changed whether. or not this
amendment passes."
Jones said he expected to see a revolt
"so maybe it will send a message to the
legislature that the water management
districts should be state agencies under
the Department of Natural Resources,
with direct appeal to the Cabinet."
The six present water management
districts were shifted to the Department
of Environmental Regulation, which is
controlled by the Environmental Regula-
.tion Commission.


JONES ALSO objected to having ap-
pointed officials set taxes, but Lewis said
the amendment would place the water
management boards more under legisla-
tive control. Any tax they set must meet
legislative approval, he said.
Besides, Lewis said. 65 per cent of
Florida's population already is required
to pay property taxes set by appointed
water management boards.
The Central and South Florida Flood.
Control District, which can levy up to
one mill or $1 for each $1,000 in property
value, is levying .375 mills.
The Southwest Florida Water Man-
agement District is.levying to its .3 mill
limit. Each basin within the district can
levy up to one mill and they range from
.1 to .69 mills.
THE FOUR OTHER districts St.
Johns, Suwanee and Northwest plus in-
terim Ridge and Gulf Coast do not
now levy property taxes. The amend-
ment limits the Northwest District to .05
mills.
Marshall said none of the districts
need any property tax money because
the state is required to pay for adminis-
tration, planning and "permitting" from
general revenue.
The property tax would go for con-
struction, which is the cause of the
states water problems through ditching
and draining wetlands, straightening
rivers and other projects, he said:
"We derive a lot of benefits from nat-
ural systems without putting in a lot of
public work projects," he said.
BUT GRAHAM SAID the ditches and
pumps, which have been installed, "are
not going to go away."
The Central and South Florida Dis-
trict, in existence since 1949, has a budg-
et of $21 million and almost 900 em-
ployes. The Southwest Florida District
has a $13. million budget and about 300
employes. The others have budgets as
high as $400,000, all paid by the state.




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