Title: Possible Inequity, Tax Danger Flow from Water Management Plan
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001976/00001
 Material Information
Title: Possible Inequity, Tax Danger Flow from Water Management Plan
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Sentinal Star
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Possible Inequity, Tax Danger Flow from Water Management Plan, 1/25/1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 1 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1975 - 1975 ), Item 24
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00001976
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.

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?.) "Not for its 6io sake alone bat for the sake of society and good government -
Sthe press should be free." James A. Garfield
Orlando, Florida, Sunday, January 25, 1976


Possible Inequity, Tax Danger Flow


From Water Management Plan


Jetw29 '~976


vv_ ------------


A CONTROVERSIAL, confus-
ing, possibly inequitable and
potentially dangerous piece of
legislation, has emerged from
the Tallahassee think tank as a
co n s t i t u t ional amendment
scheduled for referendum
March 9.
It provides for an ad valorem
tax presumably to fund the
state's five water management
districts established by the 1972
Water Resources Act.
The proposed law, as it ap-
pears on the primary ballot, is
concise and to the point. It seeks
"an amendment to the State
C on s t itution authorizing and
limiting local taxes for water
Management to not more than
one (1) mill."
. But the amendment, as it is
written into Article VII, Section
9, pertaining to finance and


I'...


taxation, begins with a startling
discrepancy: "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 por-
tions of the state, 1.0 mill."
Why the northwest Panhandle
is given a tax one twentieth that
of the remainder of the state
and, more surprising, why it was
omitted from the ballot has not
been explained.
Next question. Why was the
radically lower .05 mill tax
district cut off just short of the
water management district
boundary, as shown in the
illustration?
o a a
WATER, ONCE considered a
nuisance and channeled out to


sea, is now recognized as Flori-
da's most vital resource. Al-
though it flows in abundance
upon, across and under every
section of the state, its conserva-
tion requirements differ in five
areas.
The 1972 act recognized that
water management can be more
efficiently accomplished on a
local level. The districts were
drawn according to land contour
and water flow with each to be
authorized to levy a tax upon
passage of a local referendum.
It is a reasonable assumption,
therefore, that any tax levied by
a district should apply to the
entire district. Yet the proposed
amendment leaves a sliver of
the Northwest Water Manage-
ment District in a potentially
higher tax area.
INDEED, THE amendment
makes no mention of the five
districts or in any way indicates
that the tax will be used for
their purposes, as amendment
sponsors are saying. Nor does
the amendment specify "local
taxes" as does the ballot.
Theoretically, then, v o t e r
approval of the referendum
could, in fact, give the legisla-
ture the ability to authorize a
'blahtkettax oI f up to one mill on
the four peninsular districts and
.05 mill on the Panhandle for
purposes related to water'
management but not neces-
sarily to its local conservation.
We have no objection to a tax
to protect and preserve Flori-
da's finite supply of fresh water
and believe taxation by districts
provides for fair distribution of
cost.
We are seriously concerned,
however, with a ballot that
omits a portion of the amend-
ment being voted on; with the
mino r but unexplained tax
discrepancy in the northwest
district; and With the amend-
ment framers' failure to specify
that the assessment is not state-
wide, but is to be levied accord-
ing to "local" or district -
requirements as the ballot sug-
gests.
RE F ERENDUM proponents
claim a vote against the amend-
ment is a vote against water
conservation.
We disagree. The referendum
is confined to finance and tax-
ation. Residents in the Central
and Southern Florida Flood
Control District, which includes
Orlando, are like those in
other areas now being taxed
for water management and will
continue to be until the new
districts become funded.
The proposed amendment,
however, is too misleading to be
an acceptable funding tool. Ii
should be taken out of the Marcl
primary, rewritten and submit
ted to the voters in exact ant
comprehensive form at a lately
referendum.


Shaded Area Shows Higher Tax Sliver


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