In the event the proposed constitutional
(1) How will the millage be divided between the
basin boards and the governing board of the
(2) Who will determine amount for basin boards and
the governing board?
The available millage should be apportioned by
the governing board based upon balancing financial needs of
the basins and the District. Basin board approval of the
split is necessary. Legislature could change this method
of apportionment if it wishes.
SJR No. 1061 is the proposed amendment to
Section 9, Article VII, of the State Constitution. In
pertinent part this proposed amendment reads:
(a) special districts may be authorized
by law to levy ad valorem taxes for
(b) Ad valorem taxes shall not be levied
in excess of the following millages upon
the assessed value of real estate and tangi-
ble personal property for water
management purposes [for the remaining por-
tions of the state,] 1.0 mill .
Nothing in the proposed amendment addresses
itself to the apportionment of the authorized millage.
Indeed, the language in subparagraph (a) indicates that
this should be controlled by law, hence legislative action.
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For the Southwest Florida Water Management District,
taxing authority is founded principally upon Ch. 61-691,
Laws of Florida. Potentially conflicting provisions in
the Water Resources Act of 1972 (Ch. 72-299, Laws of
Florida) contained in Ch. 373, F.S., do not control because
of Section 373.149, F.S., which specifically preserved the
taxing authority of the SWFWMD.
Ch. 73-190, Laws of Florida, preserved the exist-
ing taxing authority of the Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment for that portion of the District which will remain
within its boundaries following the proposed boundary transfer.
For lands to be acquired by the District following the pro-
posed boundary transfer, taxes are to be levied in accor-
dance with the provisions of SS 378.19 through 378.32,
F.S. (See SS 373.506 through 373.549, F.S.)
Thus, apportionment of the authorized millage
should occur as follows:
1. For areas within the District after boundary
transfer, which were in the District before the boundary
change (Ch. 61-691 is controlling):
(a) "District" wide tax levies are authorized
for purposes described in Section 7(1) of
the Act and include District administra-
tion, Green Swamp, and maintenance of
(b) "basin" taxes are to be used for purposes
described in Section 7(2) of the Act.
(c) The actual "Levy" of taxes for both basin
and district purposes must be made by the
District Governing Board. See Sections
8(1) and 8(2) of the Act.
(d) Nothing in Ch. 61-691, Laws of Florida,
describes apportionment of the authorized
millages per se, but Section 8(2) fixes
as a Governing Board responsibility the
determination of the amount of money to
be raised by the tax levy. Note: Basin
board approval of the levy is required.
8(2), Ch. 61-691, Laws of Florida.
2. For areas to be annexed into the District
following the boundary transfer Sections 378.19 through
378.32 F.S., are controlling (See Sections 373.506
through 373.549, F.S.):
(a) These provisions do not refer to
basin board tax levies at all. The
governing board is authorized to levy
taxes based upon the percent of maximum
annual benefit the various parcels of
land enjoy from District functions and
works in order to pay the costs of the
works of the District.
(b) It appears as though basins created
within these new areas of'the District
will have no independent taxing authority.
For areas within the District following the
boundary transfer which were within the District before
the transfer, the governing board is authorized to
apportion the 1.0 mill tax levy, subject to basin board
For newly annexed territories no basin board
approval is required.
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