with highs in the upper 70s. h.7 5 Cent .
(Details, Page 2A.) -- Nessand price 2 cens
STuesday, December 16, 1975 Florida's Complete Newspaper We outside South Florida
-. ,'. .- ,: 4 w Latin Aimrican Edilimns Are Pubi 'id Daily 66th Y-ar- No. 16
"- .* ,- .-^. "-i' M ,, .- '" *, *x- ..- ent .. _. .- -.
its flowing into the lake and considered a
ts survival come from the FCD's canals.
RIMARY author, Dr. Roberts of Gaithers-
is a former budget analyst for the U.S.
I former economics professor at the Uni-
Florida. -, g *. -:.'.'
gh it hasn't been fully completed, the report
bitterly criticized by the FCD and several
agencies for being "completely unscientific
executive Director Jack Maloy, in a letter to
n of State Planning which is coordinating
, said it was "improper" for Roberts to criti-
ng structure which has been approved by the
D is'presently supported by a real estate tax
Iw at a maximum of $1 for every $1,000 as-
nation. Last year the FCD's taxing rate was
un t Page 12A Col. "
ure to Page 12A Col. 1
. :. ... .;. .. .. -. ; '
'HE REPORT says the FCD's elaborate network of IN 1974 alone, Roberts says, the FCD collected the en
flood control structures and canals intended to pre- $15.1 million in taxes from residents in its 17-county threa' to I1
da vent the recurrence of another hurricane s p a w ned area. But landowners in the Everglades agricultural '. THE p
)er flood actually offers urban residents little protection area '- including such corporate giants as the U.S. burg,'-Md.,
es- against another storm as intense as the 1948 hurri- Sugar Corp. paid only $180,000 in taxes, or 1:2 per Senate and
Ite cane. .- ., .' cent of the operating budget. .~-: .-. ersity of 1
in- Indeed, the report says, most people in Southeast At the same time, Roberts said, these same farmers Althoug
Florida who pay for the project live on a coastal ridge consumed 97 per cent of all the water used in Palm las been
w^ not subject to routine flooding the only flooding pre- Beach County where they are located and about other state
ke vented by the project. The report also disputes the 60 per cent of all the water consumed in Palm Beach, :rnd errbne
nt FCD's contention that swamp lands reclaimed for de- Broward and Dade counties. .FCD E
its -the Divisil
t elopment bytheproject areanasset. i .. heie is indeed a real question of equity in this ar- the project
ral The project is a "classic example" of the "foolish- rangement which represents an additional burden on cize a taxi
ness of encouraging development.. in areas that are the private sector to support this subsidy to agriculture ie islature
rly not tolerant of development," it says. within the Everglades agricultural area," Roberts LThe FC
nd When all the project's costs are weighed against the wrote. fi xed by la
to benefits, the study concludes, "the major private bene- i The controversial report, still in a draft form, was sessed valt
dy ficiary of the present system is the agricultural sector authorized by the Legislature as part of its ongoing _
operating in the Everglades agricultural area," study of Lake Okeechobee pollution problems. Many of
^ By TOM FIEDLER
Herald Capital Bureau
TALLAHASSEE The Central and South Flori
Flood Control District (FCD), which receives 98 p
cent of its budget from taxes levied against urban r
idents, spends most of those funds to benefit corpori
farmers "in an outrageously unfair way," a state cc
sultant has concluded.
Since it was conceived by Congress in 1948 follow
ing disastrous flooding in the farm lands around La
Okeechobee and coastal urban areas, says consult
Dr. Paul Roberts, the FCD has spent the bulk of
$500 million project cost to provide irrigation wal
and drainage to farms in the Everglades agricultui
area south of the lake.
The controversial report, which has been bitter
disputed by the FCD, attacks the entire concept a
tax structure of the district, saying the taxes paid in
it by urban residents amount to a disguised" subsi
- -- --- -
FCD: axe, Disguised Subsidyj
S i v i ... .. ,,- .- .. .. E.. ,,
S tax structure throughout the state. bill peoaie according to amount
G FROM PAlBE! .. I-- -t.: as.a result of Roberts' study, ith use. ." *crn *. -.m ,
s. iome state officials argue that tax- ; !?All the revenues are used toi_
"ohly one-third of that, or 39 mills. payerss might revolt'against perpet- both pay for the initial costs and
SBUT BECAUSE most of the rels- uating a system that benefits agri- the maintenance." "~' 1pm
dents -in the district. liv- In the business. -"t, "" .- |i -' ''. iS
"urban coastal areas of Southeast -. Y RRE LY only the FCD
Florida anid urban property as- ROBERTS recommends the FCD Uthi&.Southwest Water Management
- sessments are by law higher than be restructured and put on a "user IPistrict on the lower Gulf Coast
agricultural lands the farms pay pays" concept in which everyondis have real estate 'taxing authority
less than 2:per ,,qt of the operat- assessed in proportion 'to waf~r granted by the legislature.
ing costs in. a typical year and yet consumption. -Roberts .reporf. however, chat-
benefit most directly from the Under this structure, he argues, lenges the equity of that structure
FDC's system of canals, dikes and the agribusinesses and urban resi- and is considered a threat to. the
pumping facilities. V .:t dents will pay only* their "fair !success of that election. ..
"If u n residents i av nt share" of the benefits they receive. An internal memorandum circu-
If urban residents have not vig- This is the easiest thing in the 'lating in the state's environmental
orusly protested the glaring e- world to do." Roberts told The Her- agencies, in factZhas suggestedd the 14
equity of CD cost sharing" th re- d in telephone interview. "All March vote be postponed by the
ort says it's probably bcau you have to do is set u the project governor until Ie full implications
Sthew mllage rate. s en quit like a turnpike authority. You then of thereport c4n be reviewed.,.
S' Roberts Said the overwhelming'' .
Majority of taxpayers aren't even
Aware they're paying a tax for.
drainage and flood protection to the
That, however, is subject to
change because voters in March
will be asked to approve a constitu. 4
tional amendment reaffirming this
I _~ __ _