Title: Environmental Policy in the Area of Water Resource Management, 2 Drafts
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 Material Information
Title: Environmental Policy in the Area of Water Resource Management, 2 Drafts
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Environmental Policy in the Area of Water Resource Management, 2 Drafts
General Note: Box 10, Folder 1 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1975 - 1975 ), Item 78
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002030
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
A Statement of Environmental Policy
ipthe Area of Water Resource Ma naM -nt

One of the most significant impending events its that of obtaining a fayorab3e yote

on the Constitutional amendment which will provide ad valorem taxing authority to

the water management districts in amounts not to exceed 0.05 mill in Northwest

Florida and 1.0 mill-In the remainder of the State. Certainly increasing taxes is

never popular and with the present state of the economy it is particularly difficult.

Presently the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Central and South-

ern Florida Flood Control District have the authority to levy ad valorem taxes

under provisions of the original laws forming these districts. Thus,4 there will

be no increase in taxing authority which will affect the residents of these areas.

Within the three remaining districts the only funds available!are those provided

through General Revenue Appropriations. This is not including the Ridge and Lower

Gulf Coast Water Management District which will be dissolved on December 31, 1976.

There are a number of disadvantages to General Revenue funding:
'------ -----
1. It is not a dependable source of funds. The Legislature is heavily burdened

with the task of establishing priorities for allocation of funds each year. There

will be years when water management may not be a short run problem and items con-

sidered to be of higher priority will reduce the funds available to the districts.
This resulting shortage of funds will cause the districts to curtail their activities.

This may limit planning and cause crisis situations to develop which are expensive

and sometimes irreversable.

2. In addition, funding is uncertain.

3. The taxing for water management will be uniform throughout the State. This is

not considered desirable in that the person receiving the most benefit from the

water management activity will, in effect, be paying the same taxes as the indvid-

ual living in an area where water management requires little expenditure of funds.

4. Having local funds available places local authorities in a position of authority

to act on decisions relative to proper water management. No resident.of the State

who is knowledgeable of-the water problems can possibly be opposed to water manage-


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Page Two
,Stafement of Env. Policy

ment. Water is the key element in Florida's future. Having governing boards for

water management districts made up of local people of proven competence will make

water management responsive to the needs of the people.

5. General Revenue funding will place the funds, and therefore, the major decision

making at the state level. This is not considered to be the most effective and

efficient method of handling water management in the best interest of all people of

the State.

The Water Resources Act of 1972 clearly recognizes that the water resource problems

of the State vary from region to region and vests in the Department the power and

responsibility to delegate appropriate power to the water management districts. I

also believe that the best management decisions can be made at the lowest level at
which-all the facts required to form saundly reasoned slr-utions are'available,. I.

therefore intend to use this reasoning in delegating all appropriate powers, in-

cluding those under Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, to the water management districts

that are consistent with fulfilling my responsibilities for coordinating and assuring

the proper protection and management of this vital resource on a statewide basis.
I am also well aware of the legislative intent programs of particular benefit to

limited segments of the population should be financed by those most directly bene-

fited.

In view of the foregoing, I consider it essential to the proper management of the

water resources of the State that a favorable vote be obtained in the Constitutional

amendment in the March 1976 referendum.



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One of the most significant impending events facing water resource .

managers is that of obtaining a favorable Vote on the Constitutional

amendment which will provide ad valorem taxing authority to the

water management districts in amounts not to exceed 0.05 Irill in

Northwest Florida and 1.0 mill in the remainder of the State. Certainly

increasing taxes is never popular and with the present state of the

economy it is particularly difficult.



Presently the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the

Central and Southern florida Flood Control District have the authority

to levy ad valorem taxes under provisions of the original laws forming

these districts. Thus, there will be no increase in taking authority

which will affect the residents of these areas. In fact, SWFWMD and

its Basin Boards have authority to levy up to 1.3 mills. A favorable
volt
aev on the Constitutional amendment would result in a reduction in

taxing authority in the SWFWMD area.' Within the three remaining

districts the only funds available are those provided through General

Revenue Appropriations.



There are a number of disadvantages to General Revenue funding for

after management:

1. .It is not a dependable source of funds. The Legislature is heavily

-_burdened with the task-of establishing priorities for allocation of

funds each year. There will be years when watermanagement nay not be

a short run problem and items considered to be of higher priority will

reduce the funds available to the districts. The resulting shortage

of funds will cause the districts to curtail their activities. This




. L ....I .. .:. '- ..--'
... --Page Two
Statement of Env. Policy

may limit planning and cause crisis situations to develop which are

expensive and sometimes irreversable.

T 2.' The taxing for water management will be uniform throughout the
State. This is not considered desirable"in that the person receiving

the most benefit from the water management activity will, in effect.

be paying the same taxes as the individual living in an area where
water management requires little expenditure of funds.-,*
3. Having local funds available places local authorities in a

position of authority to act on decisions relative to proper water
management'. Water is the key element in Florida's future. Having

governing boards for water management districts made up of local

people of proven competence will make water management responsive to
S : the needs of the people.

4. General Revenue funding will place the funds, and therefore, the

major decision making at the- state level. This is not considered to :-. tre i,:

b : e the most effective and efficient method of handling water manage-
ment in the best interest of all people of the State.

The Water Resources Act of 1972 clearly recognizes that the water

resource problems of the State vary from region to region and vests in-

the Department the power and responsibility to delegate appropriate
power to the water management districts. I therefore intend to use

this reasoning in delegating all appropriate powers, including those

under Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, to the water management districts
that are consistent with fulfilling my responsibilities for coordinating
and assuring the proper protection and management of this vital resource
on a statewide basis. I am also well aware of the legislative intent
programs of particular benefit to limited segments of the population

should be financed by those most directly benefited.-


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_ .- ..1 .. -_'. ... .. .. .. .. .. -. ...
SPage Three
S ..Statement of Env. Policy P


* ... .


In view of the foregoing, I consider it essential to the proper manage-

ment of the water resources of the State that a favorable vote be

obtained in the Constitutional amendment in the March, 1976 referendum.


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