Title: Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan
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 Material Information
Title: Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: St Petersburg Times
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan, March 7, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 13
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002061
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




ST. PETERSBURG TIMES N SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 1976


Audubon.group opposes

water management plan


Editor: There is no organization which
supports sound water management more vigor-
ously than the Florida Audubon Society. We
must, however, take strong exception to the
Times editorial ofleb. 27 entitled "For water
management."
We believe that the nebulous wording of
the Constitutional amendment which will be
presented to the voters March 9 will serve to
weaken water management under Florida's
landmark Water Resources Act, should it be
* approved by the electorate.
BECAUSE THE amendment broadly au-
thorizes ad valorem taxation for "water man-
agement purposes" instead of specifying that
such taxation is intended to be granted only to
Florida's five water management districts, a
whole host of government entities will become
eligible to enter the water management field to
Compete with established water management
districts for the authority to control the vital
Resources of our state if the amendment is ap-
proved.
Many of these entities, such as drainage
districts established under FS. 298, and soil
and water conservation districts established


under FS. 582 have long and notorious records
of despoiling the environment at the behest of
special interests. If the amendment passes in
its current form, the question of which local
agencies will get to levy the tax will be left
entirely to the yearly whims of the Legislature.
THE ARBITRARY split in millage caps
provided in the amendment, which would al-
low a rate of taxation 20 times greater in penin-
sular Florida than in the Panhandle, should be
sufficient to debunk the argument that pas-
sage of the amendment will serve to eliminate
the "double taxation" which results from the
reliance of the three new water management
districts on funds from general revenue. In
truth, taxpayers throughout the state will re-
main obligated to continue the support of the
Northwest Florida Water Management Dis-
trict should the amendment pass because that
agency will never be able to generate sufficient
revenues under the ridiculously low 1/20 of a
mill tax cap.
The completely arbitrary millage cap split
also raises very real questions about the
amendment's legal validity, as no other por-
tion of the Florida Constitution treats one area


letters


of the state in a manner so differently from the
rest
WATER MANAGEMENT in Florida is
far too important an issue to be tied to the fate
of a constitutional amendment which is writ-.
ten so poorly. While the Florida Audubon Soci-
ety understands the strong desire of the cur-
rent amendment's supporters to provide a sta-
ble and equitable source of revenue for Flor-
ida's five water management districts, and ful-
ly concurs in that objective, the proposal
which will be presented to the voters on March
9 is simply so inept that it threatens to create
many more problems than it will solve. -
Charles Lee vice president. Florida Audubon


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