Title: Critics Predicting Confusion, Lawsuits
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002071/00001
 Material Information
Title: Critics Predicting Confusion, Lawsuits
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida Times-Union
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Critics Predicting Confusion, Lawsuits, Feb 15, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 23
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002071
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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FEB -15-76


Critics Predictinge




Confusion, Lawsuits

Critics of the proposed wa- By DICK HAGOOD, TImesoUnion Staff Writer'
tet management districts Hudsn a th
a m i F4lorida 1Hudson also noted the lan-
Constitution Predict mass eavs something to
ConsttutioM wpis m be desired. "It's going to
confusion and lawsuits if the -.. I: t
proposal approe d. cn ome down to a construction
proposal is approved. o the term, purposes,
e! ,-- of the term. purposess" he
To sate Sen. Phil Lewis '', .t aid. His boss, Atty. GCe.
.iosttSn Robert Shevin, supports the
of.West Palm Beach, one of H i b, A't*t .
the amendment's prime 'i. dmenmt.
movers, it sparks efforts of \ Hudsoi saw the possibility
the state and local partner- that a court might interpret
ship, under the 1972 Water the amendment to include
Resources Act, "to manage Dr Marshall Sn. MacKay these various smaller dis-
Floridas water and related tricts as working for water
land resources, to prevent management purposes. It
flood damage, to preserve taxed for projects elsewhere would just make more comic
fish and wildlife and to as- in their. giant districts that petition for that 1 mill," he
sure that- water will be bear little relevance to their said.
available for homes, agricul- .own needs. With the state
tare and industry." divided into five districts, THE PROBLEM also was
t h a many counties are far-dis- seen by Ken Woodburn, con-
'Bnt to Dr. Arthur Mar- tant from other counties servation adviser for the
shall of Inerlachen, prorai- within the same district governor. "Some raised the
nent ecologist and the first specter that this was going
chairman of the St. Johns The Ocala senator wants to these private drainage
River Water Management the taxing authorities kept districts," he said.
District, this argument is closer to home observing
patently absurd. "It is a that there are currently so- Woodburn said the'amend-
massive change from what called basin boards in some meant pertains to the state's


"I would bet my bottom dol-
lar that -if this thing passes
;there will be a lineup of these
,districts demanding rights."
S-Dr. Arthur Marshall


was intended," he said. "The
1972 act is going to be invali-
dated if this thing passes."
ACCORDINGG TO Mar-
shall, the act .provides that
the state will fund the ex-
pense of "administrative ex-
pense and regluatory mat-
ters," while ad valorem tax-
er are "to be spent on physi-
cal construction of local sig-
nificane." And now, he con-
tinued, Duval County is
being asked to help finance
construction of a project at
the head waters of the St.
Johns in Brevard County,
also in the district but far
removed from Duval.
Slarshall, who left his dis-
trict chairmanship more
than a year ago following a
policy dispute, said that
GOv. Reubin Askew recently
told a Jacksonville audience
that the-soieols will run dry
in Duval unless the local cit
izEns support it financially.
IActually. the governor
told his Jacksonville audi
erce. "If you don't control
the headwaters of the St
Jhns River, there will be
ri water coming out of you
aZgots here.")
'I think the governor oi
tCfs state ought to know thai
JAcksonviile doesn't get iti
water from th St. John
K;ver," he declared. "It
comes from the aquifier 20(
oC3S feet down."
-rhus, he added, Duval
rs'port for this Brevard
preect lies in the face of a
basic concept of the 1971
Water Resources Act thai
'whoever ber.efits will pay
t,.e bill." There's just north.
ing to this plea that "we've
got to build something in the
rp'er St. Johns for Jackson-
vi;ie," he insisted.
eiG. W. LEVE, hydrologist
in charge of the Jacksonville
oiice of the U.S. Geological
Survey, sa:d the city gets all
of its water for drinking and
other general uses some
F2i to 3SM) million gallons a
d.- from the Floridar
Acfier. 'The only water
dawn from surface water
is 'rawn for cooling," he
aed~d.
citat Sen. Kenneth Mao
1ay of Ocala said he fears
im... i ir.ndindubal localities
.':l find themselves being


areas that localize the fund-
ing. "I think separate mil-
lage boards are the right
policy he said.. "I'd like to
know that the costs of water,
management are going to be
allocated to the area respon-
sible for those costs."
DR. MARSHALL, who
said the amendment "could
have been written better by
a first-year law student," in-
sisted the phrasing of "water
management purposes" rath-
er than "water management
districts" only invites trou-
ble. Noting that approxi-
mately 275 drainage districts
were authorized under 1913
legislation and that other
districts were subsequently .
created, he contended many
of them would be out in
force.
"I would bet my bottom
r *,- : ',T',-!! *.'t wr : vs..o


live water management dis-
tricts. "That was the intent.
All of the legislators said it
was."
But, he concluded, "They.
drew it badly." .
The "not more than 1
mill" on the ballot refers to
an addition in Article VII,
Section 9 of the Constitution
regarding taxation limits:
"for water management pur-
poses for the northwest por-
tion of the state lying west
of the line between ranges
two and three east, 0.05
mill; for water management
purposes for the remaining
portions of the state,. 1.0
milL"
SFor example, If you own a
$20,000 home anywhere ex-
cept the Panhandle the 1-
mill levy could subject you
to a tax of $20. But if that
same house happens to be in.
Northwest Florida, you
could not be taxed more
than $1.
In other words, taxpayers
in the major portion of the
Panhandle are spared from
having to ante up for water
management. According to
one amendment supporter,
the 0.05 mill isn't worth the
13-cent stamp it takes to col-
lect it.
Senate President Dempsey


"We believe the constitu-
tional amendment doesn't nec-
essarily assure the use (of tax
levies) for water management
purposes."
-Dr. Peter Pritchard


dollar," Marshall said, "that
.if this thing passes there
will be a lineup of these dis-
tricts demanding rights."
The scrap would be over
who will get the authority to
impose tax levies,'with the
total for all water manage-
ment purposes to be held
within 1 mill.
'"Another Legislature could
use this for other types of
districts," according to
MacKay. "When the word
was changed, they left it
pretty uncertain."


Barron of Panama City
views the approach as logi-
cal, adding that the debate
centered around water man-
agement problems in Cen-
tral and South Florida. "On
the other hand," he said, "in
the Panhandle of Florida
there a vast abundance of
water.".
Calling for a map, Barren
pointed to six or sever rivers
crossing the area between
Tallahassee. and Pensacola.
"We will just not be involved
in water management in the
foreseeable future." he de-.


AND DR. Peter Pritchard flared.
of Maitland, vice president
and researcher for the Flori- / Noting that water manage-
da Audubon Society, also ment is a "mystery for the
had misgivings. "We believe man on the street, but very
the constitutional amend- real from the standpoint of
ment doesn't necessarily r.'. taxation," Barron added that
sure the use (of tax levies) "the Panhandle legislators
for water management pur- were concerned about it."
poses," he said, indicating
that developments and other Asked if they had planned
non-conservation goals could to sabotage the whole thing
conceivably be construed as' unless they got their virtual
water management. exemption, Barren smiled.
S"Obviously they found it
Assistant Atty. Gen. David more palatable" he replied.


MAR 10 1976 ;3j



















A JOINT RESOLUTION proposed as amendment to
Section 9. Article VII of the State Constitution relating
to local ad valorem taxes

Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Flor-
ida:
That the following amendment to Secton 9 of Ar.
ele VI of the State Constitution is hereby agreed to and
shall be submitted to the electors of this statelor ap-
proval or rejection at the general election to be held in
November 197: .
-: ., "f -,' .- ". ".'"- :';} .-



': '''. '' i ....""''anrTICLE VII
S FINANCE AND TAXATION

SECTION 9. Local Taxes- (a) Counties, school dis-
tricts, and mmineipalities shall, and special districts
may, be authorized by law to levy ad valorem taxes
and may be authorized by general law to levy other
taxes, for their respective purposes, except ad valorem
taxes on Intangible personal property and taxes prohib-
lied by this constitution.
(b) Ad valorem taxes, exclusive of taxes levied for
the payment of bonds and taxes levied for periods not
longer than two years when authorized by vote of the
electors who are the owners of freeholds therein not
wholly exempt from taxation, shall not be levied in ex-
cess of the following villages upon the assessed value
of real estate and tangible personal property: for all
county purposes, ten mills: for all municipal purposes,
ten mills; for all school purposes, ten mills; for water
management purposes for the northwest portion of the
state lying west of the line between ranges two and
three cost, 0.05 jill; for water management purposes for
the remaining portion of the slate 1.0 mill; and for all
other special districts a village authorized by law
approved by vote of. the electors who are owners
of freeholds therein not wholly exempt from taxation. A
county furnishing municipal services may, to the extent
authorized hy law, levy additional taxes within the lim-
its fixed for municipal purposes.
BIl IT FURTlHER RESOLVED that the following
statement be placed on the ballot:
*"' -



CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE VII, SECTION .
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitlton
. authorizing and tlminting local taxes for water manage.
meet purposes to not more than one (1) mill. -
The italics in (b) are the proposed addition to the
constitution.


Sentence at bottom is what wilt appear 6n ballot,


'




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