The Florida Engineering Society urges everyone to support the
proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution which would
create and provide revenue for operating water management
districts in the State.
The amendment, to be voted on during the March 9, 1976,
Presidential Primary, will authorize up to one mill (one dollar
for each $1,000 of property evaluation) levy in four of the five
reconstituted flood control districts.
A vote for this constitutional amendment will provide funding
for locally controlled water management. It will mean conserva-
tion of surface and ground waters, flood protection and soil
conservation, preservation of fish and wildlife resources, con-
struction of more public recreation areas, prevention of salt
water intrusion, and management of our water resources for the
general welfare of all Floridians.
With the rapidly expanding growth and industrial development
of Florida, concern for the protection and allocation of fresh
water resources is vitally important. Recognizing this, the Flori-
da Legislature passed the Water Resources Act of 1972 (Chapter
373, Florida Statutes), which broadened the responsibilities of
the two existing water management districts and established
three additional districts to cover the remaining areas of the
Under Florida's new Constitution, effective in 1968, a referen-
dum is required to create any new special taxing districts. The
special taxing districts, such as the Southwest Florida Water
Management District and the Central and Southern Florida Flood
Control District (which were in existence when the Constitution
went into effect), were preserved. The Water Resources Act of
1972 called for a shift in boundaries of the existing districts.
The current legal opinion of this change is that SWFWMD and
CSFFCD would no longer be the same districts originally cre-
ated and therefore could not levy taxes without approval of the
voters. The referendum calls for a tax, not to exceed 1.0 mill, to
be levied in each district to provide facilities and services for that
district only. This would not represent an increase in millage for
those two existing districts.
Should the referendum fail, funds for maintaining all water
management districts will have to come from the general reve-
nue for distribution through the Department of Environmental
Regulation. DER would then control the total budget of each
management district, effectively removing local program control.
Recognizing the impact of this referendum not only on the
people of Florida in general, but specifically on those in the
engineering profession, the Florida Engineering Society en-
courages everyone to vote "yes" on March 9th.
Let the Voice Of The Engineer
Be Heard! O NO
Vote "YES" on March 9th!
__U RNAL FLORIDA ENGINEERING SOCIETY FEBRUARY, 1976
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