Title: Draft to Ben Burton
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002134/00001
 Material Information
Title: Draft to Ben Burton
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Draft to Ben Burton
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 86
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002134
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


Mr. Ben Burton

As you know, the Hernando County Circuit Court ruled in May, 1975
that the change of boundaries called for in FS S373.069(3) is
of such magnitude as to terminate the corporate existence of
ti. the District, thereby subjecting it to the referendum requirement
of Article VII, Section 9'(b), Florida Constitution. Additionally,
the court held that FS 373.503 (2) is unconstitutional as
vilative of due process and equal protection guarantees. The
appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court, which has
not yet assigned the date for oral arguments.

Assuming that the Supreme Court affirms the ruling of the
Circuit Court, the constitutional amendment authorizing and
limiting local taxes for water management purposes must be
ratified in order to remove SWF from t re ferendum requirements
Sof Article VII, Section 9. Whether or not the constitutional
amendment grants the water management districts the necessary
authority to levy ad valorem taxes/ is subject to disagreement.
We have in our files attorney General opinion 76-7, which concludes
that the amendment does not give the districts specific authority
to levy ad valorem taxes ie scope of the amendment being
restricted to establishing the lim*s of the maximum millage
allowed. The opinion ignores the-Jwo*ing placed on the ballot
as resolved by the legislature:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution authorizing
and limiting local taxes for water management purposes to
not more that one (1) mill.

In t-ther-ca e, passage of the amendment would extract the districts
from the periodic referendum requirements of t Sta constitution.
tThis would pa6tiealy negate the thrust of ui.cJ court's ruling
a-- 1by mooting the due process and equal protection objections to SWF's
ad valorem taxation power. However, passage of the amendment may not
in itself resolve the issue of author' y tq tax Resolution of this
would depend on acceptance or rejectWR'~ Attorney general's



I,; I I 1, i1 i I

f 2 f (DRAFT)

Obviously a reversal of the Circuit Court's holding would positively
grant SWF the ad valorem taxation authority W require#.

The drainage and water management districts organized pursuant to
Chapter 298, Florida Statutes, are public corporations organized
by either the Department of Natural Resources or a group of owners
of contiguous wetlands, overflowed lands, or lands subject to
overflow. The boundaries and powers of these districts are ~c
appeIir at independent of the water management districts
organized pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes. The
Chapter 298 Drainage and Water Management Districts' powers
include: employment of attorney, reclamation of land through
works of the district, eminent domain, taxation, and issuance
of bonds. There are only three specific instances in which
Chapter 373 Water Management Districts interact directly
with Chapter 298 Drainage and Water Management Districts,
these being limited to SWF and C & S's objectionsoand
recommendations '# e existence of such Chapter 298 districts.
P- ESS5298.02 (5), .07(6), and .09(3). A further mention of
cooperation between the districts occurs in FS 373.083,
but it does not refer directly to cooperation between these
two different statutory districts.

The common pointsof interaction between these tco different
i ds of water management districts Uo the Department of
ral Resourcel Under both Chapters 298 and 373 the
Department is the state agency to which the water management
districts must submit their plans for coordination with other
agencies. Further, the comprehensiveness of the Florida
Water Resources Act of 1972 indicates a public policy to
coordinate all water management activities under the guidance
of the Division of Interior Resources of the Department of
Natural Resources. See generally 5298.01, 298.11, .12, .26,
373.023, and .026. 4 -l 4k .af &/

As to Chapter 582 Soil and Water Conservation Districts,
the principal state agency,to which the conservation districts
are accountable, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services, coordinates its activities with the DNR through
FS 582.055. At the lower levels, the board of directors of
any water shed improvement districts organized under Chapter 582,
which lie within either SWF or C & S, "shall consult and advise
with the boards of such districts in order to coordinate the work
of the districts involved." See FS 5582.47. Therefore, Chapter
582 indicates an effort to coordinate water management activities
at both the state and regional levels.


As regards the relationships between Chapters 298 and 582, Districts,
and the Chapter 373, Water Management Districts, other than FWF
and C & S, there is no. specific language comparable to that
referring to SWF and C &6S which could place these remaining
four districts on an even par with FWF & C & S. Amendment of
t l- a rf would be necessary -

.iJi JJJ ji ~ Ji ~;. _~,.r. II


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