| Material Information
||Water Issue on Ballot
||North America -- United States of America -- Florida
||Water Issue on Ballot, Feb 6, 1976
||Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 88
||Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
FEB 6 1976
Tribe Staff Writer
.-. BROOKSVILLE The future of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District
and its basin board concept of operation will be
determined by a referendum vote in the March
i presidential primary election.
The referendum will be an amendment to
the Florida Constitution to permit the levy of a
,statewide ad valorem tax for water manage-
-':;.INCLUDED IS a stipulation that the max-
imum tax levy would be one mill, reducing the
Southwest Florida district's taxing capability
Sby three-tenthsof a mill.
State Sen. Philip D. Louis. D-West Palm
Beach. recently said. "There is not one issue
more important to the people of this state than.
this issue of March 9."
The Southwest Florida Water Management
District would be jeopardized because of a le-
gislative boundary change and a subsequent
court decision that put the district's taxing abil-
ity in limbo.
Circuit Judge E. C. Aulls ruled at a hearing
.April 29, 1975. that the proposed boundary
Changes would so materially revise the configu-
ration of the water district that it would no
Longer have its special taxing power authorized
before the state constitution was revised in
That circuit court decision is currently in the
appellate process of putting the question before
the Florida Supreme Court.
Hernando County Atty. Bruce Snow said the
supreme court has docketed an appeal hearing
for Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
WATER BOARD staffer E. D. Vergara said
That when the law was passed by the state leg-
islature, it was never dreamed that the funding
of critical programs would be jeopardized or
,that the approximate $30 million program now
carried out by the two water management dis-
tricts in the state would be unexpectedly
thrown on the state.
He said the 1975 legislature, faced with a
growing need for effective management of the
state's water, postponed implementation of the
boundary changes until a more definite analy-
sis of the taxing problem was available.
With the issue unresolved, the constitutional
amendment referendum will be offered to state
..voters March 9.
Politicians and water experts say the state's
water problems will continue to mount as the
'Florida population expands, thus the need for a
continuation of water management districts. ,
The water district now operates on what is
known as the "basin board concept." which
-allows each district resident.an opportunity to
remain Involvedatarea levels.
A BASIN BOARD at each of 10 watershed
basin controls projects and expenditures, with
the district board of governors acting on recom-
mendations from those basin boards.
SLocal ad valorem taxes finance each board
project, with the district board eligible to re-
celve millions annually from state and federal
SPostponements of the constitutional amend-
ment say failure of voters to approve the one-
mill maximum taxing power would throw the
entire burden upon the state. If water manage-
ment is to continue.