Title: Information About the Constitutional Amendment for Water Management Taxes to be Voted on March 9, 1976
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 Material Information
Title: Information About the Constitutional Amendment for Water Management Taxes to be Voted on March 9, 1976
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Information About the Constitutional Amendment for Water Management Taxes to be Voted on March 9, 1976, Jan 12, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 95
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002143
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.

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^ RECEIVED

Information About the Constitutional Amendment JAN12 1976
for Water Management Taxes to be Voted on
March 9, .976
By


The Water\Management Constitutional Amendment enacted by

the 1975 Legislature authorizes property taxes to be levied

specifically for water management purposes. Upon adoption by

the voters at the March 9th Presidential Primary Election this

amendment enables the Legislature to authorize water management

districts to levy up to one mill tax on property. Further voter

approval would not be required for the water management districts

to levy these taxes. The amendment would equalize the taxing

authority of the recently created water management districts with

the existing authority of the older districts, except in northwest

Florida where only up to .05 mills could be authorized.

Adoption of the amendment will'further implementation of

Florida's landmark Water Resources Act enacted by the Legislature

in 1972. Enactment of this legislation by the Florida Legislature

reflected a deep and continuing concern for the protection of

Florida's fresh water resources. The Water Resources-Act

broadened and strengthened the regulatory powers of the existing

water management districts and established additional districts

to cover the State. It creates a State and Local Government

partnership to manage Florida's water and related land resources,

to prevent flood damage, to preserve fish and wildlife, and to

assure that water will be available for homes, agriculture and

industry.


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The Water Resources Act is administered through the State

Department of Environmental Regulation and six regional water

management districts. Local residents appointed by the Governor

and confirmed by the State Senate serve on the nine-member

governing boards directing the operations of the districts.

The existing districts include: The Central and Southern

Florida Flood Control District, the Southwest Florida Water

Management District, Northwest Florida Water Management District,

St. Johns River Water Management District, Suwannee River Water

Management District, and Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast Water Manage-

ment District.

The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District in

1949 and the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 1961

were given authority for ad valorem taxation by the Legislature.

They also receive general revenue from the State as do the newer

water management districts created pursuant to the 1972 legisla-

tion. None of the newly created water management districts

presently levy ad valorem taxes for their operations.

In passage of the Water Resources Act, the Legislature

showed a deep appreciation of the lessons learned in south

Florida: comprehensive water management through planning and

regulation is less costly economically and environmentally than

crisis-oriented remedial measures stimulated by droughts and

floods. Passage of the Constitutional Amendment will help

insure that the required planning and regulatory programs at

the heart of the Water Resources Act will be appropriately


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funded. Through the Act the regional agencies may be delegated

regulatory authority by the State Department of Environmental

Regulation. It is axiomatic that delegated responsibilities

must be accompanied by adequate dollars to carry out expected

duties.

The Constitutional Amendment will enable the State Legisla-

ture to evaluate particular planning and management programs

within each of the water management districts and, based on

these evaluations, appropriate required general revenue funds

and also authorize each local governing board to levy a limited

property tax to support these programs. Importantly, the work

of each district can be reviewed and evaluated annually by the

Legislature and general revenue and tax authorization set as

necessary.

A system of locally controlled districts and coordination

of them by the Department of Environmental Regulation were

provided for by the Water Resources Act. While the State

coordinates,decisions as to planning and the issuance of regula-

tory permits are vested with local residents. The Constitutional

Amendment will insure that such a balanced approach to water

management will continue to exist in Florida.

Also, a vote for the Constitutional Amendment means a

reduction in the property tax millage presently authorized by

law. Southwest Florida Water Management District may now levy

a maximum of 1.3 mills for water management purposes. Central




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and Southern Florida Flood Control District may tax up to

1 mill. Sixty-five percent of the State's population lives

in these two districts. Passage of the Constitutional Amendment

will insure that ad valorem taxes levied within these districts

will not be increased. Taxes in the Southwest Florida Water

Management District would actually be reduced.

A vote for the water management amendment will reflect

statewide concern for resource management in Florida. It will

send a message to the Legislature that Floridians want sound

programs of water management and planning.

In summary, the Amendment provides for better implementa-

tion of Florida's landmark Water Resources Act of 1972. It

would solidify the State-Local partnership in water management

and continue to vest with local residents the responsibility

for daily planning, management and regulatory decisions in each

district. It recognizes that delegated responsibilities require

money and affords the State Legislature an opportunity to annually

evaluate district responsibilities and provide necessary funds

and taxing authority.

The Amendment assures that the Central and Southern Florida

Flood Control District can continue to levy up to one mill but

it also provides that Southwest Florida Water Management District

will decrease its authorized millage by .3 mill.
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Finally, adoption of the Constitutional Amendment will

demonstrate that Floridians support sound water management

and want a quality environment.




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EXHIBIT ONE







Senate Joint Resolution No. 1061
A JOINT RESOLUTION proposing an 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 Florida:
That the following amendment to Section 9 of Article VII of the State
Constitution is hereby agreed to and shall be submitted to the electors
of this state for approval or rejection at the general election to be held in
November 1976:
ARTICLE VII
FINANCE AND TAXATION
SECTION 9. Local Taxes.-
(a) Counties, school districts, and municipalities 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 pur-
poses, except ad valorem taxes on intangible personal property and taxes
prohibited 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 author-
ized by vote of the electors who are the owners of freeholds therein not
wholly exempt from taxation, shall not be levied in excess of the.following
villages upon the assessed value of real estate and tangible personal prop-
erty: 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 betwuce
Wvnges two and three cast, 0.05 mill; for water management purposes for
the remaining portions of the state, 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 by
law, levy additional taxes within the limits fixed for municipal purposes.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be placed
on the ballot:
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE VII, SECTION 9
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution authorizing and limit-
ing local taxes for water management purposes to not more than one (1)
mill.




RANGE
2 3


ST. JOHNS RIVER
WATER MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT
I.


NORTHWEST FLORIDA
WATER MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT


SUWANNEE RIVER
WATER MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT


SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT


FINAL BOUNDARY


SOUTH
FLORIDA WATER
MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT


AREAS TO BE EFFECTED BY
BOUNDARY CHANGE


EXHIBIT TWO


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