- Permanent Link:
- Memo: Major Points Against the Referandum by Dr. Art Marshall and Frank Caldwell
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Taxes ( jstor )
Water management ( jstor )
Water resources ( jstor )
- Spatial Coverage:
- North America -- United States of America -- Florida
- Memo: Major Points Against the Referandum by Dr. Art Marshall and Frank Caldwell, 1/26/1976, To: Don From: E.D. Vergara
- General Note:
- Box 10, Folder 1 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1975 - 1975 ), Item 22
- Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
- Source Institution:
- Levin College of Law, University of Florida
- Holding Location:
- Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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- All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT INTER-OFFICE MEMORANDUM
D. VERGARA, Deputy Excutw Dicdtor for Irnaatnewy Coovton
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ART MARSHALL'S reasons for opposing the March Referendum:
1. Ad valoremn taxes as a basis for funding special taxing districts
for special purposes is being challenged across the nation. Cited
California case where it was ruled unconstitutional to levy
ad valorem taxes to finance education.
2. Florida is retirement state where many people live on fixed
incomes. Increased taxes will increase the burden for these people.
3. "Poor wording" of the referendum does not designate who will
be authorized to levy the ad valorem tax for Water Management
purpose. There are over "400 special taxing Districts" that
could be given the authority "for water management purposes
other than water management Districts. Pointed out lack of
clarity and basic mistrust of Legislative intent in their regard.
Fears minor and aftniiscule water districts would then have fund
base to sponsor drainage programs that have essentially been
stopped today because of lack of money.
4. No date provided for implementation of tax authority for new
districts. Current law somehow prevents new districts from
benefiting from tax authority until 1978. Marshall indicated
this was bad, but in the next breath asked, "what's the hurry?"
5. Indicated 373 says General revenue funds were to finance
"General regulatory and administrative functions" of water management
Districts why ad4valorem taxes were to be used for, "water resource
programs that would benefit limited segments of the population."
Allows WMD's to continue their philosophy of Construction whereas
he wants a non-construction philosophy to be followed by HMD's.(see #7)
6. Users tax-those benefiting should pay the cost. Said this has
been recommended by the National Water Commission.
7. Marshall supports "non-structural" answers to water management
problems. Says tax authority will allow a continuation of the
opposite philosophy which now dominates the collective minds of
the water management boards.
8. Approval of the referendum will allow appointed boards to be
in control of cohitrUction'(structural concepts) dollars.
9. Lacks confidence in the environmental concerns of the existing
water management Boards. Cited Kissemmee-Okeechobee fiasco and
permit to Duda & Sons. (diking off of part of Upper St. Johns
natural floodplain to create pastureland.).
10. Claims 1974 Water Authority Act is "Water Treaty Act" which
authorizes WMD's to get into the water transport business. He
stated is a "fact and more than a rumor" that SWFWMD wants to build
a pipeline from Suwannee to Tampa Bay. Also mentioned tapping
such as Silver Springs and transporting elsewhere. Said Legislature
took opposing position when it passed 1972 Water Resources Act,
which says people are wrong and water is right, and the 1974 Act
which says people are right and water is wrong.
11. Pointed out that today' "construction" philosophy is
producing high ener flood control works requiring tremendous
amounts of electrical and petroleum energy as well as a continuing
supply of dollars to maintain. Dollars and energy are both in short supply.
12. WMD's like most agencies have a narrow scope of purpose and do not
consider the impact its actions have on other important areas of society.
For example, it has no responsibility in areas relating to growth of
urban centers or water quality but its taxing authority allows it to
undertake construction projects that can seriously and detrementally
affect these areas.
13. Tax authority provides said money for additional State and Federal
funding for construction.
14. NMD Board members are responsible to no one and can continue
mistakes such as Kissemmee-Oeechobee project as witnessed by Southwest's
pipeline from the Suwannee and "one district's intention to put dams
on the Appulachicola River."
15. The .05 tax for MFWD Is an Inequity in itself.
16. The line separating 1.0 mill area from .05 mill area splits counties
which raises serious legal questions and other problems.
17. Suwannee & S.W. Fla. Districts do not conform to natural
watershed boundaries as they should.
Basically wants failure of this referendum because he doesn't want
these evils "inscribed in thiegranite of the Constitution."
Governor call special session of legislature to get the question
off the ballot.
Have legislature "clean up" the problems cited and re-schedule
the vote for November's general election ballot.
Frank Caldwell added the following in opposition to the referendum:
1, The constitutional permission levy 1.0 mi11 for water management
purposes if given to one agency will cause others who now levy
taxes for water management purposes to lose that authority. This
could cause major problems for counties, some cities and perhaps
other agencies who might have significant efforts underway.
2. If the referendum fails and the transfers are delayed, it is
known that there is a person or group of persons at this time
Intending to file suit against SNFWMD and FCD attacking their
taxing authority. The basis for their position would be failure
of the referendum and the apparent rejection by the people of
being taxed for this purpose.