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Experts Split On Water District Tax
Two environmental ex p e r t s
agreed on the need for better
water management but clashed
on how to bring that about during
' Thursday's opening session of the
Florida Audubon Society's three-
day workshop on water control at
the Kahler Plaza, Orlando.
The key issue is a March 9
referendum setting property tax
funding for Florida's five new
water management districts.
THE AUDUBON society's board
of directors will take a position on
the controversial referendum at a
meeting Saturday after hearing
more experts today.
Art Marshall, former chairman
of the governing board of the St.
Johns River Water Management
District and a Florida ecology
expert 25 years, said most of the
districts now receive 95 per cent of
their funding directly from the
Marshall said the property tax
levy would be used primarily for
construction dams, canals,
drainage basins and the like.
JOHN DeGROVE, director of
the Joint Center for Environmen-
tal And Urban Problems for
Florida International and Florida
Atlantic universities, called pre-
sent state funding to water dis-
tricts "inadequate" and said "the
situation is not likely to change in
"We must have a state-local
fiscal partnership, not to dig
canals and screw up the environ-
ment but for necessary
environmental studies and
management," DeGrove said.
The state amendment that is the
subject of the March 9 referendum
sets a one-mill cap on taxes for
most of the state but a .05 mill
cap for the western Panhandle.
Marshall said the disparity
creates a problem "and I don't
know how it could be resolved."
DeGrove said the disparity is
"unfortunate" but said, "it could
be changed, maybe with another
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