Taxes: On the Ballot

Material Information

Taxes: On the Ballot
Tampa Tribune


Subjects / Keywords:
Water management ( jstor )
Water resources ( jstor )
Property taxes ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Taxes: On the Ballot, March 8, 1976
General Note:
Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 36
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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TAXES: On oThe I :




By JIM DAWKINS South Florida Water Management
Tribune Staff Writer District, ihich extends from a portion
Florida voters will decide tomor. .of Orange County on the north and
row if water management funding,. includes the.remainder of South Flori-
like school and county funding, should da not in the Southwest district. are-
be based on property taxes. currently allowed a one mill max--
A constitutional amendment is on imum. .. ..
the ballot tomorrow to allow property .Th e two veteran districts,
taxes to be used for water manage- Southwest and Central and South
ment purposes and to limit the max- Florida, together include 43 per cent
imum amount a water district can of the state, 56 per cent of the state's
tax. taxable property and 65 per cent of
The amendment would allow a thetotalpopulation.
maximum tax of one mill ($1 per Thd state water resources act of
$1.000 of taxable property value) for 1972 divided the entire state into
water management areas in all ex- water management districts focusing
cept northwest Florida. attention on water as a statewide
THERE, IN A predominantly rural With that act, the St Johns River
area, a half-mill (50 cents per $1.000 Water Management District, the Su-
taxable property value) would be the wanee River Water Management Dis-
maximum allowed. trict and the Northwest Florida Water
Residents of all or portions of 33 of Management District, came into
the itate's 67 counties already pay being.
property taxes to finance water man- IN 198 though, Florida voters had
agement projects. The amendment approved a state constitution includ-
would make the practice possible ing a provision that special taxing dis-
statewide. tricts must have referendum approval
The Southwest Florida Water Man- before levying taxes. .
agement District, comprised df all or Funding for the three new districts
parts of 15 counties stretching from consequently had to come from state
Marion County to Charlotte County funds rather than local taxes.
and east to mid-Polk County has the The amendment would allow those
power to levy property taxes. districts ai guarantee revenue poten-
The difference is the taxing power tial based on local taxes rather than
allows a maximum 1.3 mills to be state funding.. *
levied. The constitutional amendment The 1968 constitution while creat-
would lower the potential maximum ing 'the three 'new districts caused
toonemill. problems for Southwest and the Cen-
tral and South Florida districts.
management purposes in the Central See WATER, Page 2

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SWater Districts

On The Ballot -
SFromPage 'I
IN DIVIDING the state into the
state district, plus an interim district.
the intent was to change boundaries
to more accurately follow water basin
and water resource natural bounda-
The two veteran districts already
Existed and did not have to comply
with referendum requirements. The
boundary changes caused the prob-
lem. 0 ,
A circuit court ruled if the bounda-
ry changes were carried out, the
Southwest district would materially
change and in effect be a new district
required to .comply with the referen-
S dum provision.
District officials currently. have
S that' ruling under appeal before the
Florida SupremeCourt. >. '"
.1. 2 A
postponed the boundary change, due
to the tax question, and proposed the
current constitutional amendment to
provide taxing powers for all dis-
:f tricts.

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Proponents of the amendment say
the amendment is one of the most im-
portant issues to face Florida voters.
Unless the amendment passes,
they contend. Central and South Flori-
da and Southwest districts' residents -
will be double taxed once by their
district and then in state tax revenue
having to be used to fund the other
three newer districts.
Proponents also contend the _
amendment would allow more local '-
control than if all districts ultimately
have to turn to the state for funding.
: OPPONENTS SAY gaps exist in
the proposal and they fear, taxing
powers in the hands of.non-elected
bodies such as the gubernatorially ap-
pointed district governing boards. 4,,
Jf the amendment does not pass.
legislators have indicated the legisla-
ture may again delay the boundary
changes while another source of reve-
nueis found. ,

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