Title: Water and Pollution Control Committee Report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002099/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water and Pollution Control Committee Report
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Citrus Mutual
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Water and Pollution Control Committee Report, Feb 20, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 51
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002099
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.

Full Text


-rLA (T 7-s. U vrv tL

\only 70 out of a total of 365 canned
grapefruit juice labels contain Florida

A survey unveiled at this week's
Citrus Commission meeting shows
Florida processors have "Florida ID"
prominently displayed on 25 percent of
processed grapefruit product labe s.
In terms of volume, 39 percent of
the grapefruit product has prominent
Florida identification, according to
Warren Savant, Executive Vice Presi-

.dent of the Florida Canners Association.
The report was particularly sig-
nificant in as much as the Canners
Association has strongly objected to
the adoption of a Commission regulation
which would require "Florida ID" on
processed grapefruit products.
Responding to a Department of
Citrus request, the Canners reported

A total of 26 frozen concentrate
grapefruit juice labels out of 109 have
identification and 39 out of 64 chilled
grapefruit juice labels contain Florida
Savant said the survey represented
95 percent of the 1974-75 retail pack of
the three products.



*-'*TSi0 committee has been studying this
. referendum for seven months and has
held numerous meetings throughout the
State. We have met with informed
leaders and representatives from the
three Water Management Districts
where citrus lands are affected. We
have read countless volumes of ma-
terial on the subject and have thought-
fully considered the pros and cons of
the referendum. We feel that this is
an important issue and now, after a
long and thorough study, we are issuing
the following report.
The proposed amendment to the con-
stitution authorizing and limiting local
taxes for water management purposes
to not more than one (1) mill seeks to
address a dilemma created by the
Florida Resources Act of 1972. This
dilemma resulted from a desire by the
leglslatue to create regional water
management districts with uniform
authority throughout the state.
This 1972 Act required among other
things that there be substantial bound-
.,ary changes in Central and Southern
-Florida: FM!od Control District and the
Southwest Florida Water Management
District, the two existing special dis-
tricts already authorized by enabling
legislation to levy ad valorem taxes of
1 mill and 1.3 mills, respectively.
This transfer, which has been delayed
twice, will take place onDecember 31,
1976. The most recent delay was made
because of a declaratory judgement
issued to the Southwest Water Manage-
ment District in the Fifth Circuit Court,
stating th at any such boundary rede-
signation will result inthese two
special districts no longer existing as
they were originally constituted and as
contemplated by the Florida Con-
stitution of 1968.
The State Constitution, as revised in
1968, contains three provisions which
makes a constitutional amendment

ne c e s-s ai y in solving this dilemma:

1. Article VII, S 1 (a), prohibits
ad valorem taxation for state pur-

2. Article VII, S 9 (b), provides
that special districts may only levy
an ad valorem tax upon referen-
dum approval of the freeholders
residing in the district.

3. Article XII, S 2 & 15, "grand-
fathered" all millages authorized
on the effective date of the re-
vision to be continued "until re-
duced by law. "

The proponents of this referendum
support their positions with the follow-
ing points:

1. That "satisfactory water man-
agement throughout the state will
come quicker and on a sounder
basis if the ad valorem referendum
is passed in March;" That to de-
lay its passage in an effort to work
out the existing problems with
water management fir st, would
take several years and would have
an adverse effect upon sound water
management in Florida; "A vote
for this constitutional amendment
will be a vote for Fall funding for.
locally controlled water manage-
ment. "

2. That if t h e referendum do c s
not pass the Flood Control District
and the Southwest Water Manage-
ment District could no longer exist
because there aren't enough funds
in general revenue to replace the
current ad valorem taxes gener-
ated in these two districts.

3. That "if it doesn't pass, it will
mean double taxation for the thirty-
three counties and the 65 percent

of the people of the state who pres-
ently reside in the two existing
districts." This would result be-
cause the two existing special
districts would continue to be
authorized to levy ad valorem
taxes under existing statutes while
the rest of the districts would be
supported by general funds.

The persons campaigning for the rati-
fication of this amendment admit that
there are unresolved problems regard-
ing water management. They believe,
however, that these problems can best
be worked out after an ad valorem tax
base is established and the funds are
made available. It is their hope that
the majority of Florida's present pop-
ulation who r e side in the Flood Con-
trol and Water Management Districts
will "grant" or "impose" the "benefits"
or "burdens" of advaloremtaxation on
the minority residing in the three post-
1968 districts.

The Committee comments on this .
reasoning are as follows:

1. We fail to see the urgency of /
passing this amendment in March .
since this does not me an funding ,.
for water management purposes ,
this Fall. There is no provision 2' ,'
specifying a different effective date
than that established by A r t i c le
XI, S 5 (c), of the State Constitu-
tion. Thus, if ratified in March,
1976, the amendment would take '
effect on January 4, 1977. Since
tax assessments are based on the J
evaluation as of January 1, the
governing boards would not be _
authorized to levy their mill age -
until the 1978 tax year. So time
really is not an issue, and funding "
doesn't have to be considered in
isolation from the unresolved

2. .The Committee on Natural Re-
source s in their Florida Water
Management, (Report One), sug-
gests that the legislature may
choose to further delay or totally
abandon the boundary change in-
stead of losing the millions of dol-
lars of ad valorem taxes gener-
ated in the Flood Control and South-
west Water Districts. This option
would maintain the taxing author-
ity in these two districts, and the
remaining Districts would continue
to be funded through general rev-
enue. In view of the present State
financial problems, we think this
would be a reasonable conclusion.

3. *Present legislation "spells"
out what can be done with the money
collected by ad valorem taxes.
(Operation and maintenance of
work, construction of facilities,
etc.) In the first 20 years of its
operations (1950-1970) the
Flood Control District received
$62,803,461 in State General
Revenue Funds. These monies
were matched with Federal Ap-
propriations of $176,422,000, and
revenues generated by Ad Valorem
taxation amounting to $75, 797, 563.
The history of the Southwest Flor-
ida Water Management District
reflects a similar pattern of the
substantial commitment of general
revenue dollars to fund localized
construction projects. The 1975
Appropriations Act provides
$2,343,000 in general revenue
funds to the FCD and $1,828,400
to SWFWMAD for fixed capital out-
lay. In addition, all five districts
receive $400,000 each in general
revenue funding for general oper-
ations. These figures clearly
show that the people residing in
the FCD and SWFW1.:D will not be
subject to double taxation.

arida's water liroblems are neither
mstant or similar. Each of the new
-stricts have their distinctive topo-
.raphical differences which distin-
-ishes them from the other districts.
.e flatlands of South Florida make it
-ticularly susceptible to b ot h flood
:_! drought, while relief of the upper
;-irons of the State allows for reser-
-rs and flood control structures.
.- entire State of Fl or ida does not
-d intensive water management, and
allow the entire State to vote on an
valorem tax of up to one (1) mill for
Water Management Districts except
_Oth mill for Northwest Florida
strict is not reasonable.


1. A local ad valorem tax for local
water management projects is a proper
use of this type of tax. Land directly
benefits from water management.

2. The use of sub-districts or b a sin
boards is ad v i s.a b e as t hi s brings
government closer to those governed.

3. The proposed amendment is mis-
Se a ding and an unacceptable funding
tool. The ballot omits a portion of the
amendment being voted on; with the
minor but unexplained tax discrepancy
in the Northwest District.

4. There is an unquestionable in-
equity in the one full mill for most of
the state and only 1/20th of a mill for
the Northwest portion.
5. It is merely a matter of time until
the water management boards are re-
apportioned. At that point, the im-
portance of separate river basin boards
or sub-districts withavoice in de-
cisions concerning the millage levy
will become much more apparent. If
the issue is not addressed prior to the
reapportionment of the water manage-
ment boards, it is foreseeable that the
good policy within the SWFWMD could
be reversed, so that all of the water
management districts would be like
Central and Southern.

6. Water management cannot be con-
sidered as a separate issue from the
other natural and man made resources.
Each planning community should be
required to live within its own re-
sources, or to identify and be able and
willing to support the cost of exceeding
those limitations.

7. A major shortcoming exists in the
lack of any working provision for co-
ordination between planning agencies.
Not only are there duplications of
responsibility, but in the Develop-
ments of Regional Impact, the water
management districts are not involved.
8. The legislature has no plan of how
to use the "new found" tax money if the
referendum passes. Presently, some
funds are matched with those generated
by ad valorem taxes, but in a money
crunch year, the legislature could well
not grant general revenue funds and -
raise the mill age on property for ad
valorem taxes.
9. There is no emergency to pass the
referendum. Even if t he referendum
passes, the complexity of the State
Constitution and the Florida Statutes
would delay the water management dis-
tricts from receiving any funds until at

SNovember, 1978.

10. Financing of water -management
districts sho u I d not be considered in
isolation from the other issues which
remain unresolved in water manage-
ment. We are getting "the cart before
the horse" in attempting to deal with
funding at this time.


1. We b e I I e v e that the most appro-
priate or o a ru ual
to do is to actively support t he defeat
of the referendum, thus sending the
pro tem le re. The
legislatre has the authority and the
responsibiltv tn deal with the prQblems
facing sound water management in

2. Florida Citrus Mutualrequests the
Florida State Legislature, during the
1976 session, to assure that:

(a) Subdistricts such as water
basin boards are required
within all water management

(b) The voluntary basin boards or
subdistricts have strong input
on the levy of tax village
within its area for physical
watermanagement of pro-

(c) Representatives from such
basin boards be required to ,
have membership on the over-
all water management district

(d) The continued funding for gen-
eral administrative and regu-
latory functions from general
revenue, since these are
activities which are of benefit
to all Floridians.

(e) Wherever possible, taxation
at the local level furnish as
much of the funding as possible -
for physical water manage-
ment projects within the local

(f) That satisfactory funding be
provided either from local or
state funds to m at ch federal
funds for the construction of
major water management

3. Florida Citrus Mutual's staff be
instructed to implement this report and
the report be given wide circulation
throughout the media in the State of
Florida. A

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