Title: Statement from Senator Philip D. Lewis
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002119/00001
 Material Information
Title: Statement from Senator Philip D. Lewis
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Statement from Senator Philip D. Lewis, Feb 18, 1976
General Note: Box 10, Folder 2 ( SF Taxation, ad valorem tax referendum-SWFWMD-1976 - 1976 ), Item 71
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002119
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

* '

71 F 18

A9: 55

"' *


I am outlining below my reasoning for
supporting the referendum concerning
nd valorem tax funding forwater man-
agement districts.

Simply stated, it is my feeling that the
day of satisfactory water management
in Florida will come quicker and on a
sounder basis if the ad valorem refer-
endum is pass c d this March. This
referendum authorizes a village cap
of I mill on the bulk of peninsular
Florida, with the ex c pt on that the
Northwest Florida Water Management
District is authorized a limitation of
1/20th of a mill.

No taxes can be I e vi ed in any of the
districts w i t hout enabling legislation
from the legislatu re. Thus, if the
referendum is passed in March, the
legislature will he forced to face up to
the enabling responsibilities.

Some of the specific problems whi ch
the legislature must address will be
such things as:

(1) The opportunity to refine the
creation and definition of basin
boards within all districts;

(2) The creation of a coordinated
approach between the w a tc r
management districts and the
planning agencies of thle state;

(3) A more clearly defined rela-
tionship c o n ce r n i n. water
quality between the Depart-
ment of Environmental Regu-
lation and the water manage-
ment districts;

(-4) Modification of presentlypro-
posed boundaries of some
basins to m ore corre ctly
represent the coinmmunality of
interest by proper hydrolog-
ical boundaries.

The creation of a sound ad valoremi tax
base for financing water management
districts will mean that the agricultural
interests of Florida and the people of
Florida will be represented by a local
board. This type of local control is
essential. If this doesn't exist, p:r-
mitting and other functions will be more
likely to end up in the bureaucratic
morass of Tallahassee. It can best be
maintained with local ad valorem taxes
and is less apt to be maintained if water
management districts are funded from
general revenue.

There simply aren't the funds in gen-
eral revenue to replace the current ad
valorem laxes in Central and South
Florida and the Southwest Water Man.-
agement Districts. One must ask what
other funding alternatives are there.
Some would respond with a consumptive
use tax. At this point I find that highly
objectionable. Any general revenue
that goes to fund the water management
districts will of necessity force in-
creased taxes of some other kind or
will minimize other programs.

Ad valorem taxation places the burden
on the beneficiary and is th us a iecry
fair tax. It forms tIlhe basis to main-
tain local control as to how the monies
are actually spent and this is certainly
the desirable feature.

In summary, I would conclude wi t h a
thou light that now is the best time to
crc ate ad valorem traxLtion authority
and this c eat ion offers, t he single
greatest opportunity for the farmer to
exercise the local control of water
manager ent which he currently enjQys
in Peninsular Florida.

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