Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan

Material Information

Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan
St Petersburg Times


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


Audubon Group Opposes Water Management Plan, 3/7/1976
General Note:
Box 11, Folder 3 ( Final Report: Environmental Efficiency Study Commission - 1987-88 ), Item 13
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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Audubon group opposes

water management plan

Editor. There is no organization which
supports sound water management more vigor-
ously than the Florida Audubon Society. We
must, however, take strong exception to the
Times editorial of Feb. 27 entitled "For water
We believe that the nebulous wording of
%, the Constitutional amendment which will be
presented to the voters March 9 will serve to
weaken water management under Florida's
landmark Water Resources Act, should it be
approved by the electorate.
BECAUSE THE amendment broadly au-
thorizes ad valorem taxation for "water man-
agement purposes" instead of specifying that
such taxation is intended to be granted only to
Florida's five water management districts, a
whole host of government entities will become
eligible to enter the water management field to
compete with established water management
districts for the authority to control the vital
resources of our state if the amendment is ap-
Many of these entities, such as drainage
districts established under FS. 298, and soil
and water conservation districts established

of the
far to
ten so
ety u
rent a
i. o

under FS. 582 have long and notorious records ida'
of despoiling the environment at the behest of ly co
special interests. If the amendment passes in which
its current form, the question of which local 9 is
agencies will get to levy the tax will be left many
entirely to the yearly whims of the Legislature. Charl
THE ARBITRARY split in millage caps ocie
provided in the amendment, which would al-
low a rate of taxation 20 times greater in penin-
sular Florida than in the Panhandle, should be
sufficient to debunk the argument that pas-
sage of the amendment *ill serve to eliminate
the "double taxation" which results from the
reliance of the three new water management
districts on funds from general revenue. In
truth, taxpayers throughout the state will re-
main obligated to continue the support of the
Northwest Florida Water Management Dis-
trict should the amendment pass because that
agency will never be able to generate sufficient
revenues under the ridiculously low 1/20 of a
mill tax cap.
The completely arbitrary millage cap split
also raises very real questions about the
amendment's legal validity, as no other por-
tion of the Florida Constitution treats onearea

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state in a manner so differently from the

Important an issue to be tied to the fate
institutional amendment which is writ-.
poorly. While the Florida Audubon Soci-
iderstands the strong desire of the cur-
mendment's supporters to provide a sta-
nd equitable source of revenue for Flor-
ive water management districts, and ful-
ncurs in that objective, the proposal
will be presented to the voters on March
mply so inept that it threatens to create
more problems than it will solve. -
es Lee, vice president, Florida AuLubop
,y. Maetlan^i


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