Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative

The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1, approved on November 4, 2014, dedicates state funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands. The measure is designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax to fund the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

The official ballot summary was as follows: “Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.”

Amendment 1 will draw its funding from an existing real estate tax, and will dedicate about $1 billion a year of it annually to conservation. The amendment guarantees that for 20 years, one third of the “document stamp” taxes collected on real estate sales would be put into a special account to buy and improve land and waterways for conservation, water protection and improved public access to conservation areas. In the first year (2015-16), the fund is projected to collect more than $600 million.

Publication Date: November 4, 2014

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