Vote Yes on 1

The Agency on Bay Management has joined dozens of organizations across the state, endorsing Amendment 1 on the November ballot. The amendment would restore the funding that has made Florida a national leader in protecting environmentally sensitive lands.

The amendment would not raise taxes to purchase and manage conservation lands.
Officially known as the Florida Water and Land Legacy, the amendment would not raise taxes to purchase and manage conservation lands. Instead, it would set aside 33% of the documentary fee on real estate transactions, originally created in 1990 to fund Preservation 2000 and continued as Florida Forever.

Until the recession, Florida spent about $300 million per year from “doc stamp” funds to purchase and manage public lands. Over the past few years, that money has been diverted to the general fund and less than $15 million per year has been spent to acquire conservation lands since 2011. “We need to assure that natural resources are protected,” said Laurie MacDonald, speaking to ABM for the legacy group.

“It was a shock to many of us involved in land conservation to see funding zero out,” added Sally Thompson, a long-time ABM member who also has held leadership positions with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. “It’s been a bipartisan effort for so many years.”

According to recent polls, about 75% of voters support the amendment and no major opposition group has stepped forward, MacDonald said.

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