You haven’t seen a negative ad on Amendment one this year. It is one of the least controversial measures on the ballot this year, setting aside a tax already being collected for land conservation, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, even its few opponents say it will pass.
One every sale of every property, the state collects what is known as a documentary stamp tax. Beginning in 1990, A portion of the money…three hundred million a year, has been used to buy conservation land under the Florida Forever Program. Until the bottom fell out.
Environmentalists collected more than a million petitions to let voters decide if the funding should be restored.
The amendment was born out of frustration. Money for land buying and conservation has dropped more than 90% over the last five years.” Will Abberger from Yes on One
Says the amendment is needed to create green spaces as teh state grows. “This is an existing funding source. It has been used for decades for water and land conservation. It was diverted. And what we are doing is restoring it back to its original purpose” says Abberger.
The Amendment has token opposition. The Florida Chamber doesn’t want the funding written into the constitution, but even its polling shows the amendment a slam dunk. Chamber Vice President David Hart says even environmentalists should vote against it.
“It appears to be hovering in the mid 70’s of support so it will likely pass, but that doesn’t mean its the right thing to do” says Hart.
Without big bucks for TV, the campaign has been mostly by mail. But environmentalists did enlist the help of Jim Fowler. He’s the former host of one of TV’s longest running animal programs. “The number of tourists that come into Florida because of you open space, wildlife, and wilderness, is probably one of the greatest revenue producers of anything” says Fowler.
In its first year, the amendment is expected to allocate more 600 million to land and water conservation.
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