Forever Florida Petition

Senator Doug Broxson
418 West Garden Street
4th Floor, Room 403
Pensacola, FL 32502

318 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

Representative Alex Andrade
226 South Palafox Place, Suite 401B
Pensacola, FL 32502-5828

1401 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Representative Jayer Williamson
4519 Woodbine Road
Pace, FL 32571-8706
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Senator George B. Gainer
840 West 11th Street
Panama City, FL 32401

302 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

Representative Mike Hill
8800 North 9th Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32514-8058

1101 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Representative Matt Gaetz
1721 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

1170 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Bldg. 4, Rm 454
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

226 S. Palafox Place, 6th Floor
Pensacola, FL 32502

Dear Senators and Representatives:

It has been five years since over 75% of Florida voters approved the Water and Land Conservation Amendment with the primary purpose of restoring land conservation funding. The initiative requires 33% of documentary stamp taxes, applied to real estate transfers, to go toward the land acquisition trust fund.

Prior to 2009, the legislation had funded Florida Forever for nearly 20-years at a recurring 300 million. After that, the program saw drastic reduction in funding; this past legislative session saw 33 million allocated to the program. However, not all funds set aside by the amendment have gone exclusively to land services. When you look at the last five years, at least a 1/3 of the funds have gone to operational or administrative expenses.

It is estimated that the documentary stamp tax for 2019-2020 will be 2.78 billion; 1/3 or 33% of would be over 900 million. In the 2019-2020 budget 319 million was spent on Everglades protection, a reservoir project, springs protection and Lake Apopka. An additional 34.5 million was spent on traditional Florida Forever projects. This leaves approximately 500 million that should have been allocated to the land acquisition trust fund unaccounted for.

We are requesting that 33% of documentary stamp funds, placed in the land acquisition trust fund, be used for its intended purpose, the conservation and restoration of our waterways and natural resources.
Currently on the Florida Forever Priority List, approved by the BOT but requiring the funding needed for
conservation, we request that the following areas be acquired:

• Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie (Escambia County)
• Coastal Headwaters Longleaf Forest (Escambia/Santa Rosa Counties)
• Lower Perdido River Buffer (Escambia County)
• Florida’s First Magnitude Springs (Walton/ Washington/ Bay/ Jackson/ Wakulla/ Leon/ Hamilton/ Madison/ Suwannee/ Lafayette/ Levy/ Marion/ Hernando/ Gilchrist/ Citrus Counties)
• Clear Creek/ Whiting Field (Santa Rosa County)
• Garcon Ecosystem (Santa Rosa County)
• West Bay Preservation Area (Bay County)
• Seven Runs Creek Phase 2 (Walton/ Washington Counties)
• Sand Mountain (Washington/ Bay Counties)
• Shoal River Buffer (Okaloosa County)
• Upper Shoal River (Walton County)
• Wolfe Creek Forest (Santa Rosa/Madison/ Taylor Counties)
• Bear Creek Forest (Bay/ Calhoun/ Gulf Counties)
• Strategic Managed Area Lands List (Alachua/ Bay/ Broward/ Charlotte/ Clay/ Collier/ Columbia/ Dade/ Desoto/ Dixie/ Gadsden/ Gilchrist/ Hamilton/ Lafayette/ Levy/ Manatee/ Marion/ Orange/ Putnam/ Santa Rosa/ St. Johns/ St. Lucie/ Sumter/ Taylor/ Union/ Volusia/ Wakulla/ Washington Counties)
• Apalachicola River (Jackson/ Gadsden/ Liberty/ Calhoun/ Gulf Counties)


Forever Florida Petition