Control: Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte.
File Name: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
Agenda Date: 3/15/2006
Agenda Item Number:
ORAL REPORT RE: CHRIS HOLLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte.
Assistant County Attorney Monica Maldonado read the forgoing item into the record.
Mr. Chris Holley, Executive Director, Florida Association of Counties (FAOC), appeared before the Committee and noted the Association was scheduled to speak at joint meetings of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties, which was interrupted by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Mr. Holley noted his presence today was to follow up on that commitment; that Florida was a very large and diverse State and the Association appreciated the support received from Commissioner Heyman and other County Commission members over the years. He noted Commissioner Heyman’s initiative on Article V was an example of one of the major issues.
Mr. Holley addressed the following issues which he noted was the focus of the FAOC’s efforts in Tallahassee this year:
Affordable Housing; and
Eminent Domain Power
The issues involving property taxes ranged from capping ad valorem taxes to portability to save our home designations, Mr. Holly noted. He said the FAOC members appreciated Commissioner Sorenson’s initiative in bringing to their attention the need for some compromise on this portability other then the need for long-term financing. Consequently, the Legislative Executive Committee of the FAOC had endorsed Miami-Dade County’s proposal for a limited, one-time designation based on age.
Mr. Holley noted another major issue facing counties was impact fees. He advised this was a major issue for the State because the State needed to provide proper infrastructure funding for Florida, was a billion dollar per year ticket item for Florida and one of the few sources of infrastructure funding for counties.
Following discussions with the Impact Fee Task Force (IFTF), the FAOC had learned that certain special interest groups were advocating for stronger caps or stronger credit language stated Mr. Holley. He noted the FAOC was concerned about the proper infrastructure throughout Florida and had endorsed the recommendations of the IFTF which were administrative and required proper notification of ordinances to the building community and accountability of monies for specific capital projects. Mr. Holley noted the State recognized the need for infrastructure funding and had suggested some flexibility for Counties implementing infrastructure funding and for dock stamps or some type of transaction fee on real estate to fund infrastructure.
Concerning Medicaid reform, Mr. Holley said the FAOC members were eager see if a Managed Care System and how reform would work in Florida because the future health of Florida was of great concern to its residents, noted Mr. Holley. He said the FAOC would monitor Medicaid reform closely by using trial projects.
Mr. Holley noted the FAOC members supported using the Sadowski Trust Fund for affordable housing, however, because this fund was only partial, Miami-Dade County received approximately $10 million as opposed to an additional $25 million, if this fund were fully funded. He said the Association felt momentum building for additional funding for affordable housing in Florida, which was a major problem. Mr. Holley noted some caps were placed on the distribution of those monies to counties which caused concern to the FAOC members, and discussion had taken place regarding whether to increase the caps on funding distributions or to eliminate this funding completely. He noted the FAOC was advocating for full funding of affordable housing in Florida. Mr. Holley noted Eminent Domain powers for cities and counties in Florida was also a major concern.
Concerning a comment made by Mr. Holley that the County would receive approximately $10 million for the Sadowski Trust Fund and if this fund was fully funded, the County would receive an additional $25 million for affordable housing, Commissioner Moss asked Mr. Holley to check the $25 million figure and report back to the Committee whether it was accurate.
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