Florida governor backs conservation ballot initiative
Floridians will be asked to vote on a land conservation ballot initiative, Amendment 4, next week. At an Audubon of Florida event on Friday, the measure got some high-level support from Gov. Charlie Crist (R).
“It’s a political year, I don’t know if you realize, but we have an election coming up. And there’s an important amendment, regarding conservation,” Crist said. “It’s Amendment 4, and I encourage you to support it … I think it’s great for Florida, and I’m endorsing it.”
The measure, which needs the approval of 60 percent of the state’s voters to pass, will give a property-tax exemption for land placed under permanent protection, and it would direct the legislature to pass a law to allow land currently being used for conservation purposes, though not permanently set aside as such, to be taxed according to its conservation use.
Enviros are praising Crist for stepping up in favor of the initiative. “Gov. Crist has demonstrated true leadership on climate change,” said Eric Draper, deputy director and policy director of the Florida Audubon Society, in a statement. “The governor’s support for Amendment 4, Florida’s land conservation amendment, is yet another example of that leadership in action.”
Here’s video of the endorsement: