Frequently Asked Questions
"Won't the costs of a new city make my taxes go through the roof?"
We won't know the full implications until the feasibility study is done, but here are some things to consider:
Consider the ROI on your current tax dollars spent in the county. Only a fraction of your tax dollar is truly benefiting you in any recognizable way. Most of it is being spent for the benefit of others in the county. Any of your taxes collected in a city are going to be proportionally more beneficial to you here where you live.
A new government cannot just make up taxes. The state constitution mandates any tax revenue increase has to be approved by referendum, so you have a say in how much you pay in taxes.
The fact is the members of this PAC are property and business owners in the Navarre area. Do you really think WE would be in favor of a huge new tax bill? Part of the formation of a new city is the balancing of revenues with services, and everyone will have a say in that process.
"Why would I want ANOTHER layer of government in my life?"
A new city would not be an additional governmental entity - it would replace the current county government within its boundaries. Section 1-5 of the Florida Administrative Code states that county control and ordinances cannot supersede those of a city except by mutual agreement. Instead of adding a layer of government a new municipality would take the place of the current system we are not drawing full benefit from and provide more local voice and oversight.
"How does the incorporation process work?"
The process started with the formation of the PAC last year. We presented our intent to the Legislative delegation last winter and they gave their input and instructions, most critical being they will not proceed in any way without a non-binding referendum in the affected precincts, with 60% plus 1 or more giving them the go ahead to proceed. The PAC then informed the Santa Rosa County Commission of its intent and asked for the requirements to have the ballot placed in the August 2020 primary election, which they stated was petitions representing 8% of registered voters in each precinct affected, which is being collected now. Concurrent with the petition drive, a feasibility study will be created by a team of urban planners, civil engineers and attorneys, using the guidelines of the Florida Constitution and specific issues and concerns unique to the Navarre area. The study will distill all pertinent data and legislation to present how a City would look and if Navarre is indeed qualified to become a municipality. Once completed the study will be presented to the public in meetings and on this website.
Once the required number of the petitions are certified by the Supervisor of Elections office and presented to the BOCC they will vote on approval of the referendum. At that point the vote will tell the tale. If the vote is in favor then the results of the vote as well as the feasibility study and sample municipal charter will be presented to our State Representative. He will propose a bill which will be considered by four separate committees. If approved in committee the bill will be brought to a floor vote, it it passes it will be moved to the state senate where the process will be repeated. If passed by the Senate it will be presented to the Governor for signature or veto. If signed then there would be another referendum, this one binding, in which voters in the affected precincts will vote to accept or reject the legislation. Once passed, there will be an election of city leaders and then on a given date the city will become official.
"What kind of government would I expect from a new city?"
Again that remains to be seen. There are three main types of municipal government and the positives and negatives of each will be considered in the feasibilty study.
"Cities are expensive. How can a new city get started without huge expenditures, meaning a lot of of my tax dollars?"
Some folks seem to think the day a city comes into existence a huge glass and steel palace of a city hall will suddenly materialize offering unlimited services. The reality is far different. Look at the new city as a bootstrap business startup, initially operating on a shoestring but adding amenities as it grows in financial viability. The feasibility study will address a proposed 5 year initial budget and level of services that can be offered in the beginning and offered over time.
"Do I have any input into this process and in a future city?"
Absolutely. Simply by reading this you're acknowledging an interest in the facts. If you already support incorporation you may submit a petition, volunteer to help and contribute to the cause. If you are still trying to decide all you have to do is ask. There will be meetings where the study will be presented, as well as other information events. You may also ask any questions or make suggestions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can express yourself at the polls with the non-binding referendum and the final referendum if the legislation passes and is signed by the governor. We encourage everyone to take some part in this process as it involves all of our futures.