October 27, 2008

Gov. Crist Endorses Amendment 4

Florida's conservation community issued glowing praise for Gov. Charlie Crist today after the governor strongly endorsed Amendment 4, Florida's land conservation amendment, at an Audubon of Florida event Friday evening in Crystal River.

"I'm reminded that Teddy Roosevelt's 150th birthday would be Monday. 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 during his keynote address to the 2008 Audubon Assembly. "It's Amendment 4, and I encourage you to support it. I know some of you have stickers about it. I think it's great for Florida, and I'm endorsing it."

(See video of the governor's endorsement at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7L4mU483c)

Conservation leaders expressed enthusiasm at news of the governor's endorsement, with Election Day only eight days away.

"Gov. Crist has demonstrated true leadership on climate change," said Eric Draper, deputy director and policy director of the Florida Audubon Society. "The governor's support for Amendment 4, Florida's land conservation amendment, is yet another example of that leadership in action."

"All Floridians benefit when Florida's natural places are preserved," said Janet Bowman, director of legislative policy and strategies for the Nature Conservancy. "We are excited that Gov. Crist has thrown his support behind Amendment 4, an initiative that will help conserve Florida's natural places for future generations."

Amendment 4 will protect Florida's water resources and wildlife habitats by providing tax incentives for private landowners who choose to conserve their property.

If approved by 60 percent of Florida voters on November 4, the Amendment 4 will:

-- Exempt land that is permanently set aside for conservation from all property taxes.

-- Allow land that is being used for conservation purposes, but which hasn't been permanently set aside, to be taxed according to its conservation use.

Amendment 4 is a non-partisan proposal with support across the political spectrum. Republicans, Democrats and Independents support the Amendment, as do a diverse array of groups including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida TaxWatch, the Florida Wildlife Federation, Florida Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.

For more information, please visit www.Amendment4Florida.com.