May Contributions Come from Ad Valorem Tax Revenues ?
In State v. Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency, 392 So. 2d 875 (Fla.1980), the Court explained that a referendum is not required by article VII, section 12 when there is no direct pledge of the ad valorem taxing power.
Although contributions may come from ad valorem tax revenues, "what is critical to the constitutionality of the bonds is that, after the sale of the bonds, a bondholder would have no right, if funds were insufficient to meet the bond obligations . . . to compel by judicial action the levy of ad valorem taxation." Id. at 898.
Where a governing body is not obliged and cannot be compelled to levy any ad valorem taxes, then the obligation is not "payable from ad valorem taxation" for purposes of article VII, section 12, and referendum approval is not required. Id.; see also State v. School Bd. of Sarasota County, 561 So. 2d 549 (Fla. 1990) (reaching same conclusion as to validity of bonds and COPs to be issued by several school boards for the construction of schools).
The court recently reaffirmed our adherence to this reasoning in Strand v. Escambia County, 992 So. 2d 150, 154 (Fla. 2008), when the Court rejected Strand's motion on rehearing asking us to recede from the decision in Miami Beach as it relates to the meaning of "payable from ad valorem taxation" in article VII, section 12. Strand, 992 So. 2d at 157-59.