Florida House District 2 Representative Alex Andrade today announced he will not sponsor legislation for a 2024 referendum on the proposed incorporation of Perdido Key.
“The feasibility study overestimated revenues (taxes collected) by about $327 per household. To fix that error, the local bill would have either needed to increase taxes on every household by $327 or added another exemption to Florida law,” stated Andrade. “I would not raise taxes or lower the legal requirements to allow the referendum on the ballot.”
We Are Perdido, the pro-incorporation effort, had cleared the first hurdle back on October 26 during the Northwest Florida Legislative Delegation hearing in Escambia County. During that hearing, Andrade was joined by Florida Senator Doug Broxson and House District 1 Representative Michelle Salzman. The trio voted unanimously to approve legislation which could place an incorporation vote for Perdido Key on the November 2024 ballot for voters in that area to decide.
But before that local bill could move forward, the legislation had to be reviewed by the Florida Department of Revenue and several House committees.
“We determined that significant changes would be required to the proposal,” Andrade said. “I have informed We Are Perdido of the decision, and encouraged them to spend this next year engaging in additional due diligence and public outreach if they decide to pursue this initiative in the future.”
Andrade not only represents parts of Escambia County but also represents portions of Navarre, including Navarre Beach.
“Representative Andrade did his due diligence in reviewing the plan to incorporate Perdido Key. It’s easy for pro-incorporation groups to inflate revenue in their personal studies because of built-in bias. Preserve Navarre’s study contains similar inflation based upon hopeful, not proven, revenue flow and underestimated costs,” said Debbie Gunnoe, leader of Protect Navarre, a local grassroots effort to oppose the incorporation of Navarre.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Preserve Navarre failed to get 2024 legislation sponsorship but has stated an intention to continue pursuing the incorporation of Navarre and Navarre Beach. Another group, yet to be named, has also recently formed and plans to explore the possibility and costs of incorporating only Navarre Beach.