Q: How long has the program been in existence?
A: 20 years, since 1996
Q: How much land has been purchased to date?
A: 24,930 acres as of May 21, 2016
Q: How is the program funded?
A: The program is funded using millage based taxes listed on Lee County tax bills as “Lee County General Revenue”
Q: Is this a tax increase?
A: No. The 20/20 ballot referendum has no direct impact one way or the other on the County’s millage rate. One “mill” is a $1 tax for every $1,000 of taxable property value and the General Fund millage rate has been 4.1506 since 2008. Voting “Yes” will not increase this millage rate, and voting “No” will not decrease this millage rate – but a “No” vote will likely end the Conservation 20/20 program. 20/20 is a part of the County’s General Revenue Fund and the General Fund millage rate is either maintained or adjusted by the Board of County Commissioners on an annual basis, based on the overall needs of the County. Please see Lee County Ordinance #15-08 or visit www.yesonconservation2020.org for more information on how 20/20 is funded
Q: How much is currently in the Conservation 20/20 acquisition fund to purchase more land?
A: Approximately $89 million
Q: How will the properties be maintained in perpetuity?
A: Management and restoration funds are allocated on a yearly basis through Lee County’s continuation budget, using a five-year projection. Unused funds are rolled over to the next year’s budget
Q: How much does 20/20 currently spend on annual maintenance?
A: Currently, approximately 4 million is budgeted annually to restore and maintain 20/20 preserves, inclusive of staff, administrative and equipment costs
Q: Does the County need to keep buying conservation land?
A: Yes. Conservation land is essential to balance continued growth – in order to ensure there is enough drinking water supplies and other natural resources to support future generations, and our great quality of life. Examples of needed conservation lands include: Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Project finished, Edison Farms (4,000 acres), coastal and beach lands, areas within Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, the Islands, Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Areas in Lee County and Bonita Springs, Alva and North Ft. Myers
Q: Where did the name Conservation 20/20 come from?
A: It was a slogan developed during the original campaign to signify 20/20 hindsight and 20/20 future vision – to learn from past decisions that resulted in Lee County having the lowest percentage of conservation lands on the Gulf Coast and moving into the future with a clear vision to balance growth with conservation
Q: What is a nonbinding referendum?
A: A nonbinding referendum is a poll to understand the will of the voters. The original referendum passed in 1996 was also nonbinding, and the Board of County Commissioners continued the program annually on that basis
Q: What can I do to help?
A: Consider donating to Yes On Conservation 20/20 or volunteer your time to help us get the message out! Visit www.yesonconservation2020.org for more information.