South Walton County residents are wondering if they would be better served by incorporating and creating a new city/town in Walton County. No one really knows the answer to this question. But all agree the seriousness of the question requires careful, disciplined and methodical analysis. Walton County Taxpayers Association (WCTA) agrees that a slow, thoughtful approach with all avenues explored is the best course. WCTA recommends that no resident make any decision on incorporation until all questions have been thoroughly researched and factually answered.
Earlier this year the local group ‘A Better South Walton’ held community meetings to begin the conversation of “to incorporate or not to incorporate”. Now they are proposing a next step in the research journey – conducting a feasibility study. The feasibility study would layout an analysis of what would be required for incorporation to take place. Some elements of the study include: baselining the size and cost of South Walton and required services, the total cost of incorporation including the tax structure required to support a standalone municipality and the cost of buying services from Walton County. The feasibility study is being conducted now by BJM Consulting, Inc. They have experience on this topic as they have conducted over 20 of these studies for different communities in Florida including Navarre, the Village of Estero and Bonita Springs.
The WCTA Board of Directors has endorsed the Feasibility Study – as a logical next step. When done properly WCTA believes the study will present factual information for South Walton citizens to analyze in helping determine what is best for this area now and in the future. There is a lot to know, a lot to understand and a lot for all South Walton owners and residents to consider.
WCTA encourages all residents to:
1. Support the study and
2. Analyze the findings for themselves.
Unless a feasibility study is done, WCTA suggests that no one should be deciding the future of South Walton County. With the feasibility study, locals will have more data as they assess their county’s fate.
The WCTA is a non-partisan organization with members from both North and South Walton County, representing the entire county. WCTA believes that it is vitally important to stay involved in how our county spends our money, especially as our county and tax base grow. WCTA’s focus is on limiting the role of government and how much money is necessary to provide basic public services to all taxpayers in Walton County. And, WCTA believes that a unified group of individuals can make a difference.