The State Association of County Commissioners (SACC) was founded in 1929 to represent the concerns of Florida’s county governments. In the early years, the SACC was managed by only two people: the president of the Association and a Tallahassee attorney. Over a span of three decades, the SACC worked with a succession of presidents on the major county issues of the time, while expanding the counties’ financial base and acquiring home rule authority.
In 1958, the SACC hired its first full-time executive director to promote the county legislative program and manage an annual and legislative conference each year. In addition, an effort was begun to acquire eminent domain authority for counties.
In 1968, a new state Constitution authorized home rule authority for counties. In addition, the state transferred the seventh cent of gas tax back to the counties for road maintenance and provided some revenue to counties from the state cigarette and pari-mutual taxes. As county authority grew, so did the SACC.
The Association’s increased legislative activity directly resulted in the passage of the Local Government Half Cent Sales Tax in 1982, providing a much needed revenue source for counties. Also during this period, a 5-year plan was established by members to help guide the work of the Association. In 1986, a second long range plan, working from the preceding blueprint, was brought to life.
The new plan brought many changes. The SACC changed its name to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), the Florida Association of Counties Trust (FACT) was launched, and the Educational Foundation was established. Also integral to the long range plan was positioning the FAC in a permanent office building. By 1993, the FAC move was complete; a process that took almost five years.
With the onset of the 1990’s, a full-scale communications effort began and new investment and insurance programs were initiated that are still maximizing service delivery in Florida’s counties. The Florida Counties Foundation (FCF) was established in 1990 as a private, non-profit corporation providing education, training, and technical assistance to appointed and elected county officials.
The Association’s history has yielded a more visible and proactive county presence in the state legislature and state agencies, substantive education and technical assistance programs, and direct communication and publicity to county officials.
FAC stands proud on the solid foundation of its past, prepared to serve its future: Florida’s counties.