2004 Florida Statutes
Government bonds; maximum rate of interest.
(1) It is the purpose of this section to maintain the fiscal solvency of public bodies, agencies, and political subdivisions in public borrowing; to prescribe a statewide maximum bond interest rate which is flexible with the bond market and from which are exempted bonds rated in the three highest ratings by nationally recognized rating services; and to authorize the State Board of Administration, when warranted, to authorize an interest rate in excess of the maximum. This section shall be applicable to debt instruments whose interest is either taxable or tax exempt from income taxation under federal law existing on the date the bonds are issued.
(2) As used in this section and s. 215.845:
(a) "Governmental unit" means any department, board, commission, or other agency of the state, or any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, heretofore or hereafter created, or any board, commission, authority, or other public agency or instrumentality which is now or hereafter authorized by law to issue bonds.
(b) "Bonds" includes:
1. "General obligation bonds," which are obligations secured by the full faith and credit of a governmental unit or payable from the proceeds of ad valorem taxes of a governmental unit.
2. "Revenue bonds," which are obligations of a governmental unit issued to pay the cost of a self-liquidating project or improvements thereof, or combination of one or more projects or improvements thereof, and payable from the earnings of such project and any other special funds authorized to be pledged as additional security therefor, except for bonds issued to finance projects under part II, part III, or part V of chapter 159 or health facilities under part III of chapter 154.
3. "Bond anticipation notes," which are notes issued by a governmental unit in anticipation of the issuance of general obligation or revenue bonds.
4. "Limited revenue bonds," which are obligations issued by a governmental unit to pay the cost of a project or improvement thereof, or combination of one or more projects or improvements thereof, and payable from funds of a governmental unit, exclusive of ad valorem taxes, special assessments, or earnings from such projects or improvements.
5. "Special assessment bonds," which are bonds that provide for capital improvements and are paid in whole or in part by levying and collecting special assessments on the abutting, adjoining, contiguous, or other specially benefited property.
(3) Bonds may bear interest at a rate not to exceed an average net interest cost rate, which shall be computed by adding 300 basis points to The Bond Buyer "20 Bond Index" published immediately preceding the first day of the calendar month in which the bonds are sold. If the interest rate on bonds bearing a floating or variable rate of interest as calculated on the date of the initial sale thereof does not exceed the limitation provided by this subsection, so long as the basis, method, or formula for computing the floating or variable rate does not change during the life of the bonds, subsequent increases in the interest rate in accordance with said basis, method, or formula shall not cause the interest rate on the bonds to violate the limitation provided by this subsection. A certificate by the issuer of the bonds as to the computation of the interest rate in compliance with this requirement shall be deemed conclusive evidence of compliance with the provisions of this subsection. Such maximum rate does not apply to bonds rated by a nationally recognized rating service in any one of the three highest classifications, which rating services and classifications are determined pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Administration.
(4) Upon the request of a governmental unit, the State Board of Administration may authorize, for a specific issue or reissue of bonds, a rate of interest in excess of the maximum rate prescribed in subsection (3). The governmental unit shall provide in its request:
(a) Relevant supporting data which shall include, but not be limited to:
1. The official statement or prospectus, if available, or similar information relating to the sale of the bonds;
2. The resolution or ordinance authorizing the issuance of the bonds;
3. Financial data relating to anticipated revenue, debt service, and coverage; and
4. The most recent financial statement of the governmental unit.
(b) Information relating to sale of the bonds, including whether they will be sold at public or private sale, and the amount of the discount, if any.
In making the determination to exceed the maximum interest rate, the State Board of Administration shall consider, but not be limited to considering, comparable sales of other state, county, municipal, or district bonds and evidence that the objectives and intent of the issuing of such bonds will be realized.
(5) The State Board of Administration shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.
(6) Any provision of law, whether special or general, which is in conflict with this section is expressly superseded by this section.
(7) This section does not apply to bonds which have been sold prior to the effective date of this section but which are issued on or after the effective date of this section, nor does this section apply to bonds issued to finance projects under part II, part III, or part V of chapter 159 or health facilities under part III of chapter 154.
(8) This section does not apply to limit or restrict the rate of interest on bonds or other obligations of municipal utilities or agencies thereof issued or made pursuant to authority provided in part II of chapter 166 and s. 215.431
History.--s. 1, ch. 80-318; s. 1, ch. 81-195; s. 81, ch. 83-217; s. 7, ch. 84-171; s. 1, ch. 86-15; s. 6, ch. 96-177.