1(1) As used in this section, the term “county” means: (a) A county that is within a rural area of opportunity as designated by the Governor pursuant to s. 288.0656;
(b) A small county having a population of 75,000 or fewer on the effective date of this act which has levied at least 10 mills of ad valorem tax for the previous fiscal year; or
(c) A county that adopted an ordinance authorizing the imposition of an assessment for emergency medical services prior to January 1, 2002.
Once a county has qualified under this subsection, it always retains the qualification.
(2) A county may fund the costs of emergency medical services through the levy of a special assessment that apportions the cost among the property based on a reasonable methodology that charges a parcel in proportion to its benefits.
(3) The authorization provided in this section shall be construed to be general law authorization pursuant to ss. 1 and 9 of Art. VII of the State Constitution.
(4) All special assessments for emergency medical services levied by a county prior to the effective date of this section are ratified and validated in all respects if they would have been valid had this section been in effect at the time they were levied; however, this subsection shall not validate assessments in counties with litigation challenging the validity of an assessment pending on January 1, 2002.
1Note.—Section 56, ch. 2014-218, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity is authorized, and all conditions are deemed to be met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the emergency rules adopted pursuant to subsection (1) remain in effect for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
“(3) This section shall expire October 1, 2015.”