2015 Florida Statutes
Municipalities; public service tax.
Municipalities; public service tax.
166.231 Municipalities; public service tax.—
(1)(a) A municipality may levy a tax on the purchase of electricity, metered natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas either metered or bottled, manufactured gas either metered or bottled, and water service. Except for those municipalities in which paragraph (c) applies, the tax shall be levied only upon purchases within the municipality and shall not exceed 10 percent of the payments received by the seller of the taxable item from the purchaser for the purchase of such service. Municipalities imposing a tax on the purchase of cable television service as of May 4, 1977, may continue to levy such tax to the extent necessary to meet all obligations to or for the benefit of holders of bonds or certificates which were issued prior to May 4, 1977. Purchase of electricity means the purchase of electric power by a person who will consume it within the municipality.
(b) The tax imposed by paragraph (a) shall not be applied against any fuel adjustment charge, and such charge shall be separately stated on each bill. The term “fuel adjustment charge” means all increases in the cost of utility services to the ultimate consumer resulting from an increase in the cost of fuel to the utility subsequent to October 1, 1973.
(c) The tax in paragraph (a) on water service may be applied outside municipal boundaries to property included in a development of regional impact approved pursuant to s. 380.06, if agreed to in writing by the developer of such property and the municipality prior to March 31, 2000. If a tax levied pursuant to the subsection is challenged, recovery, if any, shall be limited to moneys paid into an escrow account of the clerk of the court subsequent to such challenge.
(2) Services competitive with those enumerated in subsection (1), as defined by ordinance, shall be taxed on a comparable base at the same rates. However, fuel oil shall be taxed at a rate not to exceed 4 cents per gallon. However, for municipalities levying less than the maximum rate allowable in subsection (1), the maximum tax on fuel oil shall bear the same proportion to 4 cents which the tax rate levied under subsection (1) bears to the maximum rate allowable in subsection (1).
(3) A municipality may exempt from the tax imposed by this section any amount up to, and including, the first 500 kilowatt hours of electricity purchased per month for residential use. Such exemption shall apply to each separate residential unit, regardless of whether such unit is on a separate meter or a central meter, and shall be passed on to each individual tenant.
(4)(a) The purchase of natural gas, manufactured gas, or fuel oil by a public or private utility, either for resale or for use as fuel in the generation of electricity, or the purchase of fuel oil or kerosene for use as an aircraft engine fuel or propellant or for use in internal combustion engines is exempt from taxation hereunder.
(b) A municipality may exempt from the tax imposed by this section the purchase of metered or bottled gas (natural liquefied petroleum gas or manufactured) or fuel oil for agricultural purposes. As used in this paragraph, “agricultural purposes” means bona fide farming, pasture, grove, or forestry operations, including horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee, and aquaculture.
(5) Purchases by the United States Government, this state, and all counties, school districts, and municipalities of the state, and by public bodies exempted by law or court order, are exempt from the tax authorized by this section. A municipality may exempt from the tax imposed by this section the purchase of taxable items by any other public body as defined in s. 1.01, or by a nonprofit corporation or cooperative association organized under chapter 617 which provides water utility services to no more than 13,500 equivalent residential units, ownership of which will revert to a political subdivision upon retirement of all outstanding indebtedness, and shall exempt purchases by any recognized church in this state for use exclusively for church purposes.
(6) A municipality may exempt from the tax imposed by this section any amount up to, and including, the total amount of electricity, metered natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas either metered or bottled, or manufactured gas either metered or bottled purchased per month, or reduce the rate of taxation on the purchase of such electricity or gas when purchased by an industrial consumer which uses the electricity or gas directly in industrial manufacturing, processing, compounding, or a production process, at a fixed location in the municipality, of items of tangible personal property for sale. The municipality shall establish the requirements for qualification for this exemption in the manner prescribed by ordinance. Possession by a seller of a written certification by the purchaser, certifying the purchaser’s entitlement to an exemption permitted by this subsection, relieves the seller from the responsibility of collecting the tax on the nontaxable amounts, and the municipality shall look solely to the purchaser for recovery of such tax if it determines that the purchaser was not entitled to the exemption. Any municipality granting an exemption pursuant to this subsection shall grant the exemption to all companies classified in the same five-digit NAICS Industry Number. As used in this subsection, “NAICS” means those classifications contained in the North American Industry Classification System, as published in 2007 by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President.
(7) The tax authorized hereunder shall be collected by the seller of the taxable item from the purchaser at the time of the payment for such service. The seller shall remit the taxes collected to the municipality in the manner prescribed by ordinance. Except as otherwise provided in ss. 166.233 and 166.234, the seller shall be liable for taxes that are due and not remitted to the municipality. This shall not bar the seller from recovering such taxes from purchasers; however, the universities in the State University System shall not be deemed a seller of any item otherwise taxable hereunder when such item is provided to university residences incidental to the provision of educational services.
(8)(a) Beginning July 1, 1995, a municipality may by ordinance exempt not less than 50 percent of the tax imposed under this section on purchasers of electrical energy who are determined to be eligible for the exemption provided by s. 212.08(15) by the Department of Revenue. The exemption shall be administered as provided in that section. A copy of any ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be provided to the Department of Revenue not less than 14 days prior to its effective date.
(b) If an area that is nominated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0055 has not yet been designated pursuant to s. 290.0065, a municipality may enact an ordinance for such exemption; however, the ordinance shall not be effective until such area is designated pursuant to s. 290.0065.
(c) This subsection expires on the date specified in s. 290.016 for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act, except that any qualified business that has satisfied the requirements of this subsection before that date shall be allowed the full benefit of the exemption allowed under this subsection as if this subsection had not expired on that date.
(9) A purchaser who claims an exemption under subsection (4) or subsection (5) shall certify to the seller that he or she qualifies for the exemption, which certification may encompass all purchases after a specified date or other multiple purchases. A seller accepting the certification required by this subsection is relieved of the obligation to collect and remit tax; however, a governmental body that is exempt from the tax authorized by this section shall not be required to furnish such certification, and a seller is not required to collect tax from such an exempt governmental body.
(10) Governmental bodies which sell or resell taxable service to nonexempt end users must collect and remit the tax levied under this section.
History.—s. 1, ch. 73-129; ss. 1, 2, ch. 74-109; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-251; s. 4, ch. 78-299; s. 1, ch. 78-400; s. 1, ch. 82-230; s. 1, ch. 82-399; s. 24, ch. 84-356; s. 1, ch. 85-174; s. 1, ch. 86-155; s. 1, ch. 88-35; s. 1, ch. 88-140; s. 36, ch. 90-360; s. 1, ch. 93-224; s. 44, ch. 94-136; s. 1, ch. 95-403; s. 12, ch. 96-320; s. 47, ch. 96-406; s. 2, ch. 97-233; s. 2, ch. 97-283; s. 10, ch. 98-277; s. 64, ch. 99-2; s. 18, ch. 2000-158; ss. 36, 38, 58, ch. 2000-260; s. 5, ch. 2000-355; s. 28, ch. 2001-60; s. 38, ch. 2001-140; s. 2, ch. 2003-17; s. 13, ch. 2005-287; s. 2, ch. 2009-51.