288.075 Confidentiality of records.— (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: (a) “Economic development agency” means:
1. The Department of Economic Opportunity;
2. Any industrial development authority created in accordance with part III of chapter 159 or by special law;
3. Space Florida created in part II of chapter 331;
4. The public economic development agency of a county or municipality or, if the county or municipality does not have a public economic development agency, the county or municipal officers or employees assigned the duty to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of that county or municipality or the responsibilities related thereto;
5. Any research and development authority created in accordance with part V of chapter 159; or
6. Any private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity when authorized by the state, a municipality, or a county to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of the state or that municipality or county.
(b) “Proprietary confidential business information” means information that is owned or controlled by the corporation, partnership, or person requesting confidentiality under this section; that is intended to be and is treated by the corporation, partnership, or person as private in that the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the business operations of the corporation, partnership, or person; that has not been disclosed unless disclosed pursuant to a statutory provision, an order of a court or administrative body, or a private agreement providing that the information may be released to the public; and that is information concerning:
1. Business plans.
2. Internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors.
3. Reports of external auditors for privately held companies.
(c) “Trade secret” has the same meaning as in s. 688.002. (2) PLANS, INTENTIONS, AND INTERESTS.— (a)1. If a private corporation, partnership, or person requests in writing before an economic incentive agreement is signed that an economic development agency maintain the confidentiality of information concerning plans, intentions, or interests of such private corporation, partnership, or person to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in this state, the information is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for 12 months after the date an economic development agency receives a request for confidentiality or until the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first.
2. An economic development agency may extend the period of confidentiality specified in subparagraph 1. for up to an additional 12 months upon written request from the private corporation, partnership, or person who originally requested confidentiality under this section and upon a finding by the economic development agency that such private corporation, partnership, or person is still actively considering locating, relocating, or expanding its business activities in this state. Such a request for an extension in the period of confidentiality must be received prior to the expiration of any confidentiality originally provided under subparagraph 1.
If a final project order for a signed economic development agreement is issued, then the information will remain confidential and exempt for 180 days after the final project order is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or until the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first. However, such period of confidentiality may not extend beyond the period of confidentiality established in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
(b) A public officer or employee may not enter into a binding agreement with any corporation, partnership, or person who has requested confidentiality of information under this subsection until 90 days after the information is made public unless:
1. The public officer or employee is acting in an official capacity;
2. The agreement does not accrue to the personal benefit of such public officer or employee; and
3. In the professional judgment of the officer or employee, the agreement is necessary to effectuate an economic development project.
(3) TRADE SECRETS.—Trade secrets held by an economic development agency are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. (4) PROPRIETARY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION.—Proprietary confidential business information held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until such information is otherwise publicly available or is no longer treated by the proprietor as proprietary confidential business information. (5) IDENTIFICATION, ACCOUNT, AND REGISTRATION NUMBERS.—A federal employer identification number, reemployment assistance account number, or Florida sales tax registration number held by an economic development agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. (6) ECONOMIC INCENTIVE PROGRAMS.— 1(a) The following information held by an economic development agency pursuant to the administration of an economic incentive program for qualified businesses is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for a period not to exceed the duration of the incentive agreement, including an agreement authorizing a tax refund or tax credit, or upon termination of the incentive agreement: 1. The percentage of the business’s sales occurring outside this state and, for businesses applying under s. 288.1045, the percentage of the business’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the 5 years immediately preceding the date the business’s application is submitted.
2. An individual employee’s personal identifying information that is held as evidence of the achievement or nonachievement of the wage requirements of the tax refund, tax credit, or incentive agreement programs or of the job creation requirements of such programs.
3. The amount of:
a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions paid pursuant to chapter 212;
b. Corporate income taxes paid pursuant to chapter 220;
c. Intangible personal property taxes paid pursuant to chapter 199;
d. Insurance premium taxes paid pursuant to chapter 624;
e. Excise taxes paid on documents pursuant to chapter 201;
f. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1); or
g. State communications services taxes paid pursuant to chapter 202.
However, an economic development agency may disclose in the annual incentives report required under s. 288.907 the aggregate amount of each tax identified in this subparagraph and paid by all businesses participating in each economic incentive program.
(b)1. The following information held by an economic development agency relating to a specific business participating in an economic incentive program is no longer confidential or exempt 180 days after a final project order for an economic incentive agreement is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or if the information is otherwise disclosed, whichever occurs first:
a. The name of the qualified business.
b. The total number of jobs the business committed to create or retain.
c. The total number of jobs created or retained by the business.
d. Notwithstanding s. 213.053(2), the amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or incentives awarded to, claimed by, or, if applicable, refunded to the state by the business.
e. The anticipated total annual wages of employees the business committed to hire or retain.
2. For a business applying for certification under s. 288.1045 which is based on obtaining a new Department of Defense contract, the total number of jobs expected and the amount of tax refunds claimed may not be released until the new Department of Defense contract is awarded. (7) PENALTIES.—Any person who is an employee of an economic development agency who violates the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 1, ch. 77-75; s. 1, ch. 79-395; s. 3, ch. 83-47; s. 1, ch. 86-152; s. 1, ch. 86-180; s. 1, ch. 86-218; s. 1, ch. 89-217; s. 104, ch. 90-360; s. 245, ch. 91-224; s. 220, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-378; s. 1, ch. 96-353; s. 135, ch. 96-406; s. 14, ch. 99-256; s. 1, ch. 2001-161; s. 5, ch. 2002-183; s. 27, ch. 2003-286; s. 55, ch. 2006-60; s. 1, ch. 2006-157; s. 1, ch. 2007-203; s. 23, ch. 2011-76; s. 148, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2012-28; s. 55, ch. 2012-30.
1Note.—Section 35, ch. 2011-76, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the date adopted and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”