HB 0049

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the tax on substitute communications
3systems; amending s. 202.11, F.S.; deleting certain
4definitions; amending s. 202.12, F.S.; deleting a
5provision relating to the manner in which the tax on gross
6receipts for communications services is applied to a
7substitute communications system; amending ss. 202.16,
8202.17, and 202.18, F.S.; correcting cross references;
9amending s. 202.19, F.S.; deleting a provision authorizing
10the imposition of a local communications services tax on
11substitute communications systems; amending s. 203.01,
12F.S.; deleting a provision authorizing the imposition of a
13gross receipts tax on actual costs of operating substitute
14communications systems; specifying that retroactive
15operation is remedial and does not create any right to or
16require any refunds; amending s. 624.105, F.S.; correcting
17a cross reference; repealing s. 202.15, F.S., relating to
18special rules for users of substitute communications
19systems; providing for retroactive operation; providing an
20effective date.
22Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
24     Section 1.  Subsections (2) through (15) of section 202.11,
25Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (1) through
26(14), respectively, subsections (17) through (25) of said
27section are renumbered as subsections (15) through (23),
28respectively, and present subsections (1) and (16) of said
29section are amended to read:
30     202.11  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:
31     (1)  "Actual cost of operating a substitute communications
32system" includes, but is not limited to, depreciation, interest,
33maintenance, repair, and other expenses directly attributable to
34the operation of such system. For purposes of this chapter, the
35depreciation expense included in actual cost is the depreciation
36expense claimed for federal income tax purposes. The total
37amount of any payment required by a lease or rental contract or
38agreement must be included within the actual cost of operating
39the substitute communications system.
40     (16)  "Substitute communications system" means any
41telephone system, or other system capable of providing
42communications services, which a person purchases, installs,
43rents, or leases for his or her own use to provide himself or
44herself with services used as a substitute for any switched
45service or dedicated facility by which a dealer of
46communications services provides a communication path.
47     Section 2.  Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of subsection (1)
48of section 202.12, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
49paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), respectively, and present
50paragraph (b) of subsection (1) and subsection (2) of said
51section are amended to read:
52     202.12  Sales of communications services.--The Legislature
53finds that every person who engages in the business of selling
54communications services at retail in this state is exercising a
55taxable privilege. It is the intent of the Legislature that the
56tax imposed by chapter 203 be administered as provided in this
58     (1)  For the exercise of such privilege, a tax is levied on
59each taxable transaction, and the tax is due and payable as
61     (b)  At the rate set forth in paragraph (a) on the actual
62cost of operating a substitute communications system, to be paid
63in accordance with s. 202.15. This paragraph does not apply to
64the use by any dealer of his or her own communications system to
65conduct a business of providing communications services or any
66communications system operated by a county, a municipality, the
67state, or any political subdivision of the state. The gross
68receipts tax imposed by chapter 203 shall be applied to the same
69costs, and remitted with the tax imposed by this paragraph.
70     (2)  A dealer of taxable communications services shall
71bill, collect, and remit the taxes on communications services
72imposed pursuant to chapter 203 and this section at a combined
73rate that is the sum of the rate of tax on communications
74services prescribed in chapter 203 and the applicable rate of
75tax prescribed in this section. Each dealer subject to the tax
76provided in paragraph (1)(b) shall also remit the taxes imposed
77pursuant to chapter 203 and this section on a combined basis.
78However, a dealer shall, in reporting each remittance to the
79department, identify the portion thereof which consists of taxes
80remitted pursuant to chapter 203. Return forms prescribed by the
81department shall facilitate such reporting.
82     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
83202.16, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
84     202.16  Payment.--The taxes imposed or administered under
85this chapter and chapter 203 shall be collected from all dealers
86of taxable communications services on the sale at retail in this
87state of communications services taxable under this chapter and
88chapter 203. The full amount of the taxes on a credit sale,
89installment sale, or sale made on any kind of deferred payment
90plan is due at the moment of the transaction in the same manner
91as a cash sale.
92     (1)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in ss. 202.12(1)(b)
93and 202.15, The taxes collected under this chapter and chapter
94203 shall be paid by the purchaser of the communications service
95and shall be collected from such person by the dealer of
96communications services.
97     Section 4.  Subsection (6) of section 202.17, Florida
98Statutes, is amended to read:
99     202.17  Registration.--
100     (6)  In addition to the certificate of registration, the
101department shall provide to each newly registered dealer an
102initial resale certificate that is valid for the remainder of
103the period of issuance. The department shall provide to each
104active dealer, except persons registered pursuant to s. 202.15,
105an annual resale certificate. As used in this section, the term
106"active dealer" means a person who is registered with the
107department and who is required to file a return at least once
108during each applicable reporting period.
109     Section 5.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section 202.18,
110Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
111     202.18  Allocation and disposition of tax proceeds.--The
112proceeds of the communications services taxes remitted under
113this chapter shall be treated as follows:
114     (1)  The proceeds of the taxes remitted under s.
115202.12(1)(a) and (b) shall be divided as follows:
116     (a)  The portion of such proceeds which constitutes gross
117receipts taxes, imposed at the rate prescribed in chapter 203,
118shall be deposited as provided by law and in accordance with s.
1199, Art. XII of the State Constitution.
120     (b)  The remaining portion shall be distributed according
121to s. 212.20(6).
122     (2)  The proceeds of the taxes remitted under s.
123202.12(1)(b)(c) shall be divided as follows:
124     (a)  The portion of such proceeds which constitutes gross
125receipts taxes, imposed at the rate prescribed in chapter 203,
126shall be deposited as provided by law and in accordance with s.
1279, Art. XII of the State Constitution.
128     (b)  Sixty-three percent of the remainder shall be
129allocated to the state and distributed pursuant to s. 212.20(6),
130except that the proceeds allocated pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)3.
131shall be prorated to the participating counties in the same
132proportion as that month's collection of the taxes and fees
133imposed pursuant to chapter 212 and paragraph (1)(b).
134     (c)1.  During each calendar year, the remaining portion of
135such proceeds shall be transferred to the Local Government Half-
136cent Sales Tax Clearing Trust Fund and shall be allocated in the
137same proportion as the allocation of total receipts of the half-
138cent sales tax under s. 218.61 and the emergency distribution
139under s. 218.65 in the prior state fiscal year.
140     2.  The proportion of the proceeds allocated based on the
141emergency distribution under s. 218.65 shall be distributed
142pursuant to s. 218.65.
143     3.  In each calendar year, the proportion of the proceeds
144allocated based on the half-cent sales tax under s. 218.61 shall
145be allocated to each county in the same proportion as the
146county's percentage of total sales tax allocation for the prior
147state fiscal year and distributed pursuant to s. 218.62.
148     4.  The department shall distribute the appropriate amount
149to each municipality and county each month at the same time that
150local communications services taxes are distributed pursuant to
151subsection (3).
152     Section 6.  Subsections (8) through (12) of section 202.19,
153Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (7) through
154(11), respectively, and present subsection (7) of said section
155is amended to read:
156     202.19  Authorization to impose local communications
157services tax.--
158     (7)  Any tax imposed by a municipality, school board, or
159county under this section also applies to the actual cost of
160operating a substitute communications system, to be paid in
161accordance with s. 202.15. This subsection does not apply to the
162use by any provider of its own communications system to conduct
163a business of providing communications services or to the use of
164any communications system operated by a county, a municipality,
165the state, or any political subdivision of the state.
166     Section 7.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
167203.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
168     203.01  Tax on gross receipts for utility and
169communications services.--
170     (1)(a)1.  Every person that receives payment for any
171utility service shall report by the last day of each month to
172the Department of Revenue, under oath of the secretary or some
173other officer of such person, the total amount of gross receipts
174derived from business done within this state, or between points
175within this state, for the preceding month and, at the same
176time, shall pay into the State Treasury an amount equal to a
177percentage of such gross receipts at the rate set forth in
178paragraph (b). Such collections shall be certified by the Chief
179Financial Officer upon the request of the State Board of
181     2.  A tax is levied on communications services as defined
182in s. 202.11(2)(3). Such tax shall be applied to the same
183services and transactions as are subject to taxation under
184chapter 202, and to communications services that are subject to
185the exemption provided in s. 202.125(1). Such tax shall be
186applied to the sales price of communications services when sold
187at retail and to the actual cost of operating substitute
188communications systems, as such terms are defined in s. 202.11,
189shall be due and payable at the same time as the taxes imposed
190pursuant to chapter 202, and shall be administered and collected
191pursuant to the provisions of chapter 202.
192     Section 8.  Section 624.105, Florida Statutes, is amended
193to read:
194     624.105  Waiver of customer liability.--Any regulated
195company as defined in s. 350.111, any electric utility as
196defined in s. 366.02(2), any utility as defined in s.
197367.021(12) or s. 367.022(2) and (7), and any provider of
198communications services as defined in s. 202.11(2)(3) may charge
199for and include an optional waiver of liability provision in
200their customer contracts under which the entity agrees to waive
201all or a portion of the customer's liability for service from
202the entity for a defined period in the event of the customer's
203call to active military service, death, disability, involuntary
204unemployment, qualification for family leave, or similar
205qualifying event or condition. Such provisions may not be
206effective in the customer's contract with the entity unless
207affirmatively elected by the customer. No such provision shall
208constitute insurance so long as the provision is a contract
209between the entity and its customer.
210     Section 9.  The retroactive application of the provisions
211of this act are remedial in nature and shall not be construed to
212create a right to a refund or to require a refund by any
213governmental entity of any tax, penalty, or interest remitted to
214the Department of Revenue on substitute communications systems
215prior to the effective date of this act.
216     Section 10.  Section 202.15, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
217     Section 11.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law
218and shall apply retroactively to October 1, 2001.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.