HB 265

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to tax collections, sales, and liens;
3amending ss. 197.102, 197.122, 197.123, 197.162, 197.172,
4197.182, 197.222, 197.2301, 197.322, 197.332, 197.343,
5197.344, 197.3635, 197.373, 197.374, 197.402, 197.403,
6197.413, 197.414, 197.4155, 197.416, 197.417, 197.432,
7197.4325, 197.442, 197.443, 197.462, 197.472, 197.473,
8197.482, 197.492, 197.552, and 197.582, F.S.; revising,
9updating, and consolidating provisions of ch. 197, F.S.,
10relating to definitions, tax collectors, lien of taxes,
11returns and assessments, unpaid or omitted taxes,
12discounts, interest rates, Department of Revenue
13responsibilities, tax bills, judicial sales, prepayment of
14taxes, assessment rolls, duties of tax collectors, tax
15notices, delinquent taxes, lienholders, special
16assessments, non-ad valorem assessments, tax payments,
17distribution of taxes, advertisements of property with
18delinquent taxes, attachment, delinquent personal property
19taxes, sales of property, tax certificates, tax deeds, and
20tax sales; amending s. 197.502, F.S.; revising provisions
21relating to applications for tax deeds; providing notice
22requirements; providing payment requirements; authorizing
23the tax collector to charge a fee to cover the costs to
24the tax collector for electronic tax deed programs or
25services; authorizing the tax collector to charge the
26county a fee for tax deed applications; deleting opening
27bid requirements for the sale of tax deeds on homestead
28property when the applicant is holder of a tax sale
29certificate; amending s. 197.542, F.S.; deleting bid
30requirements relating to the purchase of homestead
31property at public auction; amending s. 197.522, F.S.,
32providing notice requirements for the sale of homestead
33property due to nonpayment of taxes; creating s. 197.146,
34F.S.; authorizing tax collectors to issue certificates of
35correction to tax rolls and outstanding delinquent taxes
36for uncollectable personal property accounts; requiring
37the tax collector to notify the property appraiser;
38providing construction; creating ss. 197.2421 and
39197.2423, F.S., renumbering and amending ss. 197.253,
40197.303, and 197.3071, F.S., and amending ss. 197.243,
41197.252, 197.254, 197.262, 197.263, 197.272, 197.282,
42197.292, 197.301, and 197.312, F.S.; revising, updating,
43and consolidating provisions of ch. 197, F.S., relating to
44deferral of tax payments for real property, homestead
45property, recreational and commercial working waterfront
46property, and affordable rental property; creating s.
47197.4725, F.S.; providing authorization and requirements
48for purchase of county-held tax certificates; specifying
49required amounts to be paid; providing for fees; providing
50for electronic services; amending s. 192.0105, F.S.;
51providing conditions under which a taxpayer is deemed to
52have waived a right to know; clarifying a taxpayer's right
53to redeem real property and tax certificates; clarifying
54that a property owner may not be contacted by the holder
55of a tax sale certificate for 2 years from the date the
56certificate is issued; providing that s. 197.122, F.S.,
57applies in certain circumstances; providing for the
58obligation of the property owner to obtain certain
59information; conforming cross-references; amending ss.
60194.011, 194.013, and 196.011, F.S.; conforming cross-
61references; creating s. 197.603, F.S.; providing
62legislative intent; repealing s. 197.202, F.S., relating
63to destruction of 20-year-old tax receipts; repealing s.
64197.242, F.S., relating to a short title; repealing ss.
65197.304, 197.3041, 197.3042, 197.3043, 197.3044, 197.3045,
66197.3046, 197.3047, 197.307, 197.3072, 197.3073, 197.3074,
67197.3075, 197.3076, 197.3077, 197.3078, and 197.3079,
68F.S., relating to deferrals of tax payments; providing an
69effective date.
71Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
73     Section 1.  Section 197.102, Florida Statutes, is amended
74to read:
75     197.102  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the
76following definitions apply, unless the context clearly requires
78     (1)  "Awarded" means the time when the tax collector or a
79designee determines and announces verbally or through the
80closing of the bid process in an electronic auction that a buyer
81has placed the winning bid at a tax certificate sale.
82     (2)(1)  "Department," unless otherwise specified, means the
83Department of Revenue.
84     (3)(2)  "Omitted taxes" means those taxes which have not
85been extended on the tax roll against a parcel of property after
86the property has been placed upon the list of lands available
87for taxes pursuant to s. 197.502.
88     (4)  "Proxy bidding" means a method of bidding by which a
89bidder authorizes an agent, whether an individual or an
90electronic agent, to place bids on his or her behalf.
91     (5)  "Random number generator" means a computational device
92designed to generate a sequence of numbers that lack any pattern
93and is used to resolve a tie when multiple bidders have bid the
94same lowest amount by assigning a number to each of the tied
95bidders and randomly determining which one of those numbers is
96the winner.
97     (6)(3)  "Tax certificate" means a paper or electronic legal
98document, representing unpaid delinquent real property taxes,
99non-ad valorem assessments, including special assessments,
100interest, and related costs and charges, issued in accordance
101with this chapter against a specific parcel of real property and
102becoming a first lien thereon, superior to all other liens,
103except as provided by s. 197.573(2).
104     (7)(4)  "Tax notice" means the paper or electronic tax bill
105sent to taxpayers for payment of any taxes or special
106assessments collected pursuant to this chapter, or the bill sent
107to taxpayers for payment of the total of ad valorem taxes and
108non-ad valorem assessments collected pursuant to s. 197.3632.
109     (8)(5)  "Tax receipt" means the paid tax notice.
110     (9)(6)  "Tax rolls" and "assessment rolls" are synonymous
111and mean the rolls prepared by the property appraiser pursuant
112to chapter 193 and certified pursuant to s. 193.122.
113     (10)(7)  However, when a local government uses the method
114set forth in s. 197.3632, the following definitions shall apply:
115     (a)  "Ad valorem tax roll" means the roll prepared by the
116property appraiser and certified to the tax collector for
118     (b)  "Non-ad valorem assessment roll" means a roll prepared
119by a local government and certified to the tax collector for
121     Section 2.  Section 197.122, Florida Statutes, is amended
122to read:
123     197.122  Lien of taxes; dates; application.--
124     (1)  All taxes imposed pursuant to the State Constitution
125and laws of this state shall be a first lien, superior to all
126other liens, on any property against which the taxes have been
127assessed and shall continue in full force from January 1 of the
128year the taxes were levied until discharged by payment or until
129barred under chapter 95. If All personal property tax liens, to
130the extent that the property to which the lien applies cannot be
131located in the county or to the extent that the sale of the
132property is insufficient to pay all delinquent taxes, interest,
133fees, and costs due, a personal property tax lien shall apply be
134liens against all other personal property of the taxpayer in the
135county. However, a lien such liens against other personal
136property does shall not apply against such property that which
137has been sold, and is such liens against other personal property
138shall be subordinate to any valid prior or subsequent liens
139against such other property. An No act of omission or commission
140on the part of a any property appraiser, tax collector, board of
141county commissioners, clerk of the circuit court, or county
142comptroller, or their deputies or assistants, or newspaper in
143which an any advertisement of sale may be published does not
144shall operate to defeat the payment of taxes, interest, fees,
145and costs due and; but any acts of omission or commission may be
146corrected at any time by the officer or party responsible for
147them in the same like manner as provided by law for performing
148acts in the first place., and When so corrected, they shall be
149considered construed as valid ab initio and do not shall in no
150way affect any process by law for the enforcement of the
151collection of the any tax. All owners of property are shall be
152held to know that taxes are due and payable annually and are
153responsible for charged with the duty of ascertaining the amount
154of current and delinquent taxes and paying them before April 1
155of the year following the year in which taxes are assessed. No
156sale or conveyance of real or personal property for nonpayment
157of taxes shall be held invalid except upon proof that:
158     (a)  The property was not subject to taxation;
159     (b)  The taxes were had been paid before the sale of
160personal property; or
161     (c)  The real property was had been redeemed before receipt
162by the clerk of the court of full payment for the execution and
163delivery of a deed based upon a certificate issued for
164nonpayment of taxes, including all recording fees and
165documentary stamps.
166     (2)  A lien created through the sale of a tax certificate
167may not be foreclosed or enforced in any manner except as
168prescribed in this chapter.
169     (3)  A property appraiser shall may also correct a material
170mistake of fact relating to an essential condition of the
171subject property to reduce an assessment that if to do so
172requires only the exercise of judgment as to the effect of the
173mistake of fact on the assessed or taxable value of that mistake
174of fact.
175     (a)  As used in this subsection, the term "an essential
176condition of the subject property" means a characteristic of the
177subject parcel, including only:
178     1.  Environmental restrictions, zoning restrictions, or
179restrictions on permissible use;
180     2.  Acreage;
181     3.  Wetlands or other environmental lands that are or have
182been restricted in use because of such environmental features;
183     4.  Access to usable land;
184     5.  Any characteristic of the subject parcel which
185characteristic, in the property appraiser's opinion, caused the
186appraisal to be clearly erroneous; or
187     6.  Depreciation of the property that was based on a latent
188defect of the property which existed but was not readily
189discernible by inspection on January 1, but not depreciation
190resulting from any other cause.
191     (b)  The material mistake of fact must may be corrected by
192the property appraiser, in the same like manner as provided by
193law for performing the act in the first place, only within 1
194year after the approval of the tax roll pursuant to s. 193.1142,
195and, if when so corrected, the act becomes valid ab initio and
196does not affect in no way affects any process by law for the
197enforcement of the collection of the any tax. If the such a
198correction results in a refund of taxes paid on the basis of an
199erroneous assessment included contained on the current year's
200tax roll for years beginning January 1, 1999, or later, the
201property appraiser, at his or her option, may request that the
202department to pass upon the refund request pursuant to s.
203197.182 or may submit the correction and refund order directly
204to the tax collector for action in accordance with the notice
205provisions of s. 197.182(2). Corrections to tax rolls for prior
206years which would result in refunds must be made pursuant to s.
208     Section 3.  Section 197.123, Florida Statutes, is amended
209to read:
210     197.123  Correcting Erroneous returns; notification of
211property appraiser.--If a any tax collector has reason to
212believe that a any taxpayer has filed an erroneous or incomplete
213statement of her or his or her personal property or has not
214disclosed returned the full amount of all of his or her or his
215property subject to taxation, the collector shall notify the
216property appraiser of the erroneous or incomplete statement.
217     Section 4.  Section 197.146, Florida Statutes, is created
218to read:
219     197.146  Uncollectable personal property taxes; correction
220of tax roll.--A tax collector who determines that a tangible
221personal property account is uncollectable may issue a
222certificate of correction for the current tax roll and any
223outstanding delinquent taxes. The tax collector shall notify the
224property appraiser that the account is invalid, and the
225assessment shall not be certified for a future tax roll. An
226uncollectable account includes, but is not limited to, an
227account on property that was originally assessed but cannot be
228found to seize and sell for the payment of taxes and includes
229other personal property of the owner as authorized by s.
230197.413(8) and (9).
231     Section 5.  Section 197.162, Florida Statutes, is amended
232to read:
233     197.162  Tax discount payment periods Discounts; amount and
235     (1)  For On all taxes assessed on the county tax rolls and
236collected by the county tax collector, discounts for payments
237made prior to delinquency early payment thereof shall be at the
238rate of 4 percent in the month of November or at any time within
23930 days after the mailing of the original tax notice; 3 percent
240in the following month of December; 2 percent in the following
241month of January; 1 percent in the following month of February;
242and zero percent in the following month of March or within 30
243days prior to the date of delinquency if the date of delinquency
244is after April 1.
245     (2)  If When a taxpayer makes a request to have the
246original tax notice corrected, the discount rate for early
247payment applicable at the time of the request for correction is
248made shall apply for 30 days after the mailing of the corrected
249tax notice.
250     (3)  A discount shall apply at the rate of 4 percent shall
251apply for 30 days after the mailing of a tax notice resulting
252from the action of a value adjustment board. Thereafter, the
253regular discount periods shall apply.
254     (4)  If the For the purposes of this section, when a
255discount period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday,
256the discount period, including the zero-percent period, shall be
257extended to the next working day, if payment is delivered to the
258a designated collection office of the tax collector.
259     Section 6.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 197.172,
260Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
261     197.172  Interest rate; calculation and minimum.--
262     (2)  The maximum rate of interest on a tax certificate
263shall be 18 percent per year; however, a tax certificate shall
264not bear interest nor shall the mandatory charge as provided by
265s. 197.472(2) be levied during the 60-day period of time from
266the date of delinquency, except the 3 percent mandatory charge
267under subsection (1). No tax certificate sold before March 23,
2681992, shall bear interest nor shall the mandatory charge as
269provided by s. 197.472(2) be levied in excess of the interest or
270charge provided herein, except as to those tax certificates upon
271which the mandatory charge as provided by s. 197.472(2) shall
272have been collected and paid.
273     (4)  Interest shall be calculated Except as provided in s.
274197.262 with regard to deferred payment tax certificates,
275interest to be accrued pursuant to this chapter shall be
276calculated monthly from the first day of each month.
277     Section 7.  Subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section
278197.182, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
279     197.182  Department of Revenue to pass upon and order
281     (1)(a)  Except as provided in paragraphs paragraph (b),
282(c), and (d), the department shall pass upon and order refunds
283when payment of taxes assessed on the county tax rolls has been
284made voluntarily or involuntarily under any of the following
286     1.  When an overpayment has been made.
287     2.  When a payment has been made when no tax was due.
288     3.  When a bona fide controversy exists between the tax
289collector and the taxpayer as to the liability of the taxpayer
290for the payment of the tax claimed to be due, the taxpayer pays
291the amount claimed by the tax collector to be due, and it is
292finally adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction that the
293taxpayer was not liable for the payment of the tax or any part
295     4.  When a payment has been made in error by a taxpayer to
296the tax collector due to application of payment to an erroneous
297parcel or misinformation provided by the property appraiser or
298tax collector, if, within 12 24 months of the date of the
299erroneous payment and prior to any transfer of the assessed
300property to a third party for consideration, the party seeking a
301refund makes demand for reimbursement of the erroneous payment
302upon the owner of the property on which the taxes were
303erroneously paid and reimbursement of the erroneous payment is
304not received within 45 days after such demand. The demand for
305reimbursement shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt
306requested, and a copy thereof shall be sent to the tax
307collector. If the payment was made in error by the taxpayer
308because of an error in the tax notice sent to the taxpayer,
309refund must be made as provided in paragraph (d) subparagraph
311     5.  When any payment has been made for tax certificates
312that are subsequently corrected or are subsequently determined
313to be void under s. 197.443.
314     (b)1.  Those Refunds that have been ordered by a court and
315those refunds that do not result from changes made in the
316assessed value on a tax roll certified to the tax collector
317shall be made directly by the tax collector without order from
318the department and shall be made from undistributed funds
319without approval of the various taxing authorities.
320     (c)  Overpayments in the amount of $10 $5 or less may be
321retained by the tax collector unless a written claim for a
322refund is received from the taxpayer. Overpayments over $10 $5
323resulting from taxpayer error, if determined within 12 months
324the 4-year period of limitation, shall are to be automatically
325refunded to the taxpayer. Such refunds do not require approval
326from the department.
327     (d)2.  If When a payment has been made in error by a
328taxpayer to the tax collector because of an error in the tax
329notice sent to the taxpayer, refund must be made directly by the
330tax collector and does not require approval from the department.
331At the request of the taxpayer, the amount paid in error may be
332applied by the tax collector to the taxes for which the taxpayer
333is actually liable.
334     (e)(c)  Claims for refunds shall be made in accordance with
335the rules of the department. A No refund may not shall be
336granted unless a claim for the refund is made therefor within 4
337years after of January 1 of the tax year for which the taxes
338were paid.
339     (f)(d)  Upon receipt of the department's written denial of
340a the refund, the tax collector shall issue the denial in
341writing to the taxpayer.
342     (g)(e)  If funds are available from current receipts and,
343subject to subsection (3), if a refund is approved, the taxpayer
344shall is entitled to receive a refund within 100 days after a
345claim for refund is made, unless the tax collector, property
346appraiser, or department states good cause for remitting the
347refund after that date. The times stated in this paragraph and
348paragraphs (h) (f) through (l) (j) are directory and may be
349extended by a maximum of an additional 60 days if good cause is
351     (h)(f)  If the taxpayer contacts the property appraiser
352first, the property appraiser shall refer the taxpayer to the
353tax collector.
354     (i)(g)  If a correction to the roll by the property
355appraiser is required as a condition for the refund, the tax
356collector shall, within 30 days, advise the property appraiser
357of the taxpayer's application for a refund and forward the
358application to the property appraiser.
359     (j)(h)  The property appraiser has 30 days after receipt of
360the form from the tax collector to correct the roll if a
361correction is permissible by law. By the end of After the 30-day
362period 30 days, the property appraiser shall immediately advise
363the tax collector in writing whether or not the roll has been
364corrected, stating the reasons why the roll was corrected or not
366     (k)(i)  If the refund requires is not one that can be
367directly acted upon by the tax collector, for which an order
368from the department is required, the tax collector shall forward
369the claim for refund to the department upon receipt of the
370correction from the property appraiser or 30 days after the
371claim for refund, whichever occurs first. This provision does
372not apply to corrections resulting in refunds of less than
373$2,500 $400, which the tax collector shall make directly,
374without order from the department, and from undistributed funds,
375and may make without approval of the various taxing authorities.
376     (l)(j)  The department shall approve or deny all refunds
377within 30 days after receiving a from the tax collector the
378claim for refund from the tax collector, unless good cause is
379stated for delaying the approval or denial beyond that date.
380     (m)(k)  Subject to and after meeting the requirements of s.
381194.171 and this section, an action to contest a denial of
382refund must may not be brought within later than 60 days after
383the date the tax collector mails issues the denial to the
384taxpayer, which notice must be sent by certified mail, or 4
385years after January 1 of the year for which the taxes were paid,
386whichever is later.
387     (n)(l)  In computing any time period under this section, if
388when the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal
389holiday, the period is to be extended to the next working day.
390     (2)(a)  If When the department orders a refund, the
391department it shall forward a copy of its order to the tax
392collector who shall then determine the pro rata share due by
393each taxing authority. The tax collector shall make the refund
394from undistributed funds held for that taxing authority and
395shall identify such refund as a reduction in the next
396distribution. If there are insufficient undistributed funds for
397the refund, the tax collector shall notify the taxing authority
398of the shortfall. The taxing authority shall: and certify to the
399county, the district school board, each municipality, and the
400governing body of each taxing district, their pro rata shares of
401such refund, the reason for the refund, and the date the refund
402was ordered by the department.
403     (b)  The board of county commissioners, the district school
404board, each municipality, and the governing body of each taxing
405district shall comply with the order of the department in the
406following manner:
407     1.  Authorize the tax collector to make refund from
408undistributed funds held for that taxing authority by the tax
410     (a)2.  Authorize the tax collector to make refund and
411forward to the tax collector its pro rata share of the refund
412from currently budgeted funds, if available; or
413     (b)3.  Notify the tax collector that the taxing authority
414does not have funds currently available and provide for the
415payment of the refund in its budget for the ensuing year funds
416for the payment of the refund.
417     (3)  A refund ordered by the department pursuant to this
418section shall be made by the tax collector in one aggregate
419amount composed of all the pro rata shares of the several taxing
420authorities concerned, except that a partial refund is allowed
421when one or more of the taxing authorities concerned do not have
422funds currently available to pay their pro rata shares of the
423refund and this would cause an unreasonable delay in the total
424refund. A statement by the tax collector explaining the refund
425shall accompany the refund payment. When taxes become delinquent
426as a result of a refund pursuant to subparagraph (1)(a)4. or
427paragraph (1)(d) subparagraph (1)(b)2., the tax collector shall
428notify the property owner that the taxes have become delinquent
429and that a tax certificate will be sold if the taxes are not
430paid within 30 days after the date of delinquency.
431     Section 8.  Subsections (1), (3), and (5) of section
432197.222, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
433     197.222  Prepayment of estimated tax by installment
435     (1)  Taxes collected pursuant to this chapter may be
436prepaid in installments as provided in this section. A taxpayer
437may elect to prepay by installments for each tax notice for with
438taxes estimated to be more than $100. A taxpayer who elects to
439prepay taxes shall make payments based upon an estimated tax
440equal to the actual taxes levied upon the subject property in
441the prior year. To prepay by installments, the Such taxpayer
442shall complete and file an application for each tax notice to
443prepay such taxes by installment with the tax collector on or
444before April 30 prior to May 1 of the year in which the taxpayer
445elects to prepay the taxes in installments pursuant to this
446section. The application shall be made on forms supplied by the
447department and provided to the taxpayer by the tax collector.
448After submission of an initial application, a taxpayer is shall
449not be required to submit additional annual applications as long
450as he or she continues to elect to prepay taxes in installments
451pursuant to this section. However, if in any year the taxpayer
452does not so elect, reapplication is shall be required for a
453subsequent election to do so. Installment payments shall be made
454according to the following schedule:
455     (a)  The first payment of one-quarter of the total amount
456of estimated taxes due must shall be made by not later than June
45730 of the year in which the taxes are assessed. A 6-percent
458discount applied against the amount of the installment shall be
459granted for such payment. The tax collector may accept a late
460payment of the first installment through July 31, and the under
461this paragraph within 30 days after June 30; such late payment
462must be accompanied by a penalty of 5 percent of the amount of
463the installment due.
464     (b)  The second payment of one-quarter of the total amount
465of estimated taxes must due shall be made by not later than
466September 30 of the year in which the taxes are assessed. A 4.5-
467percent discount applied against the amount of the installment
468shall be granted for such payment.
469     (c)  The third payment of one-quarter of the total amount
470of estimated taxes due, plus one-half of any adjustment made
471pursuant to a determination of actual tax liability, must shall
472be made by not later than December 31 of the year in which taxes
473are assessed. A 3-percent discount applied against the amount of
474the installment shall be granted for such payment.
475     (d)  The fourth payment of one-quarter of the total amount
476of estimated taxes due, plus one-half of any adjustment made
477pursuant to a determination of actual tax liability, must shall
478be made by not later than March 31 following the year in which
479taxes are assessed. A No discount may not shall be granted for
480such payment.
481     (e)  If For purposes of this section, when an installment
482due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due
483date for the installment is shall be the next working day, if
484the installment payment is delivered to a designated collection
485office of the tax collector. Taxpayers making such payment shall
486be entitled to the applicable discount rate authorized in this
488     (3)  Upon receiving a taxpayer's application for
489participation in the prepayment installment plan, and the tax
490collector shall mail to the taxpayer a statement of the
491taxpayer's estimated tax liability which shall be equal to the
492actual taxes levied on the subject property in the preceding
493year; such statement shall indicate the amount of each quarterly
494installment after application of the discount rates provided in
495this section, and a payment schedule, based upon the schedule
496provided in this section and furnished by the department. for
497those taxpayers who participated in the prepayment installment
498plan for the previous year and who are not required to reapply,
499the tax collector shall send, in the same manner as described in
500s. 197.322(3), a quarterly statement with the discount rates
501provided in this section according to the payment schedule
502provided by the department the statement shall be mailed by June
5031. During the first month that the tax roll is open for payment
504of taxes, the tax collector shall mail to the taxpayer a
505statement which shows the amount of the remaining installment
506payments to be made after application of the discount rates
507provided in this section. The postage or cost of electronic
508mailing shall be paid out of the general fund of the county,
509upon statement thereof by the tax collector.
510     (5)  Notice of the right to prepay taxes pursuant to this
511section shall be provided with the notice of taxes. The Such
512notice shall inform the taxpayer of the right to prepay taxes in
513installments, and that application forms can be obtained from
514the tax collector, and shall state that reapplication is not
515necessary if the taxpayer participated in the prepayment
516installment plan for the previous year. The application forms
517shall be provided by the department and shall be mailed by the
518tax collector to those taxpayers requesting an application.
519     Section 9.  Subsections (3) and (9) of section 197.2301,
520Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
521     197.2301  Payment of taxes prior to certified roll
523     (3)  Immediately upon receipt of the property appraiser's
524certification under subsection (2), the tax collector shall
525publish a notice cause to be published in a newspaper of general
526circulation in the county and shall prominently post at the
527courthouse door a notice that the tax roll will not be certified
528for collection before prior to January 1 and that payments of
529estimated taxes may be made will be allowed by those taxpayers
530who submit tender payment to the collector on or before December
532     (9)  After the discount has been applied to the estimated
533taxes paid and it is determined that an underpayment or
534overpayment has occurred, the following shall apply:
535     (a)  If the amount of underpayment or overpayment is $10 $5
536or less, then no additional billing or refund is required except
537as determined by the tax collector.
538     (b)  If the amount of overpayment is more than $10 $5, the
539tax collector shall immediately refund to the person who paid
540the estimated tax the amount of overpayment. Department of
541Revenue approval is shall not be required for such the refund of
542overpayment made pursuant to this subsection.
543     Section 10.  Section 197.2421, Florida Statutes, is created
544to read:
545     197.2421  Property tax deferral.--
546     (1)  When a property owner applies for a property tax
547deferral and meets the criteria established in this chapter, the
548tax collector shall approve the deferral of such ad valorem
549taxes and non-ad valorem assessments as is allowed under this
551     (2)  Authorized property tax deferral programs are:
552     (a)  Homestead tax deferral.
553     (b)  Recreational and commercial working waterfront
555     (c)  Affordable rental housing deferral.
556     (3)  Ad valorem taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and
557interest deferred pursuant to this chapter shall constitute a
558prior lien and shall attach to the property in the same manner
559as other tax liens. Deferred taxes, assessments, and interest,
560however, shall be due, payable, and delinquent as provided in
561this chapter.
562     Section 11.  Section 197.2423, Florida Statutes, is created
563to read:
564     197.2423  Application for property tax deferral;
565determination of approval or denial by tax collector.--
566     (1)  A property owner is responsible for submitting an
567annual application for tax deferral with the county tax
568collector on or before March 31 following the year in which the
569taxes and non-ad valorem assessments are assessed.
570     (2)  Each applicant shall demonstrate compliance with the
571requirements of this section.
572     (3)  The application for deferral shall be made upon a form
573provided by the tax collector. The tax collector may require the
574applicant to submit other evidence and documentation deemed
575necessary in considering the application. The application form
576shall advise the applicant:
577     (a)  Of the manner in which interest is computed.
578     (b)  Of the conditions needed to be met for approval.
579     (c)  Of the conditions under which deferred taxes,
580assessments, and interest become due, payable, and delinquent.
581     (d)  That all deferrals pursuant to this section constitute
582a lien on the applicant's property.
583     (4)  Each application shall include a list of all
584outstanding liens on the property and the current value of each
586     (5)  Each applicant shall furnish proof of fire and
587extended coverage insurance in an amount at least equal to the
588total of all outstanding liens, including a lien for deferred
589taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest with a loss
590payable clause to the tax collector.
591     (6)  The tax collector shall consider each annual
592application for a tax deferral within 45 days after the
593application is filed or as soon as practicable thereafter. The
594tax collector shall exercise reasonable discretion based upon
595applicable information available under this section. A tax
596collector who finds that the applicant is entitled to the tax
597deferral shall approve the application and maintain the deferral
598records until the tax lien is satisfied.
599     (7)  For approved deferrals, the date used in determining
600taxes due, net of discounts for early payment as provided in s.
601197.162, is the date the tax collector received the application
602for tax deferral.
603     (8)  The tax collector shall notify the property appraiser
604in writing of those parcels for which taxes have been deferred.
605     (9)  A tax deferral may not be granted if:
606     (a)  The total amount of deferred taxes, non-ad valorem
607assessments, and interest, plus the total amount of all other
608unsatisfied liens on the property, exceeds 85 percent of the
609just value of the property; or
610     (b)  The primary mortgage financing on the property is for
611an amount that exceeds 70 percent of the just value of the
613     (10)  A tax collector who finds that the applicant is not
614entitled to the deferral shall send a notice of disapproval
615within 45 days after the date the application is filed, citing
616the reason for disapproval. The original notice of disapproval
617shall be sent to the applicant and shall advise the applicant of
618the right to appeal the decision to the value adjustment board
619and shall inform the applicant of the procedure for filing such
620an appeal.
621     Section 12.  Section 197.253, Florida Statutes, is
622renumbered as section 197.2425, Florida Statutes, and amended to
624     197.2425 197.253  Appeal of denied Homestead tax deferral;
625application.--An appeal of a denied tax deferral must be
626submitted by the property owner
627     (1)  The application for deferral shall be made upon a form
628prescribed by the department and furnished by the county tax
629collector. The application form shall be signed upon oath by the
630applicant before an officer authorized by the state to
631administer oaths. The tax collector may, in his or her
632discretion, require the applicant to submit such other evidence
633and documentation as deemed necessary by the tax collector in
634considering the application. The application form shall advise
635the applicant of the manner in which interest is computed. Each
636application form shall contain an explanation of the conditions
637to be met for approval and the conditions under which deferred
638taxes and interest become due, payable, and delinquent. Each
639application shall clearly state that all deferrals pursuant to
640this act shall constitute a lien on the applicant's homestead.
641     (2)(a)  The tax collector shall consider each annual
642application for homestead tax deferral within 30 days of the day
643the application is filed or as soon as practicable thereafter. A
644tax collector who finds that the applicant is entitled to the
645tax deferral shall approve the application and file the
646application in the permanent records. A tax collector who finds
647the applicant is not entitled to the deferral shall send a
648notice of disapproval within 30 days of the filing of the
649application, giving reasons therefor to the applicant, either by
650personal delivery or by registered mail to the mailing address
651given by the applicant and shall make return in the manner in
652which such notice was served upon the applicant upon the
653original notice thereof and file among the permanent records of
654the tax collector's office. The original notice of disapproval
655sent to the applicant shall advise the applicant of the right to
656appeal the decision of the tax collector to the value adjustment
657board and shall inform the applicant of the procedure for filing
658such an appeal.
659     (b)  Appeals of the decision of the tax collector to the
660value adjustment board shall be in writing on a form prescribed
661by the department and furnished by the tax collector. The Such
662appeal must shall be filed with the value adjustment board
663within 30 20 days after the applicant's receipt of the notice of
664disapproval. The value adjustment board shall review the
665application and the evidence presented to the tax collector upon
666which the applicant based his or her claim for tax deferral and,
667at the election of the applicant, shall hear the applicant in
668person, or by agent on the applicant's behalf, on his or her
669right to a homestead tax deferral. The value adjustment board
670shall reverse the decision of the tax collector and grant a
671homestead tax deferral to the applicant, if in its judgment the
672applicant is entitled to the tax deferral thereto, or shall
673affirm the decision of the tax collector. An Such action by of
674the value adjustment board is shall be final unless the
675applicant or tax collector files a de novo proceeding for a
676declaratory judgment or other appropriate proceeding in the
677circuit court of the county in which the property is located or
678other lienholder, within 15 days after from the date of
679disapproval of the application by the board, files in the
680circuit court of the county in which the property is located, a
681proceeding for a declaratory judgment or other appropriate
683     (3)  Each application shall contain a list of, and the
684current value of, all outstanding liens on the applicant's
686     (4)  For approved applications, the date of receipt by the
687tax collector of the application for tax deferral shall be used
688in calculating taxes due and payable net of discounts for early
689payment as provided for by s. 197.162.
690     (5)  If such proof has not been furnished with a prior
691application, each applicant shall furnish proof of fire and
692extended coverage insurance in an amount which is in excess of
693the sum of all outstanding liens and deferred taxes and interest
694with a loss payable clause to the county tax collector.
695     (6)  The tax collector shall notify the property appraiser
696in writing of those parcels for which taxes have been deferred.
697     (7)  The property appraiser shall promptly notify the tax
698collector of denials of homestead application and changes in
699ownership of properties that have been granted a tax deferral.
700     Section 13.  Section 197.243, Florida Statutes, is amended
701to read:
702     197.243  Definitions relating to homestead property tax
703deferral Act.--
704     (1)  "Household" means a person or group of persons living
705together in a room or group of rooms as a housing unit, but the
706term does not include persons boarding in or renting a portion
707of the dwelling.
708     (2)  "Income" means the "adjusted gross income," as defined
709in s. 62 of the United States Internal Revenue Code, of all
710members of a household.
711     Section 14.  Section 197.252, Florida Statutes, is amended
712to read:
713     197.252  Homestead tax deferral.--
714     (1)  Any person who is entitled to claim homestead tax
715exemption under the provisions of s. 196.031(1) may apply elect
716to defer payment of a portion of the combined total of the ad
717valorem taxes and any non-ad valorem assessments which would be
718covered by a tax certificate sold under this chapter levied on
719that person's homestead by filing an annual application for tax
720deferral with the county tax collector on or before January 31
721following the year in which the taxes and non-ad valorem
722assessments are assessed. Any applicant who is entitled to
723receive the homestead tax exemption but has waived it for any
724reason shall furnish, with the application for tax deferral, a
725certificate of eligibility to receive the exemption. Such
726certificate shall be prepared by the county property appraiser
727upon request of the taxpayer. It shall be the burden of each
728applicant to affirmatively demonstrate compliance with the
729requirements of this section.
730     (2)(a)  Approval of an application for homestead tax
731deferral shall defer that portion of the combined total of ad
732valorem taxes and any non-ad valorem assessments:
733     1.  That which would be covered by a tax certificate sold
734under this chapter otherwise due and payable on the applicant's
735homestead pursuant to s. 197.333 which exceeds 5 percent of the
736applicant's household's income for the prior calendar year when
737the applicant is younger than 65 years of age;
738     2.  That exceeds 3 percent of the applicant's household
739income for the prior calendar year when the applicant is 65
740years of age or older; or
741     3.  In its entirety when the applicant's household income:
742     a.  For the prior calendar year is less than $10,000; or
743     b.  Is less than the designated amount for the additional
744homestead exemption pursuant to s. 196.075 and the applicant is
74565 years of age or older. If any such applicant's household
746income for the prior calendar year is less than $10,000,
747approval of such application shall defer such ad valorem taxes
748plus non-ad valorem assessments in their entirety.
749     (b)  If the applicant is 65 years of age or older, approval
750of the application shall defer that portion of the ad valorem
751taxes plus non-ad valorem assessments which exceeds 3 percent of
752the applicant's household income for the prior calendar year. If
753any applicant's household income for the prior calendar year is
754less than $10,000, or is less than the amount of the household
755income designated for the additional homestead exemption
756pursuant to s. 196.075, and the applicant is 65 years of age or
757older, approval of the application shall defer the ad valorem
758taxes plus non-ad valorem assessments in their entirety.
759     (b)(c)  The household income of an applicant who applies
760for a tax deferral before the end of the calendar year in which
761the taxes and non-ad valorem assessments are assessed shall be
762for the current year, adjusted to reflect estimated income for
763the full calendar year period. The estimate of a full year's
764household income shall be made by multiplying the household
765income received to the date of application by a fraction, the
766numerator being 365 and the denominator being the number of days
767expired in the calendar year to the date of application.
768     (3)  The property appraiser shall promptly notify the tax
769collector if there is a change in ownership or the homestead
770exemption has been denied on property that has been granted a
771tax deferral. No tax deferral shall be granted:
772     (a)  If the total amount of deferred taxes, non-ad valorem
773assessments, and interest plus the total amount of all other
774unsatisfied liens on the homestead exceeds 85 percent of the
775assessed value of the homestead, or
776     (b)  If the primary mortgage financing on the homestead is
777for an amount which exceeds 70 percent of the assessed value of
778the homestead.
779     (4)  The amount of taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and
780interest deferred under this act shall accrue interest at a rate
781equal to the semiannually compounded rate of one-half of 1
782percent plus the average yield to maturity of the long-term
783fixed-income portion of the Florida Retirement System
784investments as of the end of the quarter preceding the date of
785the sale of the deferred payment tax certificates; however, the
786interest rate may not exceed 7 percent.
787     (5)  The taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest
788deferred pursuant to this act shall constitute a prior lien and
789shall attach as of the date and in the same manner and be
790collected as other liens for taxes, as provided for under this
791chapter, but such deferred taxes, non-ad valorem assessments,
792and interest shall only be due, payable, and delinquent as
793provided in this act.
794     Section 15.  Section 197.303, Florida Statutes, is
795renumbered as section 197.2524, Florida Statutes, and amended to
797     197.2524 197.303  Ad valorem Tax deferral for recreational
798and commercial working waterfront properties and affordable
799rental housing property.--
800     (1)  The provisions of this section apply to: board of
801county commissioners of any county or the governing authority of
802any municipality may adopt an ordinance to allow for ad valorem
803tax deferrals for
804     (a)  Recreational and commercial working waterfront
805properties if the owners are engaging in the operation,
806rehabilitation, or renovation of such properties in accordance
807with guidelines established in this section.
808     (b)  Affordable rental housing, if the owners are engaging
809in the operation, rehabilitation, or renovation of such
810properties in accordance with the guidelines provided in part VI
811of chapter 420.
812     (2)  The board of county commissioners of any county or the
813governing authority of any the municipality may adopt an by
814ordinance to may authorize the deferral of ad valorem taxation
815and non-ad valorem assessments for recreational and commercial
816working waterfront properties described in subsection (1).
817     (3)  The ordinance shall designate the percentage or amount
818of the deferral and the type and location of the working
819waterfront property and, including the type of public lodging
820establishments, for which deferrals may be granted, which may
821include any property meeting the provisions of s. 342.07(2),
822which property may require the property be further required to
823be located within a particular geographic area or areas of the
824county or municipality. For working waterfront properties, the
825ordinance may include the type of public lodging establishments,
826including property meeting the requirements of s. 342.07(2),
827which would qualify.
828     (4)  The ordinance must specify that such deferrals apply
829only to taxes or assessments levied by the unit of government
830granting the deferral. However, a deferral may not be granted
831for the deferrals do not apply, however, to taxes or non-ad
832valorem assessments defined in s. 197.3632(1)(d) levied for the
833payment of bonds or for to taxes authorized by a vote of the
834electors pursuant to s. 9(b) or s. 12, Art. VII of the State
836     (5)  The ordinance must specify that any deferral granted
837remains in effect regardless of any change in the authority of
838the county or municipality to grant the deferral. In order to
839retain the deferral, however, the use and ownership of the
840property as a working waterfront must remain as it was when the
841deferral was granted for be maintained over the period in for
842which the deferral remains is granted.
843     (6)(a)  If an application for deferral is granted on
844property that is located in a community redevelopment area, the
845amount of taxes eligible for deferral shall be limited reduced,
846as provided for in paragraph (b), if:
847     1.  The community redevelopment agency has previously
848issued instruments of indebtedness that are secured by increment
849revenues on deposit in the community redevelopment trust fund;
851     2.  Those instruments of indebtedness are associated with
852the real property applying for the deferral.
853     (b)  If the provisions of paragraph (a) apply, the tax
854deferral may shall not apply only to the an amount of taxes in
855excess of equal to the amount that must be deposited into the
856community redevelopment trust fund by the entity granting the
857deferral based upon the taxable value of the property upon which
858the deferral is being granted. Once all instruments of
859indebtedness that existed at the time the deferral was
860originally granted are no longer outstanding or have otherwise
861been defeased, the provisions of this paragraph shall no longer
863     (c)  If a portion of the taxes on a property were not
864eligible for deferral as provided in because of the provisions
865of paragraph (b), the community redevelopment agency shall
866notify the property owner and the tax collector 1 year before
867the debt instruments that prevented said taxes from being
868deferred are no longer outstanding or otherwise defeased.
869     (d)  The tax collector shall notify a community
870redevelopment agency of any tax deferral that has been granted
871on property located within the community redevelopment area of
872that agency.
873     (e)  Issuance of debt obligation after the date a deferral
874has been granted shall not reduce the amount of taxes eligible
875for deferral.
876     Section 16.  Section 197.3071, Florida Statutes, is
877renumbered as section 197.2526, Florida Statutes, and amended to
879     197.2526 197.3071  Eligibility for tax deferral for
880affordable rental housing property.--The tax deferral authorized
881by s. 197.2524 this section is applicable only on a pro rata
882basis to the ad valorem taxes levied on residential units within
883a property which meet the following conditions:
884     (1)  Units for which the monthly rent along with taxes,
885insurance, and utilities does not exceed 30 percent of the
886median adjusted gross annual income as defined in s. 420.0004
887for the households described in subsection (2).
888     (2)  Units that are occupied by extremely-low-income
889persons, very-low-income persons, low-income persons, or
890moderate-income persons as these terms are defined in s.
892     Section 17.  Section 197.254, Florida Statutes, is amended
893to read:
894     197.254  Annual notification to taxpayer.--
895     (1)  The tax collector shall notify the taxpayer of each
896parcel appearing on the real property assessment roll of the
897right to defer payment of taxes and non-ad valorem assessments
898and interest. pursuant to ss. 197.242-197.312. Such notice shall
899be printed on the back of envelopes used for mailing the notice
900of taxes provided for by s. 197.322(3). Such notice of the right
901to defer payment of taxes and non-ad valorem assessments shall
907"If your income is low enough to meet certain conditions, you
908may qualify for a deferred tax payment plan on homestead
909property. An application to determine eligibility is available
910in the county tax collector's office."
911     (2)  On or before November 1 of each year, the tax
912collector shall notify each taxpayer to whom a tax deferral has
913been previously granted of the accumulated sum of deferred
914taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest outstanding.
915     Section 18.  Section 197.262, Florida Statutes, is amended
916to read:
917     197.262  Deferred payment tax certificates.--
918     (1)  The tax collector shall notify each local governing
919body of the amount of taxes and non-ad valorem assessments
920deferred which would otherwise have been collected for such
921governing body. The county shall then, At the time of the tax
922certificate sale held pursuant to s. 197.432, the tax collector
923shall strike each certificate on which there are deferred taxes
924off to the county. Certificates issued pursuant to this section
925are exempt from the public sale of tax certificates held
926pursuant to s. 197.432.
927     (2)  The certificates so held by the county shall bear
928interest at a rate equal to the semiannually compounded rate of
9290.5 percent plus the average yield to maturity of the long-term
930fixed-income portion of the Florida Retirement System
931investments as of the end of the quarter preceding the date of
932the sale of the deferred payment tax certificates; however, the
933interest rate may not exceed 7 9.5 percent.
934     Section 19.  Section 197.263, Florida Statutes, is amended
935to read:
936     197.263  Change in ownership or use of property.--
937     (1)  If In the event that there is a change in use or
938ownership of tax-deferred property such that the owner is no
939longer eligible for the tax deferral granted entitled to claim
940homestead exemption for such property pursuant to s. 196.031(1),
941or the owner such person fails to maintain the required fire and
942extended insurance coverage, the total amount of deferred taxes
943and interest for all previous years shall be due and payable
944November 1 of the year in which the change in use occurs or on
945the date failure to maintain insurance occurs and shall be
946delinquent on April 1 of the year following the year in which
947the change in use or failure to maintain insurance occurs.
948However, if the change in ownership is to a surviving spouse and
949the spouse is eligible to maintain the tax deferral on such
950property, the surviving spouse may continue the deferment of
951previously deferred taxes and interest pursuant to this chapter.
952     (2)  In the event that there is a change in ownership of
953tax-deferred property, the total amount of deferred taxes and
954interest for all previous years shall be due and payable on the
955date the change in ownership takes place and shall be delinquent
956on April 1 following said date. When, however, the change in
957ownership is to a surviving spouse and such spouse is eligible
958to claim homestead exemption on such property pursuant to s.
959196.031(1), such surviving spouse may continue the deferment of
960previously deferred taxes and interest pursuant to the
961provisions of this act.
962     (2)(3)  Whenever the property appraiser discovers that
963there has been a change in the ownership or use of property
964which has been granted a tax deferral, the property appraiser
965shall notify the tax collector in writing of the date such
966change occurs, and the tax collector shall collect any taxes,
967assessments, and interest due or delinquent.
968     (3)(4)  During any year in which the total amount of
969deferred taxes, interest, and all other unsatisfied liens on the
970homestead exceeds 85 percent of the assessed value of the
971homestead, the tax collector shall immediately notify the owner
972of the property on which taxes and interest have been deferred
973that the portion of taxes and interest which exceeds 85 percent
974of the assessed value of the homestead shall be due and payable
975within 30 days after of receipt of the notice is sent. Failure
976to pay the amount due shall cause the total amount of deferred
977taxes and interest to become delinquent.
978     (4)(5)  Each year, upon notification, each owner of
979property on which taxes and interest have been deferred shall
980submit to the tax collector a list of, and the current value of,
981all outstanding liens on the owner's homestead. Failure to
982respond to this notification within 30 days shall cause the
983total amount of deferred taxes and interest to become payable
984within 30 days.
985     (5)(6)  If In the event deferred taxes become delinquent
986under this chapter, then on or before June 1 following the date
987the taxes become delinquent, the tax collector shall sell a tax
988certificate for the delinquent taxes and interest in the manner
989provided by s. 197.432.
990     Section 20.  Section 197.272, Florida Statutes, is amended
991to read:
992     197.272  Prepayment of deferred taxes.--
993     (1)  All or part of the deferred taxes and accrued interest
994may at any time be paid to the tax collector. Any payment that
995is less than the total amount due may not apply to a portion of
996a full year's deferred taxes, assessments, and interest. by:
997     (a)  The owner of the property or the spouse of the owner.
998     (b)  The next of kin of the owner, heir of the owner, child
999of the owner, or any person having or claiming a legal or
1000equitable interest in the property, provided no objection is
1001made by the owner within 30 days after the tax collector
1002notifies the owner of the fact that such payment has been
1004     (2)  Any partial payment made pursuant to this section
1005shall be applied first to accrued interest.
1006     Section 21.  Section 197.282, Florida Statutes, is amended
1007to read:
1008     197.282  Distribution of payments.--When any deferred
1009taxes, assessments, or interest is collected, the tax collector
1010shall maintain a record of the payment, setting forth a
1011description of the property and the amount of taxes or interest
1012collected for such property. The tax collector shall distribute
1013payments received in accordance with the procedures for
1014distribution of ad valorem taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, or
1015redemption moneys as prescribed in this chapter.
1016     Section 22.  Section 197.292, Florida Statutes, is amended
1017to read:
1018     197.292  Construction.--Nothing in this chapter act shall
1019be construed to prevent the collection of personal property
1020taxes that: which
1021     (1)  Become a lien against tax-deferred property;,
1022     (2)  Defer payment of special assessments to benefited
1023property other than those specifically allowed to be deferred;,
1025     (3)  Affect any provision of any mortgage or other
1026instrument relating to property requiring a person to pay ad
1027valorem taxes or non-ad valorem assessments.
1028     Section 23.  Section 197.301, Florida Statutes, is amended
1029to read:
1030     197.301  Penalties.--
1031     (1)  The following penalties shall be imposed on any person
1032who willfully files information required under s. 197.252 or s.
1033197.263 which is incorrect:
1034     (a)  The Such person shall pay the total amount of deferred
1035taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest deferred, which
1036amount shall immediately become due.;
1037     (b)  The Such person shall be disqualified from filing a
1038homestead tax deferral application for the next 3 years.; and
1039     (c)  The Such person shall pay a penalty of 25 percent of
1040the total amount of deferred taxes, non-ad valorem assessments,
1041and interest deferred.
1042     (2)  Any person against whom the penalties prescribed in
1043this section have been imposed may appeal the penalties imposed
1044to the value adjustment board within 30 days after said
1045penalties are imposed.
1046     Section 24.  Section 197.312, Florida Statutes, is amended
1047to read:
1048     197.312  Payment by mortgagee.--If any mortgagee elects
1049shall elect to pay the taxes when an applicant qualifies for tax
1050deferral, then such election does shall not give the mortgagee
1051the right to foreclose.
1052     Section 25.  Section 197.322, Florida Statutes, is amended
1053to read:
1054     197.322  Delivery of ad valorem tax and non-ad valorem
1055assessment rolls; notice of taxes; publication and mail.--
1056     (1)  The property appraiser shall deliver to the tax
1057collector the certified assessment roll along with his or her
1058warrant and recapitulation sheet.
1059     (2)  The tax collector shall on November 1, or as soon as
1060the assessment roll is open for collection, publish a notice in
1061a local newspaper that the tax roll is open for collection.
1062     (3)  Within 20 working days after receipt of the certified
1063ad valorem tax roll and the non-ad valorem assessment rolls, the
1064tax collector shall send mail to each taxpayer appearing on such
1065said rolls, whose post office address is known to him or her, a
1066tax notice stating the amount of current taxes due, from the
1067taxpayer and, if applicable, the fact that back taxes remain
1068unpaid and advising the taxpayer of the discounts allowed for
1069early payment, and a notice that delinquent taxes are
1070outstanding, if applicable. Pursuant to s. 197.3632, the form of
1071the notice of non-ad valorem assessments and notice of ad
1072valorem taxes shall be as provided in s. 197.3635 and no other
1073form shall be used, notwithstanding the provisions of s.
1074195.022. The tax collector may send such notice electronically
1075or by postal mail. Electronic transmission may only be used with
1076the express consent of the property owner. Electronic
1077transmission of tax notices may be sent earlier but shall not be
1078sent later than the postal mailing of the notices. If the notice
1079of taxes is sent electronically and is returned as
1080undeliverable, a second notice may be sent through postal mail.
1081However, the original electronic transmission is the official
1082mailing for purpose of this section. No discount period shall be
1083extended due to a tax bill being returned electronically or
1084through postal mail. The postage for mailing or the cost of
1085electronic transmission shall be paid out of the general fund of
1086each local governing board, upon statement thereof by the tax
1088     Section 26.  Section 197.332, Florida Statutes, is amended
1089to read:
1090     197.332  Duties of tax collectors; branch offices.--
1091     (1)  The tax collector has the authority and obligation to
1092collect all taxes as shown on the tax roll by the date of
1093delinquency or to collect delinquent taxes, interest, and costs,
1094by sale of tax certificates on real property and by seizure and
1095sale of personal property. The tax collector may perform such
1096duties by use of contracted services or products or by
1097electronic means. The use of contracted services, products, or
1098vendors in no way diminishes the responsibility or liability of
1099the tax collector to perform such duties according to law. The
1100tax collector may shall be allowed to collect reasonable
1101attorney's fees and court costs in actions on proceedings to
1102recover delinquent taxes, interest, and costs.
1103     (2)  A county tax collector may establish one or more
1104branch offices by acquiring title to real property or by lease
1105agreement. The tax collector may staff and equip such branch
1106offices to conduct state business or, if authorized to do so by
1107resolution of the county governing body, to perform the duties
1108of tax collector under this chapter. The department shall rely
1109on the tax collector's determination that a branch office is
1110necessary and shall base its approval of the tax collector's
1111budget in accordance with the procedures of s. 195.087(2).
1112     Section 27.  Section 197.343, Florida Statutes, is amended
1113to read:
1114     197.343  Tax notices; additional notice required.--
1115     (1)  An additional tax notice shall be sent, electronically
1116or by postal mail, mailed by April 30 to each taxpayer whose
1117payment has not been received. Electronic transmission of the
1118additional tax notice may be used only with the express consent
1119of the property owner. If the electronic transmission is
1120returned as undeliverable, a second notice may be sent by postal
1121mail. However, the original electronic transmission is the
1122official notice for the purpose of this subsection. The notice
1123must shall include a description of the property and a statement
1124that if the taxes are not paid:
1125     (a)  For real property, a tax certificate may be sold.
1126     (b)  For tangible personal property, the property may be
1127sold the following statement: If the taxes for   (year)   on
1128your property are not paid in full, a tax certificate will be
1129sold for the delinquent taxes, and your property may be sold at
1130a future date. Contact the tax collector's office at once.
1131     (2)  A duplicate of the additional tax notice required by
1132subsection (1) shall be mailed to a condominium unit owner's
1133condominium association or to a mobile home owner's homeowners'
1134association as defined in s. 723.075 if the association has
1135filed with the tax collector a written request and included a
1136description of the land. The tax collector is authorized to
1137charge a reasonable fee for the cost of this service.
1138     (2)(3)  When the taxes under s. 193.481 on subsurface
1139rights have become delinquent and a tax certificate is to be
1140sold under this chapter, a notice of the delinquency shall be
1141given by first-class mail to the owner of the fee to which these
1142subsurface rights are attached. On the day of the tax sale, the
1143fee owner shall have the right to purchase the tax certificate
1144at the maximum rate of interest provided by law before bids are
1145accepted for the sale of such certificate.
1146     (3)(4)  The tax collector shall mail such additional
1147notices as he or she considers proper and necessary or as may be
1148required by reasonable rules of the department.
1149     Section 28.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section 197.344,
1150Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1151     197.344  Lienholders; receipt of notices and delinquent
1153     (1)  When requested in writing, a tax notice shall be sent
1154mailed according to the following procedures:
1155     (a)  Upon request by any taxpayer aged 60 or over, the tax
1156collector shall send mail the tax notice to a third party
1157designated by the taxpayer. A duplicate copy of the notice shall
1158be sent mailed to the taxpayer.
1159     (b)  Upon request by a mortgagee stating that the mortgagee
1160is the trustee of an escrow account for ad valorem taxes due on
1161the property, the tax notice shall be sent mailed to such
1162trustee. When the original tax notice is sent mailed to such
1163trustee, the tax collector shall send mail a duplicate notice to
1164the owner of the property with the additional statement that the
1165original has been sent to the trustee.
1166     (c)  Upon request by a vendee of an unrecorded or recorded
1167contract for deed, the tax collector shall send mail a duplicate
1168notice to such vendee.
1170The tax collector may establish cutoff dates, periods for
1171updating the list, and any other reasonable requirements to
1172ensure that the tax notices are sent mailed to the proper party
1173on time. Notices may be sent electronically or by postal mail.
1174However, electronic transmission may be used only with the
1175express consent of the person making the request. If the
1176electronic transmission is returned as undeliverable, a second
1177notice may be sent by postal mail. However, the original
1178electronic transmission is the official notice for the purpose
1179of this subsection.
1180     (2)  On or before May 1 of each year, the holder or
1181mortgagee of an unsatisfied mortgage, lienholder, or vendee
1182under a contract for deed, upon filing with the tax collector a
1183description of property land so encumbered and paying a service
1184charge of $2, may request and receive information concerning any
1185delinquent taxes appearing on the current tax roll and
1186certificates issued on the described property land. Upon receipt
1187of such request, the tax collector shall furnish the following
1188information within 60 days following the tax certificate sale:
1189     (a)  The description of property on which certificates were
1191     (b)  The number of each certificate issued and to whom.
1192     (c)  The face amount of each certificate.
1193     (d)  The cost for redemption of each certificate.
1194     Section 29.  Section 197.3635, Florida Statutes, is amended
1195to read:
1196     197.3635  Combined notice of ad valorem taxes and non-ad
1197valorem assessments; requirements.--A form for the combined
1198notice of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments shall
1199be produced and paid for by the tax collector. The form shall
1200meet the requirements of this section and department rules and
1201shall be subject to approval by the department. By rule the
1202department shall provide a format for the form of such combined
1203notice. The form shall meet the following requirements:
1204     (1)  It shall contain the title "Notice of Ad Valorem Taxes
1205and Non-ad Valorem Assessments." It shall also contain a receipt
1206part that can be returned along with the payment to the tax
1208     (2)  It shall provide a clear partition between ad valorem
1209taxes and non-ad valorem assessments. Such partition shall be a
1210bold horizontal line approximately 1/8 inch thick.
1211     (2)(3)  Within the ad valorem part, it shall contain the
1212heading "Ad Valorem Taxes." Within the non-ad valorem assessment
1213part, it shall contain the heading "Non-ad Valorem Assessments."
1214     (3)(4)  It shall contain the county name, the assessment
1215year, the mailing address of the tax collector, the mailing
1216address of one property owner, the legal description of the
1217property to at least 25 characters, and the unique parcel or tax
1218identification number of the property.
1219     (4)(5)  It shall provide for the labeled disclosure of the
1220total amount of combined levies and the total discounted amount
1221due each month when paid in advance.
1222     (5)(6)  It shall provide a field or portion on the front of
1223the notice for official use for data to reflect codes useful to
1224the tax collector.
1225     (6)(7)  The combined notice shall be set in type which is 8
1226points or larger.
1227     (7)(8)  The ad valorem part shall contain the following:
1228     (a)  A schedule of the assessed value, exempted value, and
1229taxable value of the property.
1230     (b)  Subheadings for columns listing taxing authorities,
1231corresponding millage rates expressed in dollars and cents per
1232$1,000 of taxable value, and the associated tax.
1233     (c)  Taxing authorities listed in the same sequence and
1234manner as listed on the notice required by s. 200.069(4)(a),
1235with the exception that independent special districts, municipal
1236service taxing districts, and voted debt service millages for
1237each taxing authority shall be listed separately. If a county
1238has too many municipal service taxing units to list separately,
1239it shall combine them to disclose the total number of such units
1240and the amount of taxes levied.
1241     (8)(9)  Within the non-ad valorem assessment part, it shall
1242contain the following:
1243     (a)  Subheadings for columns listing the levying
1244authorities, corresponding assessment rates expressed in dollars
1245and cents per unit of assessment, and the associated assessment
1247     (b)  The purpose of the assessment, if the purpose is not
1248clearly indicated by the name of the levying authority.
1249     (c)  A listing of the levying authorities in the same order
1250as in the ad valorem part to the extent practicable. If a county
1251has too many municipal service benefit units to list separately,
1252it shall combine them by function.
1253     (9)(10)  It shall provide instructions and useful
1254information to the taxpayer. Such information and instructions
1255shall be nontechnical to minimize confusion. The information and
1256instructions required by this section shall be provided by
1257department rule and shall include:
1258     (a)  Procedures to be followed when the property has been
1259sold or conveyed.
1260     (b)  Instruction as to mailing the remittance and receipt
1261along with a brief disclosure of the availability of discounts.
1262     (c)  Notification about delinquency and interest for
1263delinquent payment.
1264     (d)  Notification that failure to pay the amounts due will
1265result in a tax certificate being issued against the property.
1266     (e)  A brief statement outlining the responsibility of the
1267tax collector, the property appraiser, and the taxing
1268authorities. This statement shall be accompanied by directions
1269as to which office to contact for particular questions or
1271     Section 30.  Subsections (2) and (4) of section 197.373,
1272Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1273     197.373  Payment of portion of taxes.--
1274     (2)  The request must be made at least 45 15 days prior to
1275the tax certificate sale.
1276     (4)  This section does not apply to assessments and
1277collections made pursuant to the provisions of s. 192.037 or
1278when taxes have been paid.
1279     Section 31.  Subsection (1) of section 197.374, Florida
1280Statutes, is amended to read:
1281     197.374  Partial payment of current year taxes.--
1282     (1)  As used in this section, the term "partial payment"
1283means a payment that is less than the full amount of taxes due.
1284The term does not include payments made pursuant to s. 194.171,
1285s. 196.295, s. 197.222, s. 197.252, or s. 197.2524 197.303.
1286     Section 32.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section 197.402,
1287Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1288     197.402  Advertisement of real or personal property with
1289delinquent taxes.--
1290     (1)  If Whenever legal advertisements are required, the
1291board of county commissioners shall select the newspaper as
1292provided in chapter 50. The office of the tax collector shall
1293pay all newspaper charges, and the proportionate cost of the
1294advertisements shall be added to the delinquent taxes when they
1295are collected.
1296     (3)  Except as provided in s. 197.432(4), on or before June
12971 or the 60th day after the date of delinquency, whichever is
1298later, the tax collector shall advertise once each week for 3
1299weeks and shall sell tax certificates on all real property
1300having with delinquent taxes. If the deadline falls on a
1301Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, it is extended to the next
1302working day. The tax collector shall make a list of such
1303properties in the same order in which the property was lands
1304were assessed, specifying the amount due on each parcel,
1305including interest at the rate of 18 percent per year from the
1306date of delinquency to the date of sale; the cost of
1307advertising; and the expense of sale.
1308     Section 33.  Section 197.403, Florida Statutes, is amended
1309to read:
1310     197.403  Publisher to furnish copy of advertisement to tax
1311collector; Proof of publication; fees.--The newspaper publishing
1312the notice of a tax sale shall furnish transmit by mail a copy
1313of the paper containing each notice to the tax collector within
131410 days after the last required publication. When the
1315publication of the tax sale notice is completed as provided by
1316law, the publisher shall make an affidavit, in the form
1317prescribed by the department, which shall be delivered to the
1318tax collector and annexed to the report of certificates sold for
1319taxes as provided by s. 197.432(9)(8).
1320     Section 34.  Subsections (5) and (10) of section 197.413,
1321Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1322     197.413  Delinquent personal property taxes; warrants;
1323court order for levy and seizure of personal property; seizure;
1324fees of tax collectors.--
1325     (5)  Upon the filing of the such petition, the clerk of the
1326court shall notify each delinquent taxpayer listed in the
1327petition that a petition has been filed and that, upon
1328ratification and confirmation of the petition, the tax collector
1329is will be authorized to issue warrants and levy upon, seize,
1330and sell so much of the taxpayer's tangible personal property as
1331to satisfy the delinquent taxes, plus costs, interest,
1332attorney's fees, and other charges. The Such notice shall be
1333given by certified mail, return receipt requested. If agreed to
1334by the clerk of court, the tax collector may provide the
1336     (10)  The tax collector is entitled to a fee of $10 $2 from
1337each delinquent taxpayer at the time delinquent taxes are
1338collected. The tax collector is entitled to receive an
1339additional $8 for each warrant issued.
1340     Section 35.  Section 197.414, Florida Statutes, is amended
1341to read:
1342     197.414  Tax collector to keep Record of warrants and
1343levies on tangible personal property.--The tax collector shall
1344keep a record of all warrants and levies made under this chapter
1345and shall note on such record the date of payment, the amount of
1346money, if any, received, and the disposition thereof made by him
1347or her. Such record shall be known as "the tangible personal
1348property tax warrant register." and the form thereof shall be
1349prescribed by the Department of Revenue. The warrant register
1350may be maintained in paper or electronic form.
1351     Section 36.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section 197.4155,
1352Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1353     197.4155  Delinquent personal property taxes; installment
1354payment program.--
1355     (1)  A county tax collector may implement a an installment
1356payment program for the payment of delinquent personal property
1357taxes. If implemented, the program must be available, upon
1358application to the tax collector, to each delinquent personal
1359property taxpayer whose delinquent personal property taxes
1360exceed $1,000. The tax collector shall require each taxpayer who
1361requests to participate in the program to submit an application
1362on a form prescribed by the tax collector which, at a minimum,
1363must include the name, address, a description of the property
1364subject to personal property taxes, and the amount of the
1365personal property taxes owed by the taxpayer.
1366     (2)  Within 10 days after a taxpayer who owes delinquent
1367personal property taxes submits the required application, the
1368tax collector may shall prescribe a an installment payment plan
1369for the full payment of the taxpayer's delinquent personal
1370property taxes, including any delinquency charges, interest, and
1371costs allowed by this chapter. The plan must be in writing and
1372must be delivered to the taxpayer after it is prescribed. At the
1373time the plan is developed, the tax collector may consider a
1374taxpayer's current and anticipated future ability to pay over
1375the time period of a potential installment payment plan. The
1376plan must provide that if the taxpayer does not follow the
1377payment terms or fails to timely file returns or pay current
1378obligations after the date of the payment plan, the taxpayer
1379shall will be considered delinquent under the terms of the plan,
1380and any unpaid balance of tax, penalty, or interest scheduled in
1381the payment plan will be due and payable immediately. The plan
1382must also provide that unpaid tax amounts bear interest as
1383provided by law. In prescribing a such an installment payment
1384plan, the tax collector may exercise flexibility as to the
1385dates, amounts, and number of payments required to collect all
1386delinquent personal property taxes owed by the taxpayer, except
1387that the plan must provide for the full satisfaction of all
1388amounts owed by the taxpayer within by no later than 3 years
1389after the due date of the first payment under the plan.
1390     Section 37.  Section 197.416, Florida Statutes, is amended
1391to read:
1392     197.416  Continuing duty of the tax collector to collect
1393delinquent tax warrants; limitation of actions.--It is shall be
1394the duty of the tax collector issuing a tax warrant for the
1395collection of delinquent tangible personal property taxes to
1396continue from time to time his or her efforts to collect such
1397taxes for a period of 7 years after from the date of the
1398ratification issuance of the warrant. After the expiration of 7
1399years, the warrant is will be barred by this statute of
1400limitation, and no action may be maintained in any court. A tax
1401collector or his or her successor is shall not be relieved of
1402accountability for collection of any taxes assessed on tangible
1403personal property until he or she has completely performed every
1404duty devolving upon the tax collector as required by law.
1405     Section 38.  Subsection (1) of section 197.417, Florida
1406Statutes, is amended to read:
1407     197.417  Sale of personal property after seizure.--
1408     (1)  When personal property is levied upon for delinquent
1409taxes as provided for in s. 197.413, at least 15 days before the
1410sale the tax collector shall give public notice by advertisement
1411of the time and place of sale of the property to be sold. The
1412notice shall be posted in at least two three public places in
1413the county, one of which shall be at the courthouse, and the
1414property shall be sold at public auction at the location noted
1415in the advertisement. Notice posted on the Internet qualifies as
1416one location. The property sold shall be present if practical.
1417When the sale is conducted electronically, a description of the
1418property and a photograph, when practical, shall be available.
1419At any time before the sale the owner or claimant of the
1420property may release the property by the payment of the taxes,
1421plus delinquent charges, interest, and costs, for which the
1422property was liable to be sold. In all cases, immediate payment
1423for the property shall be required. In case such a sale is made,
1424the tax collector shall be entitled to the same fees and charges
1425as are allowed sheriffs upon execution sales.
1426     Section 39.  Section 197.432, Florida Statutes, is amended
1427to read:
1428     197.432  Sale of tax certificates for unpaid taxes.--
1429     (1)  On the day and approximately at the time designated in
1430the notice of the sale, the tax collector shall commence the
1431sale of tax certificates on the real property those lands on
1432which taxes have not been paid, and he or she shall continue the
1433sale from day to day until each certificate is sold to pay the
1434taxes, interest, costs, and charges on the parcel described in
1435the certificate. In case there are no bidders, the certificate
1436shall be issued to the county. The tax collector shall offer all
1437certificates on the property lands as they are listed on the tax
1438roll assessed. The tax collector may conduct the sale of tax
1439certificates for unpaid taxes pursuant to this section by
1440electronic means. Such electronic means shall comply with the
1441procedures provided in this chapter. A tax collector who chooses
1442to conduct such electronic sales may receive electronic deposits
1443and payments related to the tax certificate sale.
1444     (2)  A lien created through the sale of a tax certificate
1445may not be enforced in any manner except as prescribed in this
1447     (3)  Delinquent real property taxes on real property may be
1448paid after the date of delinquency by paying the tax and all
1449interest, costs, and charges but must be completed before a tax
1450certificate is awarded to a buyer or struck to the county at the
1451tax certificate sale of all governmental units due on a parcel
1452of land in any one year shall be combined into one certificate.
1453     (4)  A tax certificate representing less than $250 $100 in
1454delinquent taxes on property that has been granted a homestead
1455exemption for the year in which the delinquent taxes were
1456assessed may not be sold at public auction or by electronic sale
1457as provided in subsection (1) (16) but must shall be issued by
1458the tax collector to the county at the maximum rate of interest
1459allowed under s. 197.262(2) by this chapter. The provisions of
1460s. 197.502(3) may shall not be invoked if as long as the
1461homestead exemption is granted to the person who received the
1462homestead exemption for the year in which the tax certificate
1463was issued. However, when all such tax certificates and accrued
1464interest thereon represent an amount of $250 $100 or more, the
1465provisions of s. 197.502(3) shall be invoked.
1466     (5)  Any tax certificate available for sale on land which
1467is, prior to the time of sale, the subject of a tax deed
1468application filed by the county shall be struck to the county.
1469     (6)(5)  Each certificate shall be awarded struck off to the
1470person who will pay the taxes, interest, costs, and charges and
1471will demand the lowest rate of interest, not in excess of the
1472maximum rate of interest allowed by this chapter. The tax
1473collector shall accept bids in even increments and in fractional
1474interest rate bids of one-quarter of 1 percent only. Proxy
1475bidding is valid when authorized or accepted by the potential
1476buyer of the certificate. When there are multiple bidders
1477offering the same lowest rate of interest, the tax collector
1478shall determine the method of selecting the bidder to whom the
1479certificate will be awarded. Acceptable methods include the bid
1480received first or use of a random number generator. If there is
1481no buyer, the certificate shall be struck issued to the county
1482at the maximum rate of interest allowed by this chapter.
1483     (7)(6)  The tax collector may shall require immediate
1484payment of a reasonable deposit from any person who wishes to
1485bid for a tax certificate. A person who fails or refuses to pay
1486any bid made by, or on behalf of, such person him or her is not
1487entitled to bid or have any other bid accepted or enforced
1488except as authorized by the tax collector until a new deposit of
1489100 percent of the amount of estimated purchases has been paid
1490to the tax collector. When tax certificates are ready for
1491issuance, The tax collector shall provide written or electronic
1492notice when certificates are notify each person to whom a
1493certificate was struck off that the certificate is ready for
1494issuance. and Payment must be made within 48 hours after from
1495the transmission of the electronic notice by the tax collector
1496or receipt of the written notice by the certificate buyer
1497mailing of such notice or, at the tax collector's discretion,
1498all or any portion of the deposit placed by the bidder may be
1499the deposit shall be forfeited and the bid canceled. In any
1500event, Payment must shall be made before the issuance delivery
1501of the certificate by the tax collector. If the tax collector
1502determines that payment has been requested in error, the tax
1503collector shall issue a refund within 15 business days after
1504such determination. Any refund issued after 15 business days
1505shall be issued with interest at the rate of 5 percent.
1506     (8)(7)  The form of the certificate shall be as prescribed
1507by the department. Upon the cancellation of a any bid:, the tax
1508collector shall resell that certificate the following day or as
1509soon thereafter as possible, provided the certificate is sold
1510within 10 days after cancellation of such bid.
1511     (a)  If the sale has not been adjourned, the tax collector
1512shall reoffer the certificate for sale.
1513     (b)  If the sale has been adjourned, the tax collector
1514shall reoffer the certificate at a subsequent sale. Prior to the
1515subsequent sale, the parcels must be readvertised pursuant to s.
1517     (9)(8)  The tax collector shall maintain records make a
1518list of all the certificates sold for taxes, showing the date of
1519the sale, the number of each certificate, the name of the owner
1520as returned, a description of the property land within the
1521certificate, the name of the purchaser, the interest rate bid,
1522and the amount for which sale was made. Such records may be
1523maintained electronically and shall This list shall be cited
1524known as the "list of tax certificates sold." The tax collector
1525shall append to the list a certificate setting forth the fact
1526that the sale was made in accordance with this chapter.
1527     (10)(9)  A certificate may not be sold on, and a nor is any
1528lien is not created in, property owned by any governmental unit
1529that the property of which has become subject to taxation due to
1530lease of the property to a nongovernmental lessee. The
1531delinquent taxes shall be enforced and collected in the manner
1532provided in s. 196.199(8). However, the ad valorem real property
1533taxes levied on a leasehold that is taxed as real property under
1534s. 196.199(2)(b), and for which no rental payments are due under
1535the agreement that created the leasehold or for which payments
1536required under the original leasehold agreement have been waived
1537or prohibited by law before January 1, 1993, must be paid by the
1538lessee. If the taxes are unpaid, the delinquent taxes become a
1539lien on the leasehold and may be collected and enforced under
1540this chapter.
1541     (11)(10)  Any tax certificates that issued pursuant to this
1542section after January 1, 1977, which are void due to an error of
1543the property appraiser, the tax collector, or the taxing or
1544levying authority any other county official, or any municipal
1545official and which are subsequently canceled, or which are
1546corrected or amended, pursuant to this chapter or chapter 196,
1547shall earn interest at the rate of 8 percent per year, simple
1548interest, or the rate of interest bid at the tax certificate
1549sale, whichever is less, calculated monthly from the date the
1550certificate was purchased until the date the tax collector
1551issues the refund is ordered. Refunds made on tax certificates
1552that are corrected or void shall be processed in accordance with
1553the procedure set forth in s. 197.182, except that the 4-year
1554time period provided for in s. 197.182(1)(e)(c) does not apply
1555to or bar refunds resulting from correction or cancellation of
1556certificates and release of tax deeds as authorized herein.
1557     (12)(11)  When tax certificates are advertised for sale,
1558the tax collector shall be entitled to a commission of 5 percent
1559on the amount of the delinquent taxes and interest when actual
1560sale is made. However, the tax collector is shall not be
1561entitled to any commission for the issuance sale of certificates
1562made to the county until the commission is paid upon the
1563redemption or sale of the tax certificates. If When a tax deed
1564is issued to the county, the tax collector may shall not receive
1565his or her commission for the certificates until after the
1566property is sold and conveyed by the county.
1567     (12)  All tax certificates issued to the county shall be
1568held by the tax collector of the county where the lands covered
1569by the certificates are located.
1570     (13)  Delinquent taxes on real property may be paid after
1571the date of delinquency but prior to the sale of a tax
1572certificate by paying all costs, advertising charges, and
1574     (13)(14)  The holder of a tax certificate may not directly,
1575through an agent, or otherwise initiate contact with the owner
1576of property upon which he or she holds a tax certificate to
1577encourage or demand payment until 2 years after have elapsed
1578since April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate.
1579     (14)(15)  Any holder of a tax certificate who, prior to the
1580date 2 years after April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax
1581certificate, initiates, or whose agent initiates, contact with
1582the property owner upon which he or she holds a certificate
1583encouraging or demanding payment may be barred by the tax
1584collector from bidding at a tax certificate sale. Unfair or
1585deceptive contact by the holder of a tax certificate to a
1586property owner to obtain payment is an unfair and deceptive
1587trade practice, as referenced in s. 501.204(1), regardless of
1588whether the tax certificate is redeemed. Such unfair or
1589deceptive contact is actionable under ss. 501.2075-501.211. If
1590the property owner later redeems the certificate in reliance on
1591the deceptive or unfair practice, the unfair or deceptive
1592contact is actionable under applicable laws prohibiting fraud.
1593     (16)  The county tax collector may conduct the sale of tax
1594certificates for unpaid taxes pursuant to this section by
1595electronic means. Such electronic sales shall comply with the
1596procedures provided in this chapter. The tax collector shall
1597provide access to such electronic sale by computer terminals
1598open to the public at a designated location. A tax collector who
1599chooses to conduct such electronic sales may receive electronic
1600deposits and payments related to the tax certificate sale.
1601     Section 40.  Section 197.4325, Florida Statutes, is amended
1602to read:
1603     197.4325  Procedure when checks received for payment of
1604taxes or tax certificates is are dishonored.--
1605     (1)(a)  Within 10 days after a payment for taxes check
1606received by the tax collector for payment of taxes is
1607dishonored, the tax collector shall notify the payor maker of
1608the check that the payment check has been dishonored. If the
1609official receipt is canceled for nonpayment, the tax collector
1610shall cancel the official receipt issued for the dishonored
1611check and shall make an entry on the tax roll that the receipt
1612was canceled because of a dishonored payment check. Where
1613practicable, The tax collector may shall make a reasonable
1614effort to collect the moneys due before canceling the receipt.
1615     (b)  The tax collector shall retain a copy of the canceled
1616tax receipt and the dishonored check for the period of time
1617required by law.
1618     (2)(a)  If When a payment check received by the tax
1619collector for the purchase of a tax certificate is dishonored
1620and: the certificate has not been delivered to the bidder, the
1621tax collector shall retain the deposit and resell the tax
1622certificate. If the certificate has been delivered to the
1623bidder, the tax collector shall notify the department, and, upon
1624approval by the department, the certificate shall be canceled
1625and resold.
1626     (b)  When a bidder's deposit is forfeited, the tax
1627collector shall retain the deposit and resell the tax
1629     (a)1.  If The tax certificate sale has been adjourned, the
1630tax collector shall readvertise the tax certificate to be
1631resold. When the bidder's deposit is forfeited and the
1632certificate is readvertised, the deposit shall be used to pay
1633the advertising fees before other costs or charges are imposed.
1634Any portion of the bidder's forfeit deposit that remains after
1635advertising and other costs or charges have been paid shall be
1636deposited by the tax collector into his or her official office
1637account. If the tax collector fails to require a deposit and tax
1638certificates are resold, the advertising charges required for
1639the second sale shall not be added to the face value of the tax
1641     (b)2.  If The tax certificate sale has not been adjourned,
1642the tax collector shall cancel the previous bid pursuant to s.
1643197.432(8)(a) add the certificates to be resold to the sale list
1644and continue the sale until all tax certificates are sold.
1645     Section 41.  Subsection (2) of section 197.442, Florida
1646Statutes, is amended to read:
1647     197.442  Tax collector not to sell certificates on land on
1648which taxes have been paid; penalty.--
1649     (2)  The office of the tax collector shall be responsible
1650to the publisher for costs of advertising property lands on
1651which the taxes have been paid, and the office of the property
1652appraiser shall be responsible to the publisher for the costs of
1653advertising property lands doubly assessed or assessed in error.
1654     Section 42.  Section 197.443, Florida Statutes, is amended
1655to read:
1656     197.443  Cancellation of void tax certificates; correction
1657of tax certificates; procedure.--
1658     (1)  If When a tax certificate on real property lands has
1659been sold for unpaid taxes and:
1660     (a)  The tax certificate evidencing the sale is void
1661because the taxes on the property lands have been paid;
1662     (b)  The property was lands were not subject to taxation at
1663the time of the assessment on which they were sold;
1664     (c)  The description of the property in the tax certificate
1665is void or has been corrected or amended;
1666     (d)  An error of commission or omission has occurred which
1667invalidates the sale;
1668     (e)  The circuit court has voided the tax certificate by a
1669suit to cancel the tax certificate by the holder;
1670     (f)  The tax certificate is void for any other reason; or
1671     (g)  An error in assessed value has occurred for which the
1672tax certificate may be corrected,
1674the tax collector shall forward a certificate of such error to
1675the department and enter a memorandum of error upon the list of
1676certificates sold for taxes a memorandum of such error. The
1677department, upon receipt of the such certificate, if satisfied
1678of the correctness of the certificate of error or upon receipt
1679of a court order, shall notify the tax collector, who shall
1680cancel or correct the certificate. Tax certificate corrections
1681or cancellations that have been ordered by a court or requested
1682by the tax certificateholder which do not result from changes
1683made in the assessed value on a tax roll certified to the tax
1684collector shall be made by the tax collector without order from
1685the department.
1686     (2)  The holder of a tax certificate who pays, redeems, or
1687causes to be corrected or to be canceled and surrendered by any
1688other tax certificates, or who pays any subsequent and omitted
1689taxes or costs, in connection with the foreclosure of a tax
1690certificate or tax deed that is, and when such other
1691certificates or such subsequent and omitted taxes are void or
1692corrected for any reason, the person paying, redeeming, or
1693causing to be corrected or to be canceled and surrendered the
1694other tax certificates or paying the other subsequent and
1695omitted taxes is entitled to a refund obtain the return of the
1696amount paid together with interest from the date of payment
1697through the day of issuance of the refund at the rate specified
1698in s. 197.432(11) therefor.
1699     (a)  The county officer or taxing or levying authority
1700that, as the case may be, which causes an error that results in
1701the voiding issuance of a void tax certificate shall be charged
1702for the costs of advertising incurred in the sale of a new the
1703tax certificate.
1704     (b)  If When the owner of a tax certificate requests that
1705the certificate be canceled for any reason, or that the amount
1706of the certificate be amended as a result of payments received
1707due to an intervening bankruptcy or receivership, but does not
1708seek a refund, the tax collector shall cancel or amend the tax
1709certificate and a refund shall not be processed. The tax
1710collector shall require the owner of the tax certificate to
1711execute a written statement that he or she is the holder of the
1712tax certificate, that he or she wishes the certificate to be
1713canceled or amended, and that a refund is not expected and is
1714not to be made.
1715     (3)  If When the tax certificate or a tax deed based upon
1716the certificate is held by an individual, the collector shall at
1717once notify the original purchaser of the certificate or tax
1718deed or the subsequent holder thereof, if known, that upon the
1719voluntary surrender of the certificate or deed of release of any
1720his or her rights under the tax deed, a refund will be made of
1721the amount received by the governmental units for the
1722certificate or deed, plus $1 for the deed of release.
1723     (4)  The refund shall be made in accordance with the
1724procedure set forth in s. 197.182, except that the 4-year time
1725period provided for in s. 197.182(1)(e)(c) does not apply to or
1726bar refunds resulting from correction or cancellation of
1727certificates and release of tax deeds as authorized in this
1728section herein.
1729     Section 43.  Section 197.462, Florida Statutes, is amended
1730to read:
1731     197.462  Transfer of tax certificates held by
1733     (1)  All tax certificates issued to an individual may be
1734transferred by endorsement at any time before they are redeemed
1735or a tax deed is executed thereunder.
1736     (2)  The official endorsement of a tax certificate by the
1737tax collector with the date and the amount received and its
1738entry on the record of tax certificates sold shall be sufficient
1739evidence of the assignment of it.
1740     (2)(3)  The tax collector shall record the transfer on the
1741record of tax certificates sold.
1742     (3)(4)  The tax collector shall receive $2.25 as a service
1743charge for each transfer endorsement.
1744     Section 44.  Section 197.472, Florida Statutes, is amended
1745to read:
1746     197.472  Redemption of tax certificates.--
1747     (1)  Any person may redeem a tax certificate or purchase a
1748county-held certificate at any time after the certificate is
1749issued and before a tax deed is issued or the property is placed
1750on the list of lands available for sale. The person redeeming or
1751purchasing a tax certificate shall pay to the tax collector in
1752the county where the land is situated the face amount plus all
1753interest, costs, and charges of the certificate or the part
1754thereof that the part or interest purchased or redeemed bears to
1755the whole. Upon purchase or redemption being made, the person
1756shall pay all taxes, interest, costs, charges, and omitted
1757taxes, if any, as provided by law upon the part or parts of the
1758certificate so purchased or redeemed.
1759     (2)  When a tax certificate is redeemed and the interest
1760earned on the tax certificate is less than 5 percent of the face
1761amount of the certificate, a mandatory charge of 5 percent shall
1762be levied upon the tax certificate. The person redeeming the tax
1763certificate shall pay the interest rate due on the certificate
1764or the 5-percent mandatory charge, whichever is greater. This
1765subsection applies to all county-held tax certificates and all
1766individual tax certificates except those with an interest rate
1767bid of zero percent.
1768     (3)  The tax collector shall receive a fee of $6.25 for
1769each tax certificate purchased or redeemed.
1770     (4)  When only A portion of a certificate may be is being
1771redeemed only if or purchased and such portion can be
1772ascertained by legal description and the portion to be redeemed
1773is evidenced by a contract for sale or recorded deed., The tax
1774collector shall make a written request for apportionment to the
1775property appraiser and,. within 15 days after such request, the
1776property appraiser shall furnish the tax collector a certificate
1777apportioning the value to that portion sought to be redeemed and
1778to the remaining land covered by the certificate.
1779     (5)  When a tax certificate is purchased or redeemed, the
1780tax collector shall give to the person a receipt and certificate
1781showing the amount paid for the purchase or redemption, a
1782description of the land, and the date, number, and amount of the
1783certificate, certificates, or part of certificate which is
1784purchased or redeemed, which shall be in the form prescribed by
1785the department. If a tax certificate is redeemed in full, the
1786certificate shall be surrendered to the tax collector by the
1787original purchaser and canceled by the tax collector. If only a
1788part is purchased or redeemed, the portion and description of
1789land, with date of purchase or redemption, shall be endorsed on
1790the certificate by the tax collector. The certificate shall be
1791retained by the owner, or the tax collector if the certificate
1792is a county-held certificate, subject to the endorsement. The
1793purchase or redemption shall be entered by the tax collector on
1794the record of tax certificates sold.
1795     (5)(6)  When a tax certificate has been purchased or
1796redeemed, the tax collector shall pay to the owner of the tax
1797certificate the amount received by the tax collector less the
1798redemption fee within 15 business days after the date of receipt
1799of the redemption. If the payment to the tax certificate owner
1800is not issued within 15 business days, the tax collector shall
1801pay interest at the rate of 5 percent to the certificate owner
1802service charges.
1803     (6)(7)  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to deny any
1804person the right to purchase or redeem any outstanding tax
1805certificate in accordance with the law in force when it was
1806issued. However, the provisions of s. 197.573 relating to
1807survival of restrictions and covenants after the issuance of a
1808tax deed are not repealed by this chapter and apply regardless
1809of the manner in which the tax deed was issued.
1810     (7)(8)  The provisions of subsection (4) do not apply to
1811collections made pursuant to the provisions of s. 192.037.
1812     Section 45.  Section 197.4725, Florida Statutes, is created
1813to read:
1814     197.4725  Purchase of county-held tax certificates.--
1815     (1)  Any person may purchase a county-held tax certificate
1816at any time after the tax certificate is issued and before a tax
1817deed application is made. The person purchasing a county-held
1818tax certificate shall pay to the tax collector the face amount
1819plus all interest, costs, and charges or, subject to s.
1820197.472(4), the part described in the tax certificate.
1821     (2)  When a county-held tax certificate is purchased, the
1822interest earned shall be calculated at 1.5 percent per month, or
1823a fraction thereof, to the date of purchase.
1824     (3)  The tax collector shall receive a fee of $6.25 for
1825each county-held tax certificate purchased.
1826     (4)  The provisions of this section do not apply to
1827collections made pursuant to the provisions of s. 192.037.
1828     (5)  The tax collector may use electronic means to make
1829known county-held tax certificates that are available for
1830purchase and to complete the purchase. The tax collector may
1831charge a reasonable fee for costs incurred in providing such
1832electronic services.
1833     (6)  The purchaser of a county-held tax certificate shall
1834be issued a new tax certificate with a face value that includes
1835all sums paid to acquire the certificate from the county,
1836including accrued interest and charges paid pursuant to this
1837section. The date the county-held certificate was issued shall
1838be the date used to determine the date on which an application
1839for tax deed may be made.
1840     Section 46.  Section 197.473, Florida Statutes, is amended
1841to read:
1842     197.473  Disposition of unclaimed redemption moneys.--
1843     (1)  After Money paid to the tax collector for the
1844redemption of a tax certificate or a tax deed application that
1845certificates has been held for 90 days, which money is payable
1846to the holder of a redeemed tax certificate but for which no
1847claim has been made or which fails to be presented for payment
1848is considered unclaimed as defined in s. 717.113 and shall be
1849remitted to the state pursuant to s. 717.117, on the first day
1850of the following quarter the tax collector shall remit such
1851unclaimed moneys to the board of county commissioners, less the
1852sum of $5 on each $100 or fraction thereof which shall be
1853retained by the tax collector as service charges.
1854     (2)  Two years after the date the unclaimed redemption
1855moneys were remitted to the board of county commissioners, all
1856claims to such moneys are forever barred, and such moneys become
1857the property of the county.
1858     Section 47.  Section 197.482, Florida Statutes, is amended
1859to read:
1860     197.482  Expiration Limitation upon lien of tax
1862     (1)  Seven After the expiration of 7 years after from the
1863date of issuance of a tax certificate, which is the date of the
1864first day of the tax certificate sale as advertised under s.
1865197.432, of a tax certificate, if a tax deed has not been
1866applied for on the property covered by the certificate, and no
1867other administrative or legal proceeding has existed of record,
1868the tax certificate is null and void, and the tax collector
1869shall be canceled. The tax collector shall note cancel the tax
1870certificate, noting the date of the cancellation of the tax
1871certificate upon all appropriate records in his or her office.
1872The tax collector shall complete the cancellation by entering
1873opposite the record of the 7-year-old tax certificate a notation
1874in substantially the following form: "Canceled by Act of 1973
1875Florida Legislature." All certificates outstanding July 1, 1973,
1876shall have a life of 20 years from the date of issue. This
1877section subsection does not apply to deferred payment tax
1879     (2)  The provisions and limitations herein prescribed for
1880tax certificates do not apply to tax certificates which were
1881sold under the provisions of chapter 18296, Laws of Florida,
18821937, commonly known as the "Murphy Act."
1883     Section 48.  Section 197.492, Florida Statutes, is amended
1884to read:
1885     197.492  Errors and insolvencies report list.--On or before
1886the 60th day after the tax certificate sale is adjourned, the
1887tax collector shall certify make out a report to the board of
1888county commissioners a report separately showing the discounts,
1889errors, double assessments, and insolvencies relating to tax
1890collections for which credit is to be given, including in every
1891case except discounts, the names of the parties on whose account
1892the credit is to be allowed. The report may be submitted in an
1893electronic format. The board of county commissioners, upon
1894receiving the report, shall examine it; make such investigations
1895as may be necessary; and, if the board discovers that the tax
1896collector has taken credit as an insolvent item any personal
1897property tax due by a solvent taxpayer, charge the amount of
1898taxes represented by such item to the tax collector and not
1899approve the report until the tax collector strikes such item
1900from the record.
1901     Section 49.  Section 197.502, Florida Statutes, is amended
1902to read:
1903     197.502  Application for obtaining tax deed by holder of
1904tax sale certificate; fees.--
1905     (1)  The holder of a any tax certificate, other than the
1906county, at any time after 2 years have elapsed since April 1 of
1907the year of issuance of the tax certificate and before the
1908expiration of 7 years after from the date of issuance, may file
1909the certificate and an application for a tax deed with the tax
1910collector of the county where the property lands described in
1911the certificate is are located. The application may be made on
1912the entire parcel of property or any part thereof which is
1913capable of being readily separated from the whole. The tax
1914collector may charge shall be allowed a tax deed application fee
1915of $75, plus reimbursement for any fee charged to the tax
1916collector by a vendor for providing an electronic tax deed
1917application program or service.
1918     (2)  A certificateholder, other than the county, may notify
1919the tax collector at any time of the certificateholder's intent
1920to make application for tax deed. However, if the tax deed
1921application will be filed within the month of the earliest date
1922allowed pursuant to subsection (1), the certificateholder must
1923provide the tax collector with a notice of intent to make
1924application no later than 30 days before the date of
1925application. The tax collector shall notify the
1926certificateholder of the total amount due or the estimated
1927amount due, which must include the amount due for redemption or
1928purchase of all other outstanding tax certificates, plus
1929interest; any omitted taxes, plus interest; any delinquent
1930taxes, plus interest; and current taxes, if due, which cover the
1931land. The tax collector shall provide this notice at the
1932earliest possible date but no later than 30 days following the
1933tax collector's receipt of the certficateholder's notice of
1934intent to make application. The certificateholder shall pay the
1935total amount due or the estimated amount due at the time of
1936application. Any certificateholder, other than the county, who
1937makes application for a tax deed shall pay the tax collector at
1938the time of application all amounts required for redemption or
1939purchase of all other outstanding tax certificates, plus
1940interest, any omitted taxes, plus interest, any delinquent
1941taxes, plus interest, and current taxes, if due, covering the
1943     (3)  The county in which where the property lands described
1944in the certificate is are located shall apply make application
1945for a tax deed on all county-held certificates on property
1946valued at $5,000 or more on the property appraiser's most recent
1947assessment roll, except deferred payment tax certificates, and
1948may apply for tax deeds make application on those certificates
1949on property valued at less than $5,000 on the property
1950appraiser's most recent assessment roll. The Such application
1951shall be made 2 years after April 1 of the year of issuance of
1952the certificates or as soon thereafter as is reasonable. Upon
1953application for a tax deed, the county shall deposit with the
1954tax collector all applicable costs and fees, but may shall not
1955deposit any money to cover the redemption of other outstanding
1956certificates covering the property land. The tax collector may
1957charge a tax deed application fee of $75, plus reimbursement for
1958any fee charged to the tax collector by a vendor for providing
1959an electronic tax deed application program or service.
1960     (4)  The tax collector shall deliver to the clerk of the
1961circuit court a statement that payment has been made for all
1962outstanding certificates or, if the certificate is held by the
1963county, that all appropriate fees have been deposited, and
1964stating that the following persons are to be notified prior to
1965the sale of the property:
1966     (a)  Any legal titleholder of record if the address of the
1967owner appears on the record of conveyance of the property lands
1968to the owner. However, if the legal titleholder of record is the
1969same as the person to whom the property was assessed on the tax
1970roll for the year in which the property was last assessed, then
1971the notice may only be mailed to the address of the legal
1972titleholder as it appears on the latest assessment roll.
1973     (b)  Any lienholder of record who has recorded a lien
1974against the property described in the tax certificate if an
1975address appears on the recorded lien.
1976     (c)  Any mortgagee of record if an address appears on the
1977recorded mortgage.
1978     (d)  Any vendee of a recorded contract for deed if an
1979address appears on the recorded contract or, if the contract is
1980not recorded, any vendee who has applied to receive notice
1981pursuant to s. 197.344(1)(c).
1982     (e)  Any other lienholder who has applied to the tax
1983collector to receive notice if an address is supplied to the
1984collector by such lienholder.
1985     (f)  Any person to whom the property was assessed on the
1986tax roll for the year in which the property was last assessed.
1987     (g)  Any lienholder of record who has recorded a lien
1988against a mobile home located on the property described in the
1989tax certificate if an address appears on the recorded lien and
1990if the lien is recorded with the clerk of the circuit court in
1991the county where the mobile home is located.
1992     (h)  Any legal titleholder of record of property that is
1993contiguous to the property described in the tax certificate, if
1994when the property described is either submerged land or common
1995elements of a subdivision, if the address of the titleholder of
1996contiguous property appears on the record of conveyance of the
1997property land to the that legal titleholder. However, if the
1998legal titleholder of property contiguous to the property
1999described in the tax certificate is the same as the person to
2000whom the property described in the tax certificate was assessed
2001on the tax roll for the year in which the property was last
2002assessed, the notice may be mailed only to the address of the
2003legal titleholder as it appears on the latest assessment roll.
2004As used in this chapter, the term "contiguous" means touching,
2005meeting, or joining at the surface or border, other than at a
2006corner or a single point, and not separated by submerged lands.
2007Submerged lands lying below the ordinary high-water mark which
2008are sovereignty lands are not part of the upland contiguous
2009property for purposes of notification.
2011The statement must be signed by the tax collector or the tax
2012collector's designee, with the tax collector's seal affixed. The
2013tax collector may purchase a reasonable bond for errors and
2014omissions of his or her office in making such statement. The
2015search of the official records must be made by a direct and
2016inverse search. "Direct" means the index in straight and
2017continuous alphabetic order by grantor, and "inverse" means the
2018index in straight and continuous alphabetic order by grantee.
2019     (5)(a)  The tax collector may contract with a title company
2020or an abstract company at a reasonable fee to provide the
2021minimum information required in subsection (4), consistent with
2022rules adopted by the department. If additional information is
2023required, the tax collector must make a written request to the
2024title or abstract company stating the additional requirements.
2025The tax collector may select any title or abstract company,
2026regardless of its location, as long as the fee is reasonable,
2027the minimum information is submitted, and the title or abstract
2028company is authorized to do business in this state. The tax
2029collector may advertise and accept bids for the title or
2030abstract company if he or she considers it appropriate to do so.
2031     1.  The ownership and encumbrance report must include the
2032be printed or typed on stationery or other paper showing a
2033letterhead of the person, firm, or company that makes the
2034search, and the signature of the individual person who makes the
2035search or of an officer of the firm must be attached. The tax
2036collector is not liable for payment to the firm unless these
2037requirements are met. The report may be submitted to the tax
2038collector in an electronic format.
2039     2.  The tax collector may not accept or pay for any title
2040search or abstract if no financial responsibility is not assumed
2041for the search. However, reasonable restrictions as to the
2042liability or responsibility of the title or abstract company are
2043acceptable. Notwithstanding s. 627.7843(3), the tax collector
2044may contract for higher maximum liability limits.
2045     3.  In order to establish uniform prices for ownership and
2046encumbrance reports within the county, the tax collector must
2047shall ensure that the contract for ownership and encumbrance
2048reports include all requests for title searches or abstracts for
2049a given period of time.
2050     (b)  Any fee paid for a any title search or abstract must
2051be collected at the time of application under subsection (1),
2052and the amount of the fee must be added to the opening bid.
2053     (c)  The clerk shall advertise and administer the sale and
2054receive such fees for the issuance of the deed and sale of the
2055property as are provided in s. 28.24.
2056     (6)(a)  The opening bid:
2057     (a)  On county-held certificates on nonhomestead property
2058shall be the sum of the value of all outstanding certificates
2059against the property land, plus omitted years' taxes, delinquent
2060taxes, interest, and all costs and fees paid by the county.
2061     (b)  The opening bid On an individual certificate on
2062nonhomestead property shall include, in addition to the amount
2063of money paid to the tax collector by the certificateholder at
2064the time of application, must include the amount required to
2065redeem the applicant's tax certificate and all other costs and
2066fees paid by the applicant, plus all tax certificates that were
2067sold subsequent to the filing of the tax deed application and
2068omitted taxes, if any.
2069     (c)  The opening bid on property assessed on the latest tax
2070roll as homestead property shall include, in addition to the
2071amount of money required for an opening bid on nonhomestead
2072property, an amount equal to one-half of the latest assessed
2073value of the homestead. Payment of one-half of the assessed
2074value of the homestead property shall not be required if the tax
2075certificate to which the application relates was sold prior to
2076January 1, 1982.
2077     (7)  On county-held certificates for which there are no
2078bidders at the public sale, the clerk shall enter the property
2079land on a list entitled "properties lands available for taxes"
2080and shall immediately notify the county commission and all other
2081persons holding certificates against the property land that the
2082property land is available. During the first 90 days after the
2083property land is placed on the list of lands available for
2084taxes, the county may purchase the property land for the opening
2085bid or may waive its rights to purchase the property.
2086Thereafter, any person, the county, or any other governmental
2087unit may purchase the property land from the clerk, without
2088further notice or advertising, for the opening bid, except that
2089if when the county or other governmental unit is the purchaser
2090for its own use, the board of county commissioners may cancel
2091omitted years' taxes, as provided under s. 197.447. If the
2092county does not elect to purchase the property land, the county
2093must notify each legal titleholder of property contiguous to the
2094property land available for taxes, as provided in paragraph
2095(4)(h), before expiration of the 90-day period. Interest on the
2096opening bid continues to accrue through the month of sale as
2097prescribed by s. 197.542.
2098     (8)  Taxes shall not be extended against parcels listed as  
2099properties lands available for taxes, but in each year the taxes
2100that would have been due shall be treated as omitted years and
2101added to the required minimum bid. Seven Three years after the
2102day the property land was offered for public sale, the property
2103land shall escheat to the county in which it is located, free
2104and clear. All tax certificates, accrued taxes, and liens of any
2105nature against the property shall be deemed canceled as a matter
2106of law and of no further legal force and effect, and the clerk
2107shall execute an escheatment tax deed vesting title in the board
2108of county commissioners of the county in which the property land
2109is located.
2110     (a)  When a property escheats to the county under this
2111subsection, the county is not subject to any liability imposed
2112by chapter 376 or chapter 403 for preexisting soil or
2113groundwater contamination due solely to its ownership. However,
2114this subsection does not affect the rights or liabilities of any
2115past or future owners of the escheated property and does not
2116affect the liability of any governmental entity for the results
2117of its actions that create or exacerbate a pollution source.
2118     (b)  The county and the Department of Environmental
2119Protection may enter into a written agreement for the
2120performance, funding, and reimbursement of the investigative and
2121remedial acts necessary for a property that escheats to the
2123     (9)  Consolidated applications on more than one tax
2124certificate are allowed, but a separate statement shall be
2125issued pursuant to subsection (4), and a separate tax deed shall
2126be issued pursuant to s. 197.552, for each parcel of property
2127shown on the tax certificate.
2128     (10)  Any fees collected pursuant to this section shall be
2129refunded to the certificateholder in the event that the tax deed
2130sale is canceled for any reason.
2131     (11)  For any property acquired under this section by the
2132county for the express purpose of providing infill housing, the
2133board of county commissioners may, in accordance with s.
2134197.447, cancel county-held tax certificates and omitted years'
2135taxes on such properties. Furthermore, the county may not
2136transfer a property acquired under this section specifically for
2137infill housing back to a taxpayer who failed to pay the
2138delinquent taxes or charges that led to the issuance of the tax
2139certificate or lien. For purposes of this subsection only, the
2140term "taxpayer" includes the taxpayer's family or any entity in
2141which the taxpayer or taxpayer's family has any interest.
2142     Section 50.  Section 197.542, Florida Statutes, is amended
2143to read:
2144     197.542  Sale at public auction.--
2145     (1)  Real property The lands advertised for sale to the
2146highest bidder as a result of an application filed under s.
2147197.502 shall be sold at public auction by the clerk of the
2148circuit court, or his or her deputy, of the county where the
2149property is lands are located on the date, at the time, and at
2150the location as set forth in the published notice, which must
2151shall be during the regular hours the clerk's office is open. At
2152the time and place, the clerk shall read the notice of sale and
2153shall offer the lands described in the notice for sale to the
2154highest bidder for cash at public outcry. The amount required to
2155redeem the tax certificate, plus the amounts paid by the holder
2156to the clerk of the circuit court in charges for costs of sale,
2157redemption of other tax certificates on the same property lands,
2158and all other costs to the applicant for tax deed, plus interest
2159thereon at the rate of 1.5 percent per month for the period
2160running from the month after the date of application for the
2161deed through the month of sale and costs incurred for the
2162service of notice provided for in s. 197.522(2), shall be
2163considered the bid of the certificateholder for the property. If
2164tax certificates exist or if delinquent taxes accrued subsequent
2165to the filing of the tax deed application, the amount required
2166to redeem such tax certificates or pay such delinquent taxes
2167shall be included in the minimum bid. However, if the land to be
2168sold is assessed on the latest tax roll as homestead property,
2169the bid of the certificateholder shall be increased to include
2170an amount equal to one-half of the assessed value of the
2171homestead property as required by s. 197.502. If there are no
2172higher bids, the property land shall be struck off and sold to
2173the certificateholder, who shall forthwith pay to the clerk any
2174amounts included in the minimum bid, the documentary stamp tax,
2175and recording fees due. Upon payment, and a tax deed shall
2176thereupon be issued and recorded by the clerk. The tax deed
2177applicant shall have the option of placing the property on the
2178list of lands available for taxes in lieu of paying any
2179additional sums due as a result of the increased minimum bid,
2180documentary stamps, or recording fees.
2181     (2)  If there are other bids, The certificateholder has
2182shall have the right to bid as others present may bid, and the
2183property shall be struck off and sold to the highest bidder. The
2184high bidder may be required to shall post with the clerk a
2185nonrefundable cash deposit of 5 percent of the bid $200 at the
2186time of the sale, to be applied to the sale price at the time of
2187full payment. Notice of the this deposit requirement must shall
2188be posted at the auction site, and the clerk may require that
2189bidders to show their willingness and ability to post the cost
2190deposit. If full payment of the final bid and of documentary
2191stamp tax and recording fees is not made within 24 hours,
2192excluding weekends and legal holidays, the clerk shall cancel
2193all bids, readvertise the sale as provided in this section, and
2194pay all costs of the sale from the deposit. Any remaining funds
2195must be applied toward the opening bid. The clerk may refuse to
2196recognize the bid of any person who has previously bid and
2197refused, for any reason, to honor such bid.
2198     (3)  If the sale is canceled for any reason, the clerk
2199shall immediately readvertise the sale to be held within no
2200later than 30 days after the date the sale was canceled. Only
2201one advertisement is necessary. No further notice is required.
2202The amount of the opening statutory (opening) bid shall be
2203increased by the cost of advertising, additional clerk's fees as
2204provided for in s. 28.24(21), and interest as provided for in
2205subsection (1). The clerk must shall receive full payment prior
2206to the issuance of the tax deed.
2207     (4)(a)  A clerk may conduct electronic tax deed sales in
2208lieu of public outcry. The clerk must comply with the procedures
2209provided in this chapter, except that electronic proxy bidding
2210shall be allowed and the clerk may require bidders to advance
2211sufficient funds to pay the deposit required by subsection (2).
2212The clerk shall provide access to the electronic sale by
2213computer terminals open to the public at a designated location.
2214A clerk who conducts such electronic sales may receive
2215electronic deposits and payments related to the sale. The
2216portion of an advance deposit from a winning bidder required by
2217subsection (2) shall, upon acceptance of the winning bid, be
2218subject to the fee under s. 28.24(10).
2219     (b)  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to
2220restrict or limit the authority of a charter county from
2221conducting electronic tax deed sales. In a charter county where
2222the clerk of the circuit court does not conduct all electronic
2223sales, the charter county shall be permitted to receive
2224electronic deposits and payments related to sales it conducts,
2225as well as to subject the winning bidder to a fee, consistent
2226with the schedule in s. 28.24(10).
2227     (c)  The costs of electronic tax deed sales shall be added
2228to the charges for the costs of sale under subsection (1) and
2229paid by the certificateholder when filing an application for a
2230tax deed.
2231     Section 51.  Section 197.522, Florida Statutes, is amended
2232to read:
2233     197.522  Notice to owner when application for tax deed is
2235     (1)(a)  Except as provided herein, the clerk of the circuit
2236court shall notify, by certified mail with return receipt
2237requested or by registered mail if the notice is to be sent
2238outside the continental United States, the persons listed in the
2239tax collector's statement pursuant to s. 197.502(4) that an
2240application for a tax deed has been made. Such notice shall be
2241mailed at least 20 days prior to the date of sale. If no address
2242is listed in the tax collector's statement, then no notice shall
2243be required.
2244     (b)  The clerk shall enclose with every copy mailed a
2245statement as follows:
2247     WARNING: There are unpaid taxes on property which
2248you own or in which you have a legal interest. Such
2249property will be sold at public auction
2250notwithstanding its classification as homestead
2251property, if applicable. The property will be sold at
2252public auction on ...(date)... unless the back taxes
2253are paid. To make payment, or to receive further
2254information, contact the clerk of court immediately at
2255...(address)..., ...(telephone number)....
2257     (c)  The clerk shall complete and attach to the affidavit
2258of the publisher a certificate containing the names and
2259addresses of those persons notified and the date the notice was
2260mailed. The certificate shall be signed by the clerk and the
2261clerk's official seal affixed. The certificate shall be prima
2262facie evidence of the fact that the notice was mailed. If no
2263address is listed on the tax collector's certification, the
2264clerk shall execute a certificate to that effect.
2265     (d)  The failure of anyone to receive notice as provided
2266herein shall not affect the validity of the tax deed issued
2267pursuant to the notice.
2268     (e)  A printed copy of the notice as published in the
2269newspaper, accompanied by the warning statement described in
2270paragraph (b), shall be deemed sufficient notice.
2271     (2)(a)  In addition to the notice provided in subsection
2272(1), for property that was not classified as homestead property
2273on the most recent assessment roll prior to the tax deed
2274application, the sheriff of the county in which the legal
2275titleholder resides shall, at least 20 days prior to the date of
2276sale, notify the legal titleholder of record of the property on
2277which the tax certificate is outstanding. The original notice
2278and sufficient copies shall be prepared by the clerk and
2279provided to the sheriff. Such notice shall be served as
2280specified in chapter 48; if the sheriff is unable to make
2281service, he or she shall post a copy of the notice in a
2282conspicuous place at the legal titleholder's last known address.
2283The inability of the sheriff to serve notice on the legal
2284titleholder shall not affect the validity of the tax deed issued
2285pursuant to the notice. A legal titleholder of record who
2286resides outside the state may be notified by the clerk as
2287provided in subsection (1). The notice shall be in substantially
2288the following form:
2292There are unpaid taxes on the property which you own.
2293Such property will be sold at public auction
2294notwithstanding its classification as homestead
2295property, if applicable. The property will be sold at
2296public auction on ...(date)... unless the back taxes
2297are paid. To make arrangements for payment, or to
2298receive further information, contact the clerk of
2299court at ...(address)..., ...(telephone number)....
2301In addition, if the legal titleholder does not reside in the
2302county in which the property to be sold is located, a copy of
2303such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the
2304property by the sheriff of the county in which the property is
2305located. However, no posting of notice shall be required if the
2306property to be sold is classified for assessment purposes,
2307according to use classifications established by the department,
2308as nonagricultural acreage or vacant land.
2309     (b)  In addition to the notice provided in subsection (1),
2310for property classified as homestead property on the most recent
2311assessment roll prior to the tax deed application, the sheriff
2312of the county in which the legal titleholder resides shall, at
2313least 45 days prior to the date of sale, provide notice that a
2314tax certificate is outstanding on such homestead property to the
2315legal titleholder of record. The original notice and sufficient
2316copies shall be prepared by the clerk of the circuit court and
2317provided to the sheriff. Such notice shall be served as provided
2318in chapter 48. If unable to make service, the sheriff shall post
2319a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the homestead
2320property address. The return of service shall indicate, in
2321addition to the details of service, whether the residence exists
2322and whether the residence appears to be occupied. The inability
2323of the sheriff to serve notice on the legal titleholder of
2324homestead property subject to an outstanding tax certificate
2325does not affect the validity of a tax deed issued on such
2326property pursuant to the notice. The notice shall be in
2327substantially the following form:
2331There are unpaid taxes on the homestead property you
2332own. Such property will be sold at public auction on
2333...(date)..., unless the back taxes are paid,
2334notwithstanding its classification as homestead
2335property. To make arrangements for payment or to
2336receive further information, contact the clerk of the
2337court immediately at ...(address)..., ...(telephone
2340     (c)(b)  In addition to the notice provided in subsection
2341(1), the clerk shall notify by certified mail with return
2342receipt requested, or by registered mail if the notice is to be
2343sent outside the continental United States, the persons listed
2344in the tax collector's statement pursuant to s. 197.502(4)(h)
2345and to the tax deed applicant that application for a tax deed
2346has been made. Such notice shall be mailed at least 20 days
2347prior to the date of sale. If no address is listed in the tax
2348collector's statement, then no notice shall be required.
2349Enclosed with the copy of the notice shall be a statement in
2350substantially the following form:
2354There are unpaid taxes on property contiguous to your
2355property. The property with the unpaid taxes will be
2356sold at auction on ...(date)... unless the back taxes
2357are paid. To make payment, or to receive further
2358information about the purchase of the property,
2359contact the clerk of court immediately at
2360...(address)..., ...(telephone number)....
2362Neither the failure of the tax collector to include the list of
2363contiguous property owners pursuant to s. 197.502(4)(h) in his
2364or her statement to the clerk nor the failure of the clerk to
2365mail this notice to any or all of the persons listed in the tax
2366collector's statement pursuant to s. 197.502(4)(h) shall be a
2367basis to challenge the validity of the tax deed issued pursuant
2368to any notice under this section.
2369     (3)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent
2370the tax collector, or any other public official, in his or her
2371discretion from giving additional notice in any form concerning
2372tax certificates and tax sales beyond the minimum requirements
2373of this chapter.
2374     Section 52.  Section 197.552, Florida Statutes, is amended
2375to read:
2376     197.552  Tax deeds.--All tax deeds shall be issued in the
2377name of a county and must shall be signed by the clerk of the
2378county. The deed shall be witnessed by two witnesses, the
2379official seal shall be attached thereto, and the deed shall be
2380acknowledged or proven as other deeds. Except as specifically
2381provided in this chapter, no right, interest, restriction, or
2382other covenant survives shall survive the issuance of a tax
2383deed, except that a lien of record held by a municipal or county
2384governmental unit, special district, or community development
2385district, including tax certificates on the property which were
2386not incorporated in the tax deed application, if when such lien
2387is not satisfied after as of the disbursement of proceeds of
2388sale under the provisions of s. 197.582, shall survive the
2389issuance of a tax deed. However, liens surviving the issuance of
2390a tax deed may not provide a basis to foreclose against the
2391interest of the tax deed owner unless the owner is reimbursed
2392for the price of acquiring the tax deed, including recording
2393fees and documentary stamps, by the holder of the surviving lien
2394or at the time of a foreclosure sale. If a foreclosure sale
2395results in insufficient funds to satisfy a surviving lien and
2396reimburse the tax deed owner, the proceeds of the foreclosure
2397sale shall be distributed pro rata in recognition of the equal
2398dignity of lien and the tax deed. Municipal or county government
2399liens shall survive as to principal only, and only if such liens
2400are recorded in the public records of the county prior to the
2401tax deed sale. The charges by the clerk shall be as provided in
2402s. 28.24. Tax deeds issued to a purchaser of property land for
2403delinquent taxes must shall be in the form prescribed by the
2404department. All deeds issued pursuant to this section are shall
2405be prima facie evidence of the regularity of all proceedings
2406from the valuation of the property lands to the issuance of the
2407deed, inclusive.
2408     Section 53.  Subsection (2) of section 197.582, Florida
2409Statutes, is amended to read:
2410     197.582  Disbursement of proceeds of sale.--
2411     (2)  If the property is purchased for an amount in excess
2412of the statutory bid of the certificateholder, the excess shall
2413be paid over and disbursed by the clerk. If the property
2414purchased is homestead property and the statutory bid includes
2415an amount equal to at least one-half of the assessed value of
2416the homestead, that amount shall be treated as excess and
2417distributed in the same manner. The clerk shall distribute the
2418excess to the governmental units for the payment of any lien of
2419record held by a governmental unit against the property,
2420including any tax certificates not incorporated in the tax deed
2421application and omitted taxes, if any. If In the event the
2422excess is not sufficient to pay all of such liens in full, the
2423excess shall then be paid to each governmental unit pro rata.
2424If, after all liens of record of the governmental units upon the
2425property are paid in full, there remains a balance of
2426undistributed funds, the balance of the purchase price shall be
2427retained by the clerk for the benefit of the persons described
2428in s. 197.522(1)(a), except those persons described in s.
2429197.502(4)(h), as their interests may appear. The clerk shall
2430mail notices to such persons notifying them of the funds held
2431for their benefit. Any service charges, at the same rate as
2432prescribed in s. 28.24(10), and costs of mailing notices shall
2433be paid out of the excess balance held by the clerk. Excess
2434proceeds shall be held and disbursed in the same manner as
2435unclaimed redemption moneys in s. 197.473. If In the event
2436excess proceeds are not sufficient to cover the service charges
2437and mailing costs, the clerk shall receive the total amount of
2438excess proceeds as a service charge.
2439     Section 54.  Section 192.0105, Florida Statutes, is amended
2440to read
2441     192.0105  Taxpayer rights.--There is created a Florida
2442Taxpayer's Bill of Rights for property taxes and assessments to
2443guarantee that the rights, privacy, and property of the
2444taxpayers of this state are adequately safeguarded and protected
2445during tax levy, assessment, collection, and enforcement
2446processes administered under the revenue laws of this state. The
2447Taxpayer's Bill of Rights compiles, in one document, brief but
2448comprehensive statements that summarize the rights and
2449obligations of the property appraisers, tax collectors, clerks
2450of the court, local governing boards, the Department of Revenue,
2451and taxpayers. Additional rights afforded to payors of taxes and
2452assessments imposed under the revenue laws of this state are
2453provided in s. 213.015. The rights afforded taxpayers to assure
2454that their privacy and property are safeguarded and protected
2455during tax levy, assessment, and collection are available only
2456insofar as they are implemented in other parts of the Florida
2457Statutes or rules of the Department of Revenue. The rights so
2458guaranteed to state taxpayers in the Florida Statutes and the
2459departmental rules include:
2460     (1)  THE RIGHT TO KNOW.--
2461     (a)  The right to be mailed notice of proposed property
2462taxes and proposed or adopted non-ad valorem assessments (see
2463ss. 194.011(1), 200.065(2)(b) and (d) and (13)(a), and 200.069).
2464The notice must also inform the taxpayer that the final tax bill
2465may contain additional non-ad valorem assessments (see s.
2467     (b)  The right to notification of a public hearing on each
2468taxing authority's tentative budget and proposed millage rate
2469and advertisement of a public hearing to finalize the budget and
2470adopt a millage rate (see s. 200.065(2)(c) and (d)).
2471     (c)  The right to advertised notice of the amount by which
2472the tentatively adopted millage rate results in taxes that
2473exceed the previous year's taxes (see s. 200.065(2)(d) and (3)).
2474The right to notification by first-class mail of a comparison of
2475the amount of the taxes to be levied from the proposed millage
2476rate under the tentative budget change, compared to the previous
2477year's taxes, and also compared to the taxes that would be
2478levied if no budget change is made (see ss. 200.065(2)(b) and
2479200.069(2), (3), (4), and (8)).
2480     (d)  The right that the adopted millage rate will not
2481exceed the tentatively adopted millage rate. If the tentative
2482rate exceeds the proposed rate, each taxpayer shall be mailed
2483notice comparing his or her taxes under the tentatively adopted
2484millage rate to the taxes under the previously proposed rate,
2485before a hearing to finalize the budget and adopt millage (see
2486s. 200.065(2)(d)).
2487     (e)  The right to be sent notice by first-class mail of a
2488non-ad valorem assessment hearing at least 20 days before the
2489hearing with pertinent information, including the total amount
2490to be levied against each parcel. All affected property owners
2491have the right to appear at the hearing and to file written
2492objections with the local governing board (see s. 197.3632(4)(b)
2493and (c) and (10)(b)2.b.).
2494     (f)  The right of an exemption recipient to be sent a
2495renewal application for that exemption, the right to a receipt
2496for homestead exemption claim when filed, and the right to
2497notice of denial of the exemption (see ss. 196.011(6),
2498196.131(1), 196.151, and 196.193(1)(c) and (5)).
2499     (g)  The right, on property determined not to have been
2500entitled to homestead exemption in a prior year, to notice of
2501intent from the property appraiser to record notice of tax lien
2502and the right to pay tax, penalty, and interest before a tax
2503lien is recorded for any prior year (see s. 196.161(1)(b)).
2504     (h)  The right to be informed during the tax collection
2505process, including: notice of tax due; notice of back taxes;
2506notice of late taxes and assessments and consequences of
2507nonpayment; opportunity to pay estimated taxes and non-ad
2508valorem assessments when the tax roll will not be certified in
2509time; notice when interest begins to accrue on delinquent
2510provisional taxes; notice of the right to prepay estimated taxes
2511by installment; a statement of the taxpayer's estimated tax
2512liability for use in making installment payments; and notice of
2513right to defer taxes and non-ad valorem assessments on homestead
2514property (see ss. 197.322(3), 197.3635, 197.343, 197.363(2)(c),
2515197.222(3) and (5), 197.2301(3), 197.3632(8)(a),
2516193.1145(10)(a), and 197.254(1)). A taxpayer is deemed to have
2517waived the right to know if the taxpayer fails to provide
2518current contact information to the county property appraiser and
2519tax collector.
2520     (i)  The right to an advertisement in a newspaper listing
2521names of taxpayers who are delinquent in paying tangible
2522personal property taxes, with amounts due, and giving notice
2523that interest is accruing at 18 percent and that, unless taxes
2524are paid, warrants will be issued, prior to petition made with
2525the circuit court for an order to seize and sell property (see
2526s. 197.402(2)).
2527     (j)  The right to be mailed notice when a petition has been
2528filed with the court for an order to seize and sell property and
2529the right to be mailed notice, and to be served notice by the
2530sheriff, before the date of sale, that application for tax deed
2531has been made and property will be sold unless back taxes are
2532paid (see ss. 197.413(5), 197.502(4)(a), and 197.522(1)(a) and
2534     (k)  The right to have certain taxes and special
2535assessments levied by special districts individually stated on
2536the "Notice of Proposed Property Taxes and Proposed or Adopted
2537Non-Ad Valorem Assessments" (see s. 200.069).
2538     (2)  THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.--
2539     (a)  The right to an informal conference with the property
2540appraiser to present facts the taxpayer considers to support
2541changing the assessment and to have the property appraiser
2542present facts supportive of the assessment upon proper request
2543of any taxpayer who objects to the assessment placed on his or
2544her property (see s. 194.011(2)).
2545     (b)  The right to petition the value adjustment board over
2546objections to assessments, denial of exemption, denial of
2547agricultural classification, denial of historic classification,
2548denial of high-water recharge classification, disapproval of tax
2549deferral, and any penalties on deferred taxes imposed for
2550incorrect information willfully filed. Payment of estimated
2551taxes does not preclude the right of the taxpayer to challenge
2552his or her assessment (see ss. 194.011(3), 196.011(6) and
2553(9)(a), 196.151, 196.193(1)(c) and (5), 193.461(2), 193.503(7),
2554193.625(2), 197.2425 197.253(2), 197.301(2), and 197.2301(11)).
2555     (c)  The right to file a petition for exemption or
2556agricultural classification with the value adjustment board when
2557an application deadline is missed, upon demonstration of
2558particular extenuating circumstances for filing late (see ss.
2559193.461(3)(a) and 196.011(1), (7), (8), and (9)(e)).
2560     (d)  The right to prior notice of the value adjustment
2561board's hearing date and the right to the hearing within 4 hours
2562of scheduled time (see s. 194.032(2)).
2563     (e)  The right to notice of date of certification of tax
2564rolls and receipt of property record card if requested (see ss.
2565193.122(2) and (3) and 194.032(2)).
2566     (f)  The right, in value adjustment board proceedings, to
2567have all evidence presented and considered at a public hearing
2568at the scheduled time, to be represented by an attorney or
2569agent, to have witnesses sworn and cross-examined, and to
2570examine property appraisers or evaluators employed by the board
2571who present testimony (see ss. 194.034(1)(a) and (c) and (4),
2572and 194.035(2)).
2573     (g)  The right to be mailed a timely written decision by
2574the value adjustment board containing findings of fact and
2575conclusions of law and reasons for upholding or overturning the
2576determination of the property appraiser, and the right to
2577advertised notice of all board actions, including appropriate
2578narrative and column descriptions, in brief and nontechnical
2579language (see ss. 194.034(2) and 194.037(3)).
2580     (h)  The right at a public hearing on non-ad valorem
2581assessments or municipal special assessments to provide written
2582objections and to provide testimony to the local governing board
2583(see ss. 197.3632(4)(c) and 170.08).
2584     (i)  The right to bring action in circuit court to contest
2585a tax assessment or appeal value adjustment board decisions to
2586disapprove exemption or deny tax deferral (see ss. 194.036(1)(c)
2587and (2), 194.171, 196.151, and 197.2425 197.253(2)).
2588     (3)  THE RIGHT TO REDRESS.--
2589     (a)  The right to discounts for early payment on all taxes
2590and non-ad valorem assessments collected by the tax collector,
2591the right to pay installment payments with discounts, and the
2592right to pay delinquent personal property taxes under an
2593installment payment program when implemented by the county tax
2594collector (see ss. 197.162, 197.3632(8) and (10)(b)3.,
2595197.222(1), and 197.4155).
2596     (b)  The right, upon filing a challenge in circuit court
2597and paying taxes admitted in good faith to be owing, to be
2598issued a receipt and have suspended all procedures for the
2599collection of taxes until the final disposition of the action
2600(see s. 194.171(3)).
2601     (c)  The right to have penalties reduced or waived upon a
2602showing of good cause when a return is not intentionally filed
2603late, and the right to pay interest at a reduced rate if the
2604court finds that the amount of tax owed by the taxpayer is
2605greater than the amount the taxpayer has in good faith admitted
2606and paid (see ss. 193.072(4) and 194.192(2)).
2607     (d)  The right to a refund when overpayment of taxes has
2608been made under specified circumstances (see ss. 193.1145(8)(e)
2609and 197.182(1)).
2610     (e)  The right to an extension to file a tangible personal
2611property tax return upon making proper and timely request (see
2612s. 193.063).
2613     (f)  The right to redeem real property and redeem tax
2614certificates at any time before full payment for a tax deed is
2615made to the clerk of the court, including documentary stamps and
2616recording fees issued, and the right to have tax certificates
2617canceled if sold where taxes had been paid or if other error
2618makes it void or correctable. Property owners have the right to
2619be free from contact by a certificateholder for 2 years after
2620April 1 of the year the tax certificate is issued (see ss.
2621197.432(13)(14) and (14)(15), 197.442(1), 197.443, and
2622197.472(1) and (8)(7)).
2623     (g)  The right of the taxpayer, property appraiser, tax
2624collector, or the department, as the prevailing party in a
2625judicial or administrative action brought or maintained without
2626the support of justiciable issues of fact or law, to recover all
2627costs of the administrative or judicial action, including
2628reasonable attorney's fees, and of the department and the
2629taxpayer to settle such claims through negotiations (see ss.
263057.105 and 57.111).
2632     (a)  The right to have information kept confidential,
2633including federal tax information, ad valorem tax returns,
2634social security numbers, all financial records produced by the
2635taxpayer, Form DR-219 returns for documentary stamp tax
2636information, and sworn statements of gross income, copies of
2637federal income tax returns for the prior year, wage and earnings
2638statements (W-2 forms), and other documents (see ss. 192.105,
2639193.074, 193.114(5), 195.027(3) and (6), and 196.101(4)(c)).
2640     (b)  The right to limiting access to a taxpayer's records
2641by a property appraiser, the Department of Revenue, and the
2642Auditor General only to those instances in which it is
2643determined that such records are necessary to determine either
2644the classification or the value of taxable nonhomestead property
2645(see s. 195.027(3)).
2647Notwithstanding the right to information contained in this
2648section, s. 197.122 applies, and it is the property owner's
2649obligation to obtain the necessary information from the
2650applicable governmental officials.
2651     Section 55.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
2652194.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
2653     194.011  Assessment notice; objections to assessments.--
2654     (3)  A petition to the value adjustment board must be in
2655substantially the form prescribed by the department.
2656Notwithstanding s. 195.022, a county officer may not refuse to
2657accept a form provided by the department for this purpose if the
2658taxpayer chooses to use it. A petition to the value adjustment
2659board shall describe the property by parcel number and shall be
2660filed as follows:
2661     (d)  The petition may be filed, as to valuation issues, at
2662any time during the taxable year on or before the 25th day
2663following the mailing of notice by the property appraiser as
2664provided in subsection (1). With respect to an issue involving
2665the denial of an exemption, an agricultural or high-water
2666recharge classification application, an application for
2667classification as historic property used for commercial or
2668certain nonprofit purposes, or a deferral, the petition must be
2669filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 30th
2670day following the mailing of the notice by the property
2671appraiser under s. 193.461, s. 193.503, s. 193.625, or s.
2672196.193 or notice by the tax collector under s. 197.2425
2674     Section 56.  Subsection (1) of section 194.013, Florida
2675Statutes, is amended to read:
2676     194.013  Filing fees for petitions; disposition; waiver.--
2677     (1)  If so required by resolution of the value adjustment
2678board, a petition filed pursuant to s. 194.011 shall be
2679accompanied by a filing fee to be paid to the clerk of the value
2680adjustment board in an amount determined by the board not to
2681exceed $15 for each separate parcel of property, real or
2682personal, covered by the petition and subject to appeal.
2683However, no such filing fee may be required with respect to an
2684appeal from the disapproval of homestead exemption under s.
2685196.151 or from the denial of tax deferral under s. 197.2425
2686197.253. Only a single filing fee shall be charged under this
2687section as to any particular parcel of property despite the
2688existence of multiple issues and hearings pertaining to such
2689parcel. For joint petitions filed pursuant to s. 194.011(3)(e)
2690or (f), a single filing fee shall be charged. Such fee shall be
2691calculated as the cost of the special magistrate for the time
2692involved in hearing the joint petition and shall not exceed $5
2693per parcel. Said fee is to be proportionately paid by affected
2694parcel owners.
2695     Section 57.  Subsection (12) of section 196.011, Florida
2696Statutes, is amended to read:
2697     196.011  Annual application required for exemption.--
2698     (12)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), when the owner of
2699property otherwise entitled to a religious exemption from ad
2700valorem taxation fails to timely file an application for
2701exemption, and because of a misidentification of property
2702ownership on the property tax roll the owner is not properly
2703notified of the tax obligation by the property appraiser and the
2704tax collector, the owner of the property may file an application
2705for exemption with the property appraiser. The property
2706appraiser must consider the application, and if he or she
2707determines the owner of the property would have been entitled to
2708the exemption had the property owner timely applied, the
2709property appraiser must grant the exemption. Any taxes assessed
2710on such property shall be canceled, and if paid, refunded. Any
2711tax certificates outstanding on such property shall be canceled
2712and refund made pursuant to s. 197.432(11)(10).
2713     Section 58.  Section 197.603, Florida Statutes, is created
2714to read:
2715     197.603  Declaration of legislative findings and
2716intent.--The legislature finds that the state has a strong
2717interest in ensuring due process and public confidence in the
2718uniform, fair, efficient, and accountable collection of property
2719taxes by county tax collectors. Therefore, tax collectors shall
2720be supervised by the Department of Revenue pursuant to s.
2721195.022(1). Moreover, the Legislature intends that the property
2722tax collection authorized by this chapter under s. 9(a), Art.
2723VII of the State Constitution, be free from the influence or the
2724appearance of influence of the local governments who levy
2725property taxes and receive property tax revenues.
2726     Section 59.  Sections 197.202, 197.242, 197.304, 197.3041,
2727197.3042, 197.3043, 197.3044, 197.3045, 197.3046, 197.3047,
2728197.307, 197.3072, 197.3073, 197.3074, 197.3075, 197.3076,
2729197.3077, 197.3078, and 197.3079, Florida Statutes, are
2731     Section 60.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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