Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 404
       By Senator Simpson
       18-00303-15                                            2015404__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to improvements to real property
    3         damaged by sinkhole activity; amending s. 163.08,
    4         F.S.; declaring that there is a compelling state
    5         interest in enabling property owners to voluntarily
    6         finance certain improvements to property damaged by
    7         sinkhole activity with local government assistance;
    8         expanding the definition of the term “qualifying
    9         improvement” to include stabilization or other repairs
   10         to property damaged by sinkhole activity; providing
   11         that stabilization or other repairs to property
   12         damaged by sinkhole activity are qualifying
   13         improvements considered affixed to a building or
   14         facility; revising the form of a specified written
   15         disclosure statement to include an assessment for a
   16         qualifying improvement relating to stabilization or
   17         repair of property damaged by sinkhole activity;
   18         amending s. 163.340, F.S.; expanding the definition of
   19         “blighted area” to include a substantial number or
   20         percentage of properties damaged by sinkhole activity
   21         which are not adequately repaired or stabilized;
   22         conforming a cross-reference; amending s. 163.524,
   23         F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; providing an
   24         effective date.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Present paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of
   29  section 163.08, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph
   30  (d), a new paragraph (c) is added to that subsection, and
   31  paragraph (b) of subsection (2) and subsections (10) and (14) of
   32  that section are amended, to read:
   33         163.08 Supplemental authority for improvements to real
   34  property.—
   35         (1)
   36         (c) The Legislature finds that properties damaged by
   37  sinkhole activity which are not adequately repaired may
   38  negatively affect the market valuation of surrounding
   39  properties, resulting in the loss of property tax revenues to
   40  local communities. The Legislature finds that there is a
   41  compelling state interest in providing local government
   42  assistance to enable property owners to voluntarily finance
   43  qualified improvements to property damaged by sinkhole activity.
   44         (2) As used in this section, the term:
   45         (b) “Qualifying improvement” includes any:
   46         1. Energy conservation and efficiency improvement, which is
   47  a measure to reduce consumption through conservation or a more
   48  efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane, or other
   49  forms of energy on the property, including, but not limited to,
   50  air sealing; installation of insulation; installation of energy
   51  efficient heating, cooling, or ventilation systems; building
   52  modifications to increase the use of daylight; replacement of
   53  windows; installation of energy controls or energy recovery
   54  systems; installation of electric vehicle charging equipment;
   55  and installation of efficient lighting equipment.
   56         2. Renewable energy improvement, which is the installation
   57  of any system in which the electrical, mechanical, or thermal
   58  energy is produced from a method that uses one or more of the
   59  following fuels or energy sources: hydrogen, solar energy,
   60  geothermal energy, bioenergy, and wind energy.
   61         3. Wind resistance improvement, which includes, but is not
   62  limited to:
   63         a. Improving the strength of the roof deck attachment;
   64         b. Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water
   65  intrusion;
   66         c. Installing wind-resistant shingles;
   67         d. Installing gable-end bracing;
   68         e. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections;
   69         f. Installing storm shutters; or
   70         g. Installing opening protections.
   71         4. Stabilization or other repairs to property damaged by
   72  sinkhole activity.
   73         (10) A qualifying improvement shall be affixed to a
   74  building or facility that is part of the property and shall
   75  constitute an improvement to the building or facility or a
   76  fixture attached to the building or facility. For the purposes
   77  of stabilization or other repairs to property damaged by
   78  sinkhole activity, a qualifying improvement is deemed affixed to
   79  a building or facility. An agreement between a local government
   80  and a qualifying property owner may not cover wind-resistance
   81  improvements in buildings or facilities under new construction
   82  or construction for which a certificate of occupancy or similar
   83  evidence of substantial completion of new construction or
   84  improvement has not been issued.
   85         (14) At or before the time a purchaser executes a contract
   86  for the sale and purchase of any property for which a non-ad
   87  valorem assessment has been levied under this section and has an
   88  unpaid balance due, the seller shall give the prospective
   89  purchaser a written disclosure statement in the following form,
   90  which shall be set forth in the contract or in a separate
   91  writing:
   95         STABILIZATION OR REPAIR.—The property being purchased
   96         is located within the jurisdiction of a local
   97         government that has placed an assessment on the
   98         property pursuant to s. 163.08, Florida Statutes. The
   99         assessment is for a qualifying improvement to the
  100         property relating to energy efficiency, renewable
  101         energy, or wind resistance, or stabilization or repair
  102         of property damaged by sinkhole activity, and is not
  103         based on the value of property. You are encouraged to
  104         contact the county property appraiser’s office to
  105         learn more about this and other assessments that may
  106         be provided by law.
  107         Section 2. Subsection (8) of section 163.340, Florida
  108  Statutes, is amended to read:
  109         163.340 Definitions.—The following terms, wherever used or
  110  referred to in this part, have the following meanings:
  111         (8) “Blighted area” means an area in which there are a
  112  substantial number of deteriorated, or deteriorating
  113  structures;, in which conditions, as indicated by government
  114  maintained statistics or other studies, endanger life or
  115  property or are leading to economic distress; or endanger life
  116  or property, and in which two or more of the following factors
  117  are present:
  118         (a) Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout,
  119  parking facilities, roadways, bridges, or public transportation
  120  facilities.;
  121         (b) Aggregate assessed values of real property in the area
  122  for ad valorem tax purposes have failed to show any appreciable
  123  increase over the 5 years prior to the finding of such
  124  conditions.;
  125         (c) Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy,
  126  accessibility, or usefulness.;
  127         (d) Unsanitary or unsafe conditions.;
  128         (e) Deterioration of site or other improvements.;
  129         (f) Inadequate and outdated building density patterns.;
  130         (g) Falling lease rates per square foot of office,
  131  commercial, or industrial space compared to the remainder of the
  132  county or municipality.;
  133         (h) Tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the
  134  fair value of the land.;
  135         (i) Residential and commercial vacancy rates higher in the
  136  area than in the remainder of the county or municipality.;
  137         (j) Incidence of crime in the area higher than in the
  138  remainder of the county or municipality.;
  139         (k) Fire and emergency medical service calls to the area
  140  proportionately higher than in the remainder of the county or
  141  municipality.;
  142         (l) A greater number of violations of the Florida Building
  143  Code in the area than the number of violations recorded in the
  144  remainder of the county or municipality.;
  145         (m) Diversity of ownership or defective or unusual
  146  conditions of title which prevent the free alienability of land
  147  within the deteriorated or hazardous area.; or
  148         (n) Governmentally owned property with adverse
  149  environmental conditions caused by a public or private entity.
  150         (o) A substantial number or percentage of properties
  151  damaged by sinkhole activity which have not been adequately
  152  repaired or stabilized.
  154  However, the term “blighted area” also means any area in which
  155  at least one of the factors identified in paragraphs (a) through
  156  (o) is (n) are present and all taxing authorities subject to s.
  157  163.387(2)(a) agree, either by interlocal agreement or
  158  agreements with the agency or by resolution, that the area is
  159  blighted. Such agreement or resolution must be limited to a
  160  determination shall only determine that the area is blighted.
  161  For purposes of qualifying for the tax credits authorized in
  162  chapter 220, “blighted area” means an area as defined in this
  163  subsection.
  164         Section 3. Subsection (3) of section 163.524, Florida
  165  Statutes, is amended to read:
  166         163.524 Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement Program;
  167  participation; creation of Neighborhood Preservation and
  168  Enhancement Districts; creation of Neighborhood Councils and
  169  Neighborhood Enhancement Plans.—
  170         (3) After the boundaries and size of the Neighborhood
  171  Preservation and Enhancement District have been defined, the
  172  local government shall pass an ordinance authorizing the
  173  creation of the Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement
  174  District. The ordinance shall contain a finding that the
  175  boundaries of the Neighborhood Preservation and Enhancement
  176  District comply with meet the provisions of s. 163.340(7) or s.
  177  (8)(a)-(o) (8)(a)-(n) or do not contain properties that are
  178  protected by deed restrictions. Such ordinance may be amended or
  179  repealed in the same manner as other local ordinances.
  180         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.