Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1098 By Senator Lee 20-01006-19 20191098__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to a sales tax refund for eligible job 3 training organizations; creating s. 212.094, F.S.; 4 defining terms; providing that eligible job training 5 organizations are entitled to receive a refund of a 6 specified percentage of certain sales taxes remitted 7 to the Department of Revenue; requiring such 8 organizations to use the refund only for specified 9 purposes; specifying a limit on the total amount of 10 refunds issued by the department in any state fiscal 11 year; requiring that refunds be granted on a first 12 come, first-served basis; specifying requirements for 13 applying for a certain certification with the 14 Department of Economic Opportunity; specifying 15 requirements and procedures for the Department of 16 Economic Opportunity in reviewing and approving 17 applications; specifying that certifications remain 18 valid so long as such organizations comply with 19 certain requirements; providing that such 20 organizations must annually apply for refunds with the 21 Department of Revenue within a certain timeframe; 22 providing requirements for refund applications; 23 providing construction; requiring such organizations, 24 under certain circumstances and at certain timeframes, 25 to provide a specified report to the Department of 26 Economic Opportunity; authorizing the Department of 27 Economic Opportunity to adopt rules; requiring the 28 Department of Economic Opportunity to notify the 29 Department of Revenue under certain circumstances; 30 prohibiting the Department of Revenue from issuing 31 refunds after receiving such notifications; 32 authorizing the Department of Revenue to audit any 33 refunds within a certain timeframe; providing that 34 refund overpayments and refunds issued to ineligible 35 organizations are subject to repayment and specified 36 interest; providing an effective date. 37 38 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 39 40 Section 1. Section 212.094, Florida Statutes, is created to 41 read: 42 212.094 Sales tax refund for eligible job training 43 organizations.— 44 (1) As used in this section, the term: 45 (a) “Eligible job training organization” means an 46 organization that: 47 1. Is an exempt organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the 48 Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; 49 2. Provides job training and employment services to low 50 income persons as defined in s. 420.0004, individuals who have 51 workplace disadvantages, or individuals with barriers to 52 employment; and 53 3. Is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of 54 Rehabilitation Facilities. 55 (b) “Growth in employment hours” means the growth in the 56 number of hours worked by employees at an eligible job training 57 organization in the most recently completed state fiscal year, 58 compared to the number of hours worked by employees at the 59 eligible job training organization in the state fiscal year 60 immediately before the most recently completed state fiscal 61 year. 62 (c) “Job training and employment services” means programs 63 and services that are provided to improve job readiness, to 64 assist workers in gaining employment and adapting to the 65 changing labor market, and to help workers achieve success 66 through self-sufficiency. 67 (2) An eligible job training organization is entitled to a 68 refund of 10 percent of the sales tax remitted to the department 69 during the most recently completed state fiscal year on its 70 sales of goods donated to the organization. The organization 71 must reserve the refund exclusively for use in any of the 72 following: 73 (a) Growth in employment hours. 74 (b) Job training and employment services to low-income 75 persons as defined in s. 420.0004, individuals who have 76 workplace disadvantages, and individuals with barriers to 77 employment. 78 (c) Job training and employment services for veterans. 79 (3) The total amount of refunds that the department may 80 issue under this section may not exceed $2 million in any state 81 fiscal year. Refunds must be granted on a first-come, first 82 served basis. 83 (4) An organization seeking a refund under this section 84 must first submit an application to the Department of Economic 85 Opportunity by July 15, which sets forth that the organization 86 meets the requirements under paragraph (1)(a) and that the 87 refund will be used exclusively for the purposes listed in 88 subsection (2). The organization must submit supporting 89 information as prescribed by the Department of Economic 90 Opportunity by rule. 91 (5)(a) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall verify 92 the application and notify the organization of its determination 93 within 15 days after receiving a complete application. The 94 Department of Economic Opportunity shall communicate its 95 decision in writing or, if agreed to by the applicant, via e 96 mail. 97 (b) If the Department of Economic Opportunity approves the 98 application, the notice sent to the eligible job training 99 organization must include a certification that the organization 100 is eligible to receive a refund of certain sales and use tax 101 remitted under this chapter. The Department of Economic 102 Opportunity shall transmit a copy of the notice and 103 certification, if applicable, to the department. 104 (c) Upon the Department of Economic Opportunity’s issuance 105 of a certification, the certification remains valid so long as 106 the eligible job training organization is in compliance with the 107 requirements of this section. 108 (6) An eligible job training organization certified under 109 this section must apply to the department between August 1 and 110 August 31 of each year to receive a refund. A copy of the 111 certification must be included in an eligible job training 112 organization’s first application for a refund, but is not 113 required to be included in subsequent applications. The 114 organization must submit any information required by the 115 department as part of its application for the refund. 116 (7) For purposes of this section, an eligible job training 117 organization comprised of commonly owned and controlled entities 118 is deemed to be a single organization. 119 (8) By August 1 following each state fiscal year in which 120 an eligible job training organization received a refund pursuant 121 to subsection (2), the organization must provide a report to the 122 Department of Economic Opportunity regarding the use of the 123 funds in accordance with subsection (2). The report must include 124 at least all of the following: 125 (a) The amount of the refund used to create growth in 126 employment hours. 127 (b) The total growth in employment hours. 128 (c) The amount of the refund used for job training and 129 employment services. 130 (d) The number of individuals who participated in job 131 training and employment services at the eligible job training 132 organization. 133 (e) A statement declaring that the eligible job training 134 organization continues to meet the requirements of this section. 135 (9)(a) The Department of Economic Opportunity may adopt 136 rules to administer this section, including rules for the 137 approval and disapproval of applications. 138 (b) If the Department of Economic Opportunity determines 139 that an eligible job training organization no longer qualifies 140 for the refund under this section, the Department of Economic 141 Opportunity must notify the department immediately. The 142 department may not issue a refund after receiving such 143 notification. 144 (c) Notwithstanding s. 95.091(3)(a)6.b., the department may 145 audit any refund within 4 years after a refund is granted. The 146 overpayment of a refund or a refund issued to an ineligible 147 organization is subject to repayment and interest at the rate 148 calculated pursuant to s. 213.235. 149 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.