Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1236
       By Senator Gruters
       23-01408-20                                           20201236__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the educational property tax
    3         exemption; amending s. 196.198, F.S.; exempting land
    4         and real property improvements used exclusively for
    5         educational purposes from ad valorem taxes if an
    6         educational institution, under a ground lease or other
    7         contractual arrangement, meets certain criteria;
    8         providing that the educational institution shall
    9         receive the full benefit from the exemption; requiring
   10         the property owner to make certain disclosures to the
   11         educational institution; providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 196.198, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   16  read:
   17         196.198 Educational property exemption.—Educational
   18  institutions within this state and their property used by them
   19  or by any other exempt entity or educational institution
   20  exclusively for educational purposes are exempt from taxation.
   21  Sheltered workshops providing rehabilitation and retraining of
   22  individuals who have disabilities and exempted by a certificate
   23  under s. (d) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as
   24  amended, are declared wholly educational in purpose and are
   25  exempt from certification, accreditation, and membership
   26  requirements set forth in s. 196.012. Those portions of property
   27  of college fraternities and sororities certified by the
   28  president of the college or university to the appropriate
   29  property appraiser as being essential to the educational process
   30  are exempt from ad valorem taxation. The use of property by
   31  public fairs and expositions chartered by chapter 616 is
   32  presumed to be an educational use of such property and is exempt
   33  from ad valorem taxation to the extent of such use. Property
   34  used exclusively for educational purposes shall be deemed owned
   35  by an educational institution if the entity owning 100 percent
   36  of the educational institution is owned by the identical persons
   37  who own the property, or if the entity owning 100 percent of the
   38  educational institution and the entity owning the property are
   39  owned by the identical natural persons. Land, buildings, and
   40  other improvements to real property used exclusively for
   41  educational purposes shall be deemed owned by an educational
   42  institution if the entity owning 100 percent of the land is a
   43  nonprofit entity and the land is used, under a ground lease or
   44  other contractual arrangement, by an educational institution
   45  that owns the buildings and other improvements to the real
   46  property, is a nonprofit entity under s. 501(c)(3) of the
   47  Internal Revenue Code, and provides education limited to
   48  students in prekindergarten through grade 8. Land, buildings,
   49  and other improvements to real property used exclusively for
   50  educational purposes are also exempt from ad valorem taxes if an
   51  educational institution, under a ground lease or other
   52  contractual arrangement, owns the buildings and other
   53  improvements to the real property and is responsible for any
   54  taxes owed under the ground lease or contractual arrangement.
   55  For such leasehold properties, the educational institution shall
   56  receive the full benefit from the exemption. The owner of the
   57  property shall disclose to the educational institution the full
   58  amount of the benefit derived from the exemption and the method
   59  for ensuring the educational institution receives the benefit.
   60  If legal title to property is held by a governmental agency that
   61  leases the property to a lessee, the property shall be deemed to
   62  be owned by the governmental agency and used exclusively for
   63  educational purposes if the governmental agency continues to use
   64  such property exclusively for educational purposes pursuant to a
   65  sublease or other contractual agreement with that lessee. If the
   66  title to land is held by the trustee of an irrevocable inter
   67  vivos trust and if the trust grantor owns 100 percent of the
   68  entity that owns an educational institution that is using the
   69  land exclusively for educational purposes, the land is deemed to
   70  be property owned by the educational institution for purposes of
   71  this exemption. Property owned by an educational institution
   72  shall be deemed to be used for an educational purpose if the
   73  institution has taken affirmative steps to prepare the property
   74  for educational use. The term “affirmative steps” means
   75  environmental or land use permitting activities, creation of
   76  architectural plans or schematic drawings, land clearing or site
   77  preparation, construction or renovation activities, or other
   78  similar activities that demonstrate commitment of the property
   79  to an educational use.
   80         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.