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. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 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.