Florida Senate - 2020 CS for SB 1236 By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Gruters 578-02663-20 20201236c1 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 certain 6 criteria are met; providing that the educational 7 institution shall receive the full benefit from the 8 exemption; requiring the property owner to make 9 certain disclosures to the educational institution; 10 providing an effective date. 11 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 13 14 Section 1. Section 196.198, Florida Statutes, is amended to 15 read: 16 196.198 Educational property exemption.—Educational 17 institutions within this state and their property used by them 18 or by any other exempt entity or educational institution 19 exclusively for educational purposes are exempt from taxation. 20 Sheltered workshops providing rehabilitation and retraining of 21 individuals who have disabilities and exempted by a certificate 22 under s. (d) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as 23 amended, are declared wholly educational in purpose and are 24 exempt from certification, accreditation, and membership 25 requirements set forth in s. 196.012. Those portions of property 26 of college fraternities and sororities certified by the 27 president of the college or university to the appropriate 28 property appraiser as being essential to the educational process 29 are exempt from ad valorem taxation. The use of property by 30 public fairs and expositions chartered by chapter 616 is 31 presumed to be an educational use of such property and is exempt 32 from ad valorem taxation to the extent of such use. Property 33 used exclusively for educational purposes shall be deemed owned 34 by an educational institution if the entity owning 100 percent 35 of the educational institution is owned by the identical persons 36 who own the property, or if the entity owning 100 percent of the 37 educational institution and the entity owning the property are 38 owned by the identical natural persons. Land, buildings, and 39 other improvements to real property used exclusively for 40 educational purposes shall be deemed owned by an educational 41 institution if the entity owning 100 percent of the land is a 42 nonprofit entity and the land is used, under a ground lease or 43 other contractual arrangement, by an educational institution 44 that owns the buildings and other improvements to the real 45 property, is a nonprofit entity under s. 501(c)(3) of the 46 Internal Revenue Code, and provides education limited to 47 students in prekindergarten through grade 8. Land, buildings, 48 and other improvements to real property used exclusively for 49 educational purposes shall also be exempt from ad valorem taxes 50 if, under a lease, the educational institution is responsible 51 for any taxes owed and for ongoing maintenance and operational 52 expenses for the land and buildings under the lease and if the 53 real property has been used for educational purposes and has 54 been receiving the exemption under this section for at least 10 55 years. For such leasehold properties, the educational 56 institution shall receive the full benefit from the exemption. 57 The owner of the property shall disclose to the educational 58 institution the full amount of the benefit derived from the 59 exemption and the method for ensuring the educational 60 institution receives the benefit. If legal title to property is 61 held by a governmental agency that leases the property to a 62 lessee, the property shall be deemed to be owned by the 63 governmental agency and used exclusively for educational 64 purposes if the governmental agency continues to use such 65 property exclusively for educational purposes pursuant to a 66 sublease or other contractual agreement with that lessee. If the 67 title to land is held by the trustee of an irrevocable inter 68 vivos trust and if the trust grantor owns 100 percent of the 69 entity that owns an educational institution that is using the 70 land exclusively for educational purposes, the land is deemed to 71 be property owned by the educational institution for purposes of 72 this exemption. Property owned by an educational institution 73 shall be deemed to be used for an educational purpose if the 74 institution has taken affirmative steps to prepare the property 75 for educational use. The term “affirmative steps” means 76 environmental or land use permitting activities, creation of 77 architectural plans or schematic drawings, land clearing or site 78 preparation, construction or renovation activities, or other 79 similar activities that demonstrate commitment of the property 80 to an educational use. 81 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.