Florida Senate - 2020                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS/HB 7097, 1st Eng.
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                 Floor: WD/2R          .                                
             03/12/2020 06:30 PM       .                                

       Senator Gruters moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Substitute Amendment (271678) (with
    2  title amendment)
    4         Between lines 161 and 162
    5  insert:
    6         Section 6. Paragraph (e) of subsection (3) of section
    7  194.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    8         194.011 Assessment notice; objections to assessments.—
    9         (3) A petition to the value adjustment board must be in
   10  substantially the form prescribed by the department.
   11  Notwithstanding s. 195.022, a county officer may not refuse to
   12  accept a form provided by the department for this purpose if the
   13  taxpayer chooses to use it. A petition to the value adjustment
   14  board must be signed by the taxpayer or be accompanied at the
   15  time of filing by the taxpayer’s written authorization or power
   16  of attorney, unless the person filing the petition is listed in
   17  s. 194.034(1)(a). A person listed in s. 194.034(1)(a) may file a
   18  petition with a value adjustment board without the taxpayer’s
   19  signature or written authorization by certifying under penalty
   20  of perjury that he or she has authorization to file the petition
   21  on behalf of the taxpayer. If a taxpayer notifies the value
   22  adjustment board that a petition has been filed for the
   23  taxpayer’s property without his or her consent, the value
   24  adjustment board may require the person filing the petition to
   25  provide written authorization from the taxpayer authorizing the
   26  person to proceed with the appeal before a hearing is held. If
   27  the value adjustment board finds that a person listed in s.
   28  194.034(1)(a) willfully and knowingly filed a petition that was
   29  not authorized by the taxpayer, the value adjustment board shall
   30  require such person to provide the taxpayer’s written
   31  authorization for representation to the value adjustment board
   32  clerk before any petition filed by that person is heard, for 1
   33  year after imposition of such requirement by the value
   34  adjustment board. A power of attorney or written authorization
   35  is valid for 1 assessment year, and a new power of attorney or
   36  written authorization by the taxpayer is required for each
   37  subsequent assessment year. A petition shall also describe the
   38  property by parcel number and shall be filed as follows:
   39         (e)1. A condominium association as described in chapter
   40  718, a cooperative association as described in chapter 719, or a
   41  any homeowners’ association as defined in s. 723.075, with
   42  approval of its board of administration or directors, may file
   43  with the value adjustment board a single joint petition on
   44  behalf of any association members who own units or parcels of
   45  property which the property appraiser determines are
   46  substantially similar with respect to location, proximity to
   47  amenities, number of rooms, living area, and condition. The
   48  condominium association, cooperative association, or homeowners’
   49  association as defined in s. 723.075 shall provide the unit or
   50  parcel owners with notice of its intent to petition the value
   51  adjustment board by hand delivery or certified mail, return
   52  receipt requested, except that such notice may be electronically
   53  transmitted to a unit or parcel owner who has expressly
   54  consented in writing to receiving notices by electronic
   55  transmission. If the association is a condominium or cooperative
   56  association, the notice must also be posted conspicuously on the
   57  condominium or cooperative property in the same manner as a
   58  notice of board meeting under ss. 718.112(2) and 719.106(1),
   59  respectively. Such notice must and shall provide at least 20
   60  days for a unit or parcel owner to elect, in writing, that his
   61  or her unit or parcel not be included in the petition.
   62         2.A condominium association as described in chapter 718,
   63  or a cooperative association as described in chapter 719, which
   64  has filed a single joint petition under this subsection may
   65  continue to represent, prosecute, or defend the unit owners
   66  through any related subsequent proceeding in any tribunal,
   67  including judicial review under part II of this chapter and any
   68  appeals. This subparagraph is intended to clarify existing law
   69  and applies to cases pending on July 1, 2020.
   70         Section 7. Subsection (2) of section 194.181, Florida
   71  Statutes, is amended to read:
   72         194.181 Parties to a tax suit.—
   73         (2)(a) In any case brought by a the taxpayer or a
   74  condominium or cooperative association, as described in chapters
   75  718 and 719, respectively, on behalf of some or all unit owners
   76  to contest contesting the assessment of any property, the county
   77  property appraiser is the shall be party defendant.
   78         (b)Except as provided in paragraph (c), in any case
   79  brought by the property appraiser under pursuant to s.
   80  194.036(1)(a) or (b), the taxpayer is the shall be party
   81  defendant.
   82         (c)In any case brought by the property appraiser under s.
   83  194.036(1)(a) or (b) concerning a value adjustment board
   84  decision on a single joint petition filed by a condominium or
   85  cooperative association under s. 194.011(3), the association and
   86  all unit owners included in the single joint petition are the
   87  party defendants.
   88         1.The condominium or cooperative association must provide
   89  unit owners with notice of its intent to respond to or answer
   90  the property appraiser’s complaint and advise the unit owners
   91  that they may elect to:
   92         a.Retain their own counsel to defend the appeal;
   93         b.Choose not to defend the appeal; or
   94         c.Be represented together with other unit owners in the
   95  response or answer filed by the association.
   96         2.The notice required in subparagraph 1. must be hand
   97  delivered or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested,
   98  to the unit owners, except that such notice may be
   99  electronically transmitted to a unit owner who has expressly
  100  consented in writing to receiving notices through electronic
  101  transmission. Additionally, the notice must be posted
  102  conspicuously on the condominium or cooperative property in the
  103  same manner as is required for notice of board meetings under
  104  ss. 718.112(2) and 719.106(1), respectively. The association
  105  must provide at least 14 days for the unit owners to respond to
  106  the notice. Any unit owner who does not respond to the
  107  association’s notice will be represented by the association.
  108         (d) In any case brought by the property appraiser under
  109  pursuant to s. 194.036(1)(c), the value adjustment board is the
  110  shall be party defendant.
  111         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and subsection
  112  (3) of section 718.111, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  113         718.111 The association.—
  114         (1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
  115         (a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the
  116  association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a
  117  Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association
  118  which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be
  119  incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or
  120  members of the association. The officers and directors of the
  121  association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It
  122  is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph
  123  shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of
  124  a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the
  125  association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or
  126  manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or
  127  service of value or kickback for which consideration has not
  128  been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her
  129  immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to
  130  provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer,
  131  director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to
  132  accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback is
  133  subject to a civil penalty under 718.501(2)(d) pursuant to s.
  134  718.501(1)(d) and, if applicable, a criminal penalty as provided
  135  in paragraph (d). However, this paragraph does not prohibit an
  136  officer, director, or manager from accepting services or items
  137  received in connection with trade fairs or education programs.
  138  An association may operate more than one condominium.
  141         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
  142  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
  143  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
  144  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
  145  condominium property.
  146         (b) After control of the association is obtained by unit
  147  owners other than the developer, the association may:
  148         1. Institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or
  149  hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
  150  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
  151  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
  152  structural components of a building or other improvements;
  153  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
  154  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
  155  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
  156         2.Protest and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used
  157  facilities and on units; and may
  158         3. Defend actions pertaining to ad valorem taxation of
  159  commonly used facilities or units or related to in eminent
  160  domain; or
  161         4. Bring inverse condemnation actions.
  162         (c) If the association has the authority to maintain a
  163  class action, the association may be joined in an action as
  164  representative of that class with reference to litigation and
  165  disputes involving the matters for which the association could
  166  bring a class action.
  167         (d)The association, in its own name or on behalf of some
  168  or all unit owners, may institute, file, protest, maintain, or
  169  defend any administrative challenge, lawsuit, appeal, or other
  170  challenge to ad valorem taxes assessed on units, commonly used
  171  facilities, or common elements. Except as provided in s.
  172  194.181(2)(c)1., the affected association members are not
  173  necessary or indispensable parties to such actions. This
  174  paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and applies to
  175  cases pending on July 1, 2020, and to cases beginning
  176  thereafter.
  177         (e) Nothing herein limits any statutory or common-law right
  178  of any individual unit owner or class of unit owners to bring
  179  any action without participation by the association which may
  180  otherwise be available.
  181         (f) An association may not hire an attorney who represents
  182  the management company of the association.
  185  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  186  And the title is amended as follows:
  187         Between lines 1828 and 1829
  188  insert:
  189         amending s. 194.011, F.S.; revising certain notice
  190         requiremetns; providing that certain associations may
  191         continue to represent, prosecute, or defend unit
  192         owners in certain proceedings; providing
  193         applicability; amending s. 194.181, F.S.; revising the
  194         parties considered to be the defendant in a tax suit;
  195         requiring condominium and cooperative associations to
  196         provide unit owners with certain notice and
  197         information under certain circumstances; providing
  198         requirements for such notice; specifying that a unit
  199         owner who does not respond to the notice will be
  200         represented by the association; amending s. 718.111,
  201         F.S.; amending s. 718.111, F.S.; revising a
  202         condominium association’s authority as a party in
  203         certain tax suits; providing construction and
  204         applicability;