Florida Senate - 2020                              CS for SB 856
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Pizzo
       578-03064-20                                           2020856c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to affordable housing tax reductions;
    3         amending s. 163.31801, F.S.; authorizing counties,
    4         municipalities, and special districts to provide an
    5         exception or waiver of impact fees for certain not
    6         for-profit corporations for specified purposes;
    7         defining the term “supportive housing” for certain
    8         purposes; amending s. 196.1978, F.S.; defining terms;
    9         providing legislative findings; providing a tax
   10         reduction to certain entities that provide affordable
   11         housing to identified groups; providing criteria for
   12         receiving such reduction; providing a formula for
   13         determining the amount of the reduction; requiring a
   14         taxpayer to submit a covenant for recording which
   15         provides specified information; requiring a taxpayer
   16         who receives a tax reduction to file an annual report;
   17         providing specifications for such report; providing
   18         penalties for falsification of reports; authorizing a
   19         county to limit the number of qualifying projects that
   20         may be approved under specified conditions; requiring
   21         a taxpayer to pay back taxes, penalties, and interest
   22         under specified circumstances; providing exceptions;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Subsection (8) of section 163.31801, Florida
   28  Statutes, is amended to read:
   29         163.31801 Impact fees; short title; intent; minimum
   30  requirements; audits; challenges.—
   31         (8) A county, municipality, or special district may provide
   32  an exception or waiver for an impact fee for the development or
   33  construction of housing that is affordable, as defined in s.
   34  420.9071, or for the development and construction of supportive
   35  housing by a not-for-profit corporation that derives at least 75
   36  percent of its annual revenues from contracts or services
   37  provided to a state or federal agency. If a county,
   38  municipality, or special district provides such an exception or
   39  waiver, it is not required to use any revenues to offset the
   40  impact. For purposes of this subsection, the term “supportive
   41  housing” means affordable housing for low-income persons and
   42  low-income households, as those terms are defined in s.
   43  420.9071(19), which provides treatment for persons who suffer
   44  from mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence, which
   45  provides on-premises social and community support services,
   46  including job training, life skills training, alcohol and
   47  substance abuse disorder treatment, child care, and client case
   48  management services.
   49         Section 2. Subsection (3) is added to section 196.1978,
   50  Florida Statutes, to read:
   51         196.1978 Affordable housing property exemption; workforce
   52  housing property reductions.—
   53         (3)(a)As used in this subsection, the term:
   54         1.“Base tax” means the operating taxes remitted to the
   55  taxing authority in the tax year immediately preceding the
   56  reduction term.
   57         2.“Corporation” means the Florida Housing Finance
   58  Corporation.
   59         3.“Household” has the same meaning as in s. 196.075(1).
   60         4.“Operating taxes” means the nonvoted millage portion of
   61  the county millage and the municipal millage as identified in s.
   62  200.001(1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively.
   63         5.“Project taxing authority” means a county or
   64  municipality, as those terms are defined in s. 200.001(8)(a) and
   65  (b), respectively, which is authorized to levy operating taxes
   66  against real property in the jurisdiction in which a qualifying
   67  project is located.
   68         6.“Qualifying project” means a workforce housing project
   69  that:
   70         a.Is located in a county that has a population of 825,000
   71  or more; and
   72         b.Has not received a property tax discount pursuant to
   73  subsection (2).
   74         7.“Reduction term” means the 25-year tax reduction period
   75  beginning the year in which the qualifying project is first
   76  assessed under s. 192.042(1) and certified by the county
   77  property appraiser as eligible to receive a tax reduction in
   78  operating taxes.
   79         8.“Taxpayer” has the same meaning as in s. 192.001.
   80         9.“Workforce housing project” means a rental housing
   81  project that provides at least 4 but not more than 70 dwelling
   82  units for natural persons or families and in which:
   83         a.At least 10 percent of the rental units are set aside
   84  for one or more natural persons or a family with a total annual
   85  gross household income greater than 60 percent but less than 80
   86  percent of the median annual income adjusted for family size for
   87  households within the metropolitan statistical area, the county,
   88  or the nonmetropolitan median for the state, whichever is
   89  greatest.
   90         b.At least 20 percent of the rental units are set aside
   91  for one or more natural persons or a family with a total annual
   92  gross household income greater than 60 percent but less than 100
   93  percent of the median annual income adjusted for family size for
   94  households within the metropolitan statistical area, the county,
   95  or the nonmetropolitan median for the state, whichever is
   96  greatest.
   97         c.Rents for the rental units set aside pursuant to sub
   98  subparagraphs a. and b. comply with the income limitations
   99  established by the corporation for the county in which the
  100  rental units are located. Rents for the rental units within the
  101  project that are not subject to the set-asides may be offered at
  102  rents determined by the taxpayer in his or her sole discretion.
  103         (b)The Legislature finds that property used to provide
  104  workforce housing to natural persons and households that meet
  105  the low-income or moderate-income limits is a charitable
  106  purpose. Therefore, notwithstanding s. 196.195(4), a taxpayer
  107  who builds or renovates a qualifying project after July 1, 2021,
  108  may receive a tax reduction in operating taxes that would
  109  otherwise be assessed if the following criteria are met:
  110         1.The taxpayer timely files an application for the tax
  111  reduction with the property appraiser no later than March 1 of
  112  the year immediately following the year in which the qualifying
  113  project is first assessed under s. 192.042(1).
  114         2.The taxpayer records a covenant running with the land
  115  that restricts the rents of rental units within the qualifying
  116  project in accordance with the requirements set forth in
  117  subparagraph (a)9.
  118         (c)For the first 16 years of the reduction term, a
  119  qualifying project shall be assessed operating taxes in an
  120  amount equal to the base tax for the qualifying project, which
  121  base tax shall be increased annually thereafter by 2.5 percent
  122  or the Consumer Price Index for the county in which the
  123  qualifying project is located, whichever is less. Beginning in
  124  Year 17 of the reduction term, the property appraiser shall
  125  determine the assessed value of the qualifying project and
  126  reduce the assessed value of the property in accordance with the
  127  percentages set forth below:
  129  Year of Tax Reduction           Workforce Housing Reduction Percentage
  130  17                              90 percent                          
  131  18                              80 percent                          
  132  19                              70 percent                          
  133  20                              60 percent                          
  134  21                              50 percent                          
  135  22                              40 percent                          
  136  23                              30 percent                          
  137  24                              20 percent                          
  138  25                              10 percent                          
  139         (d)If the property appraiser approves the application, the
  140  taxpayer must record the covenant. The property appraiser shall
  141  apply the authorized tax reductions beginning in the appropriate
  142  tax year. The taxpayer is responsible for the cost of recording
  143  the covenant.
  144         (e)Each taxpayer who receives a tax reduction must submit
  145  a report annually to the property appraiser confirming his or
  146  her compliance with the rent restrictions required for the
  147  receipt of the reduction. The report must be executed by the
  148  taxpayer or an authorized representative of the taxpayer, and
  149  must include the written declaration set forth in s. 92.525(2).
  150  A taxpayer who falsifies the written declaration commits a
  151  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
  152  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  153         (f)Each county may limit the total number of qualifying
  154  projects that the property appraiser may approve annually if:
  155         1.It conducts a public hearing noticed in a newspaper of
  156  general circulation.
  157         2.It adopts a resolution that finds and is supported by
  158  competent substantial evidence that a limitation is necessary to
  159  avoid the substantial impairment of the taxing authority’s
  160  ability to meet its financial obligations to fund other public
  161  services that are necessary to ensure the public safety and
  162  welfare.
  163         (g)1.If the property appraiser determines that a
  164  qualifying project that was granted a tax reduction has failed
  165  to offer rents as required in the recorded covenant and as set
  166  forth in this subsection, the taxpayer shall be liable for the
  167  payment of any back taxes, penalties, and interest, as well as
  168  any other remedies authorized pursuant to s. 193.092.
  169         2.If the property appraiser improperly grants a tax
  170  reduction as a result of a clerical mistake or an omission, the
  171  taxpayer improperly receiving the reduction shall not be
  172  assessed back taxes, penalties, or interest, or be held liable
  173  for any other remedies authorized under s. 193.092.
  174         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.