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. 24 25 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 26 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: 128 129 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.