Florida Senate - 2022 SB 568 By Senator Polsky 29-00703-22 2022568__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to abatement of taxes for residential 3 dwellings rendered uninhabitable by catastrophic 4 event; creating s. 197.319, F.S.; providing 5 definitions; specifying conditions under which persons 6 whose residential dwellings are rendered uninhabitable 7 may receive an abatement of taxes originally levied; 8 specifying a formula for determining the amount of the 9 tax abatement; providing directives to property 10 appraisers in issuing written statements to the tax 11 collector when granting abatements; providing 12 directives to tax collectors in calculating damage 13 differentials and processing refunds; providing a 14 mechanism for persons to file late applications for 15 abatement of taxes; requiring tax collectors to 16 provide specified information to the Department of 17 Revenue and the governing boards of each affected 18 local government on an annual basis; providing for 19 retroactive applicability; providing an effective 20 date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Section 197.319, Florida Statutes, is created to 25 read: 26 197.319 Abatement of taxes for residential dwellings 27 rendered uninhabitable by a catastrophic event.— 28 (1) As used in this section, the term: 29 (a) “Catastrophic event” means a sudden, unanticipated 30 event that may be the result of a natural or manmade cause and 31 that renders one or more residential dwellings uninhabitable. A 32 catastrophic event does not include the destruction of a 33 residential dwelling that occurs as a result of an intentional 34 act. 35 (b) “Catastrophic event abatement” means the product 36 arrived at by multiplying the damage differential by the amount 37 of timely paid taxes that were initially levied in the year in 38 which the catastrophic event occurred. 39 (c) “Damage differential” means the product arrived at by 40 multiplying the percent change in value by a ratio, the 41 numerator of which is the number of days the residential 42 dwelling was rendered uninhabitable in the year in which the 43 catastrophic event occurred, and the denominator of which is 44 365. 45 (d) “Percent change in value” means the difference between 46 a residential parcel’s just value as of January 1 of the year in 47 which the catastrophic event occurred and its postcatastrophic 48 event just value expressed as a percentage of the parcel’s just 49 value as of January 1 of the year in which the catastrophic 50 event occurred. 51 (e) “Postcatastrophic event just value” means the just 52 value of the residential parcel on January 1 of the year in 53 which a catastrophic event occurred, reduced to reflect the just 54 value of the residential parcel after the catastrophic event 55 that rendered the residential dwelling uninhabitable. For 56 purposes of this paragraph, a residential dwelling that is 57 uninhabitable has no value attached to it. The catastrophic 58 event abatement is determined only for purposes of calculating 59 tax abatements for the year or years in which the residential 60 dwelling is uninhabitable as a result of the catastrophic event 61 and does not determine a parcel’s just value as of January 1 62 each year. 63 (f) “Residential dwelling” means an improved residential 64 dwelling or house that is owned and assessed as a homestead 65 property under s. 193.155 or nonhomestead residential property 66 under s. 193.1554(1). A residential dwelling does not include 67 any area or space that is not essential to the use and occupancy 68 of that dwelling, including a detached utility building, 69 detached carport, detached garage, bulkhead, fence, or swimming 70 pool, and does not include land. 71 (g) “Uninhabitable” means the complete destruction and loss 72 of use and occupancy of a residential dwelling resulting from a 73 catastrophic event that renders the residential dwelling an 74 unsafe structure as determined by the federal government or a 75 state or local government. 76 (2) If a residential dwelling is rendered uninhabitable for 77 at least 30 days due to a catastrophic event, taxes originally 78 levied for the tax year in which the catastrophic event occurred 79 may be abated in the following manner: 80 (a) The property owner must file an application with the 81 property appraiser no sooner than 30 days after the residential 82 dwelling is rendered uninhabitable and no later than March 1 of 83 the tax year immediately following the catastrophic event. 84 (b) The application must identify the residential parcel 85 upon which the residential dwelling was destroyed by a 86 catastrophic event, the date of the catastrophic event, and the 87 number of days the residential dwelling was uninhabitable during 88 the calendar year in which the catastrophic event occurred. 89 (c) The application must be verified under oath and is 90 subject to penalty of perjury. 91 (d) Upon receipt of the application, the property appraiser 92 must investigate the statements contained in the application to 93 determine if the applicant is entitled to an abatement of taxes. 94 If the property appraiser determines that the applicant is not 95 entitled to an abatement, the applicant may file a petition with 96 the value adjustment board, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), 97 requesting that the abatement be granted. 98 (e) If the property appraiser determines that the applicant 99 is entitled to an abatement, the property appraiser must issue 100 an official written statement to the tax collector by April 1 of 101 the year in which the application was received that provides: 102 1. The just value of the residential dwelling as determined 103 by the property appraiser on January 1 of the year in which the 104 catastrophic event for which the applicant is claiming an 105 abatement occurred. 106 2. The number of days during the calendar year during which 107 the residential dwelling was uninhabitable. 108 3. The postcatastrophic event just value of the residential 109 parcel as determined by the property appraiser. 110 4. The percent change in value applicable to the 111 residential parcel. 112 (3) Upon receipt of the written statement from the property 113 appraiser, the tax collector shall calculate the damage 114 differential pursuant to this section and process a refund in an 115 amount equal to the catastrophic event abatement. 116 (4) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property 117 taxes abated under subsection (2) but fails to file an 118 application by March 1 may file an application for abatement 119 under this subsection and may file a petition with the value 120 adjustment board, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), requesting that an 121 abatement under this subsection be granted. Such petition may be 122 filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 25th 123 day following the mailing of the notice by the property 124 appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 125 194.013, the value adjustment board may require such person to 126 pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon filing the petition. Upon 127 reviewing the petition, if the person is qualified to receive 128 the abatement under this subsection and demonstrates particular 129 extenuating circumstances determined by the property appraiser 130 or the value adjustment board to warrant granting a late 131 application for abatement, the property appraiser or the value 132 adjustment board may grant an abatement. 133 (5) On an annual basis, the tax collector shall notify: 134 (a) The department of the total reduction in taxes for all 135 properties that qualified for an abatement pursuant to this 136 section for the year. 137 (b) The governing board of each affected local government 138 of the reduction in such local government’s taxes that occurred 139 pursuant to this section. 140 Section 2. This act shall apply retroactively to January 1, 141 2021. 142 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.