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.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Section 197.319, Florida Statutes, is created to
   25  read:
   26         197.319Abatement 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.