Florida Senate - 2023 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
Bill No. CS for SB 950
Senate . House
The Committee on Fiscal Policy (Rodriguez) recommended the
1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
3 Delete lines 121 - 637
4 and insert:
5 (b) “Commercial property” means real property not defined
6 as residential property which will be or has been improved by a
7 qualifying improvement, including, but not limited to, the
9 1. A multifamily residential property composed of five or
10 more dwelling units;
11 2. A commercial real property;
12 3. An industrial building or property;
13 4. An agricultural property;
14 5. A nonprofit-owned property;
15 6. A long-term care facility, including nursing homes and
16 assisted living facilities; or
17 7. A government commercial property.
18 (c) “Financing agreement” means an agreement, under a
19 qualifying improvement program, between a local government and a
20 property owner to finance the acquisition or installation of
21 qualifying improvements through a non-ad valorem assessment.
22 (d) “Government commercial property” means real property
23 owned by a local government and leased to a nongovernmental
24 lessee when the usage by the lessee meets the definition of
25 commercial property.
( a) “Local government” means a county, a municipality, a
27 dependent special district as defined in s. 189.012, or a
28 separate legal entity created pursuant to s. 163.01(7).
29 (f) “Non-ad valorem assessment” or “assessment” has the
30 same meaning as the term “non-ad valorem assessment” as defined
31 in s. 197.3632(1)(d).
32 (g) “Nongovernmental lessee” means a person or an entity
33 other than a local government which leases government commercial
35 (h) “Program administrator” means an entity, including, but
36 not limited to, a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, with
37 which a local government may contract to administer all or part
38 of a qualifying improvement program under this section.
39 (i) (b) “Qualifying improvement” means a program established
40 under this section by a local government, alone or in
41 partnership with other local governments or a program
42 administrator, to finance qualifying improvements on real
43 property and includes any:
44 1. Energy conservation and efficiency improvement, which is
45 a measure to reduce consumption through conservation or a more
46 efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane, or other
47 forms of energy on the property, including, but not limited to,
48 air sealing; installation of insulation; installation of energy
49 efficient heating, cooling, or ventilation systems; building
50 modifications to increase the use of daylight; replacement of
51 windows; installation of energy controls or energy recovery
52 systems; installation of electric vehicle charging equipment;
53 and installation of efficient lighting equipment.
54 2. Renewable energy improvement, which is the installation
55 of any system in which the electrical, mechanical, or thermal
56 energy is produced from a method that uses one or more of the
57 following fuels or energy sources: hydrogen, solar energy,
58 geothermal energy, bioenergy, and wind energy.
59 3. Wind resistance improvement, which includes, but is not
60 limited to:
61 a. Improving the strength of the roof deck attachment;
62 b. Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water
64 c. Installing wind-resistant shingles;
65 d. Installing gable-end bracing;
66 e. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections;
67 f. Installing storm shutters; or
68 g. Installing opening protections.
69 4. Wastewater improvement, which includes, but is not
70 limited to:
71 a. The removal, replacement, or improvement of an onsite
72 sewage treatment and disposal system with a secondary or
73 advanced onsite sewage treatment and disposal system or
75 b. The replacement or conversion of an onsite sewage
76 treatment and disposal system to a central sewerage system or
77 distributed sewerage system, including, but not limited to, the
78 installation of a sewer lateral and anything necessary to
79 connect the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system or the
80 building’s plumbing to a central sewerage system or distributed
81 sewerage system; or
82 c. Any removal, repairs, or modifications made to an onsite
83 sewage treatment and disposal system, including any repair,
84 modification, or replacement of a system required under a local
85 ordinance enacted pursuant to ss. 381.0065 and 381.00651.
86 5. Flood and water damage mitigation and resiliency
87 improvement, which includes, but is not limited to, projects and
88 installation for:
89 a. The raising of a structure above the base flood
90 elevation to reduce flood damage;
91 b. A flood diversion apparatus or seawall improvement,
92 which includes seawall repairs and seawall replacements;
93 c. Flood-resistant building materials;
94 d. Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, or other system
95 improvements that reduce flood damage; or
96 e. Other improvements that qualify for reductions in flood
97 insurance premiums.
98 6. Environmental health improvement, which is an
99 improvement or measure intended to mitigate harmful
100 environmental health effects to property occupants, including,
101 but not limited to, measures that do any of the following:
102 a. Mitigate the presence of lead, heavy metals,
103 polyfluoroalkyl substance contamination, or other harmful
104 contaminants in potable water systems, such as conversion of
105 well water to municipal water systems, replacing lead water
106 service lines, or installing water filters;
107 b. Mitigate lead paint contamination in housing built
108 before 1978; or
109 c. Mitigate indoor air pollution or contaminants, such as
110 particulate matter, viruses, bacteria, and mold.
111 7. Sustainable buildings, or any other improvements
112 necessary to achieve a sustainable building rating or compliance
113 with a national model green building code.
114 (j) “Residential property” means a residential real
115 property composed of four or fewer dwelling units.
116 (k) “Resiliency Energy Environment Florida (REEF) program”
117 means a program established by a local government, alone or in
118 partnership with other local governments or a program
119 administrator, to finance qualifying improvements on commercial
120 property or residential property.
121 (4) Subject to local government ordinance or resolution, a
122 property owner may apply to the REEF program local government
123 for funding to finance a qualifying improvement and enter into
124 an assessment a financing agreement with the local government.
125 Costs incurred by the REEF program local government for such
126 purpose may be collected as a non-ad valorem assessment. A non
127 ad valorem assessment shall be collected pursuant to s. 197.3632
128 and, notwithstanding s. 197.3632(8)(a), shall not be subject to
129 discount for early payment. However, the notice and adoption
130 requirements of s. 197.3632(4) do not apply if this section is
131 used and complied with, and the intent resolution, publication
132 of notice, and mailed notices to the property appraiser, tax
133 collector, and Department of Revenue required by s.
134 197.3632(3)(a) may be provided on or before August 15 in
135 conjunction with any non-ad valorem assessment authorized by
136 this section, if the property appraiser, tax collector, and
137 local government agree.
138 (6) A local government may enter into an agreement with a
139 program administrator to administer a REEF program on behalf of
140 the local government A qualifying improvement program may be
141 administered by a for-profit entity or a not-for-profit
142 organization on behalf of and at the discretion of the local
144 (7) A local government may incur debt for the purpose of
145 providing financing for qualifying such improvements, which debt
146 is payable from revenues received from the improved property , or
147 from any other available revenue source authorized under this
148 section or by other law.
149 (8) A local government may enter into an assessment a
150 financing agreement to finance or refinance a qualifying
151 improvement only with the record owner of the affected property.
152 Any assessment financing agreement entered into pursuant to this
153 section or a summary memorandum of such agreement shall be
154 submitted for recording recorded in the public records of the
155 county within which the property is located by the sponsoring
156 unit of local government within 10 5 days after execution of the
157 agreement. The recorded agreement shall provide constructive
158 notice that the assessment to be levied on the property
159 constitutes a lien of equal dignity to county taxes and
160 assessments from the date of recordation. A notice of lien for
161 the full amount of the financing may be recorded in the public
162 records of the county where the property is located. Such lien
163 is not enforceable in a manner that results in the acceleration
164 of the remaining nondelinquent unpaid balance under the
165 assessment financing agreement.
166 (9) Before entering into an assessment a financing
167 agreement, the local government, or the program administrator
168 acting on its behalf, shall reasonably determine that all of the
169 following conditions are met:
170 (a) All property taxes and any other assessments levied on
171 the same bill as property taxes are current paid and have not
172 been delinquent for more than 30 days for the preceding 3 years
173 or the property owner’s period of ownership, whichever is less. ;
174 (b) that There are no involuntary liens greater than
175 $1,000, including, but not limited to, construction liens on the
176 property. ;
177 (c) that No notices of default or other evidence of
178 property-based debt delinquency have been recorded and not
179 released during the preceding 3 years or the property owner’s
180 period of ownership, whichever is less. ;
181 (d) The local government or program administrator has asked
182 the property owner whether any other assessments under this
183 section have been recorded or have been funded and not yet
184 recorded on the property. The failure of a property owner to
185 disclose information set forth in this paragraph does not
186 invalidate an assessment financing agreement or any obligation
187 thereunder, even if the total financed amount of the qualifying
188 improvements exceeds the amount that would otherwise be
189 authorized under paragraph (12)(a).
190 (e) and that The property owner is current on all mortgage
191 debt on the property.
192 (f) The residential property is not subject to an existing
193 home equity conversion mortgage or reverse mortgage product.
194 This paragraph does not apply to commercial property.
195 (g) The property is not currently a residential property
196 gifted to a homeowner for free by a nonprofit entity as may be
197 disclosed by the property owner. The failure of a property owner
198 to disclose information set forth in this paragraph does not
199 invalidate an assessment financing agreement or any obligation
200 thereunder. This paragraph does not apply to commercial
202 (10) Before final funding may be provided, a qualifying
203 improvement must shall be affixed or planned to be affixed to a
204 commercial property or residential building or facility that is
205 part of the property and constitutes shall constitute an
206 improvement to that property the building or facility or a
207 fixture attached to the building or facility. An assessment
208 financing agreement may between a local government and a
209 qualifying property owner may not cover qualifying wind
210 resistance improvements on commercial property under new
211 construction or residential property in buildings or facilities
212 under new construction or construction for which a certificate
213 of occupancy or similar evidence of substantial completion of
214 new construction or improvement has not been issued.
215 (11) Any work requiring a license under any applicable law
216 to make a qualifying improvement shall be performed by a
217 contractor properly certified or registered pursuant to part I
218 or part II of chapter 489, as applicable. A financing agreement
219 may be executed for qualifying improvements in the construction
220 of a commercial property before a certificate of occupancy or
221 similar evidence of substantial completion of new construction
222 or improvement is issued. Progress payments, or payments made
223 before completion, are allowed for commercial properties,
224 provided that the property owner subsequently provides, upon
225 request for a final progress payment disbursement, written
226 verification to the local government confirming that the
227 qualifying improvements are completed and operating as intended.
228 (12)(a) Without the consent of the holders or loan
229 servicers of any mortgage encumbering or otherwise secured by
230 the property, the total amount of any non-ad valorem assessment
231 for a property under this section may not exceed 20 percent of
232 the fair market just value of the property as determined by the
233 county property appraiser. The combined mortgage-related debt
234 and total amount of any non-ad valorem assessments funded under
235 this section for residential property may not exceed 97 percent
236 of the fair market value of the residential property. However,
237 the failure of a property owner to disclose information set
238 forth in paragraph (9)(d) does not invalidate an assessment
239 financing agreement or any obligation thereunder, even if the
240 total financed amount of the qualifying improvements exceeds the
241 amount that would otherwise be authorized under this paragraph.
242 For purposes of this paragraph, fair market value may be
243 determined using reputable third parties.
244 (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a non-ad valorem
245 assessment for a qualifying improvement defined in subparagraph
246 (2)(i)1. (2)(b)1. or subparagraph (2)(i)2. which (2)(b)2. that
247 is supported by an energy audit is not subject to the limits in
248 this subsection if the audit demonstrates that the annual energy
249 savings from the qualified improvement equals or exceeds the
250 annual repayment amount of the non-ad valorem assessment.
251 (13) At least 30 days before entering into an assessment a
252 financing agreement, the property owner shall provide to the
253 holders or loan servicers of any existing mortgages encumbering
254 or otherwise secured by the property a notice of the owner’s
255 intent to enter into an assessment a financing agreement
256 together with the maximum principal amount to be financed and
257 the maximum annual assessment necessary to repay that amount. A
258 verified copy or other proof of such notice shall be provided to
259 the local government. A provision in any agreement between a
260 mortgagee or other lienholder and a property owner, or otherwise
261 now or hereafter binding upon a property owner, which allows for
262 acceleration of payment of the mortgage, note, or lien or other
263 unilateral modification solely as a result of entering into an
264 assessment a financing agreement as provided for in this section
265 is not enforceable. This subsection does not limit the authority
266 of the holder or loan servicer to increase the required monthly
267 escrow by an amount necessary to annually pay the annual
268 qualifying improvement assessment.
269 (14) At or before the time a seller purchaser executes a
270 contract for the sale and purchase of any property for which a
271 non-ad valorem assessment has been levied under this section and
272 has an unpaid balance due, the seller must shall give the
273 prospective purchaser a written disclosure statement in the
274 following form, which shall be set forth in the contract or in a
275 separate writing:
277 QUALIFYING IMPROVEMENTS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY,
278 RENEWABLE ENERGY, FLOOD MITIGATION, ADVANCED
279 TECHNOLOGIES FOR WASTEWATER REMOVAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL
280 HEALTH, OR WIND RESISTANCE.—The property being
281 purchased is located within the jurisdiction of a
282 local government that has placed an assessment on the
283 property pursuant to s. 163.08, Florida Statutes. The
284 assessment is for a qualifying improvement to the
285 property relating to energy efficiency, renewable
286 energy, flood mitigation, advanced technologies for
287 wastewater removal or environmental health, or wind
288 resistance, and is not based on the value of property.
289 This agreement uses a program formerly referred to as
290 Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. You are
291 encouraged to contact the county property appraiser’s
292 office to learn more about this and other assessments
293 that may be provided by law.
295 (16)(a) Before final approval of an assessment financing
296 agreement for a qualifying improvement on a residential
297 property, a program administrator shall reasonably determine
298 that the property owner has the ability to pay the estimated
299 annual assessment. To do so, the program administrator shall, at
300 a minimum, use the underwriting requirements in subsection (9),
301 confirm that the property owner is not in bankruptcy, and
302 determine that the total estimated annual payment amount for all
303 assessment financing agreements funded under this section on the
304 property does not exceed 10 percent of the property owner’s
305 annual household income. Income may be confirmed using
306 information gathered from reputable third parties that provide
307 reasonably reliable evidence of the property owner’s household
308 income. Income may not be confirmed solely by a property owner’s
310 (b) In the event that a court or tribunal determines, by
311 clear and convincing evidence, that the program administrator’s
312 determination of the property owner’s ability to pay was not
313 objectively reasonable based on the information provided by the
314 property owner, the yearly assessment payment shall be reduced
315 in the amount which is within the property owner’s ability to
316 pay. This paragraph does not require or authorize the
317 administrator to reduce the amount owed on the assessment.
318 (c) The failure of a property owner to disclose information
319 set forth in paragraph (9)(d) does not invalidate an assessment
320 financing agreement or any obligation thereunder, even if the
321 total estimated annual payment amount exceeds the amount that
322 would otherwise be authorized under this subsection.
323 (17) Before or contemporaneously with a property owner
324 signing an assessment financing agreement on a residential
325 property, the program administrator shall provide a financing
326 estimate and disclosure to the residential property owner which
327 includes all of the following:
328 (a) The total amount estimated to be funded, including the
329 cost of the qualifying improvements, program fees, and
330 capitalized interest, if any.
331 (b) The estimated annual assessment.
332 (c) The term of the assessment.
333 (d) The interest charged and estimated annual percentage
335 (e) A description of the qualifying improvement.
336 (f) A disclosure that if the property owner sells or
337 refinances the property, the property owner, as a condition of
338 the sale or the refinance, may be required by a mortgage lender
339 to pay off the full amount owed under each assessment financing
341 (g) A disclosure that the assessment will be collected
342 along with the property owner’s property taxes and will result
343 in a lien on the property from the date the assessment financing
344 agreement is recorded.
345 (h) A disclosure that failure to pay the assessment may
346 result in penalties and fees, along with the issuance of a tax
347 certificate that could result in the property owner losing the
348 real property.
349 (18) Before a notice to proceed is issued on residential
350 property, the program administrator shall conduct with the
351 residential property owner or an authorized representative an
352 oral, recorded telephone call. The program administrator shall
353 ask the residential property owner if he or she would like to
354 communicate primarily in a language other than English. A
355 program administrator may not leave a voicemail on the
356 residential property owner’s or authorized representative’s
357 telephone to satisfy this requirement. A program administrator,
358 as part of such telephone call, shall confirm all of the
359 following with the residential property owner:
360 (a) That at least one residential property owner has access
361 to a copy of the assessment financing agreement and financing
362 estimates and disclosures.
363 (b) The qualifying improvements being financed.
364 (c) The total estimated annual costs that the residential
365 property owner will have to pay under the assessment financing
366 agreement, including applicable fees.
367 (d) The total estimated average monthly equivalent amount
368 of funds the residential property owner would have to save in
369 order to pay the annual costs of the assessment, including
370 applicable fees.
371 (e) The estimated due date of the residential property
372 owner’s first property tax payment that includes the assessment.
373 (f) The term of the assessment financing agreement.
374 (g) That payments for the assessment financing agreement
375 will cause the residential property owner’s annual property tax
376 bill to increase, and that payments will be made through an
377 additional annual assessment on the property and either will be
378 paid directly to the county tax collector’s office as part of
379 the total annual secured property tax bill or may be paid
380 through the residential property owner’s mortgage escrow
382 (h) That the residential property owner has disclosed
383 whether the property has received, or the owner is seeking,
384 additional assessments funded under this section and that the
385 owner has disclosed all other assessments funded under this
386 section which are or are about to be placed on the property.
387 (i) That the property will be subject to a lien during the
388 term of the assessment financing agreement and that the
389 obligations under the agreement may be required to be paid in
390 full before the residential property owner sells or refinances
391 the property.
392 (j) That any potential utility or insurance savings are not
393 guaranteed and will not reduce the assessment or total
394 assessment amount.
395 (k) That the program administrator does not provide tax
396 advice, and the residential property owner should seek
397 professional tax advice if he or she has questions regarding tax
398 credits, tax deductibility, or other tax impacts of the
399 qualifying improvement or the assessment financing agreement.
400 (19) A residential property owner may cancel an assessment
401 financing agreement within 3 business days after signing the
402 assessment financing agreement without any financial penalty
403 from the program administrator for doing so.
404 (20) The term of an assessment financing agreement on
405 residential property may not exceed the lesser of:
406 (a) Thirty years; or
407 (b) The greater of either the weighted average estimated
408 useful life of all qualifying improvements being financed or the
409 estimated useful life of the qualifying improvements to which
410 the greatest portion of funds is disbursed.
411 (21) An assessment financing agreement authorized under
412 this section on residential property may not include any of the
413 following financing terms:
414 (a) A negative amortization schedule. Capitalized interest
415 included in the original balance of the assessment financing
416 agreement does not constitute negative amortization.
417 (b) A balloon payment.
418 (c) Prepayment fees, other than nominal administrative
420 (22) For residential property, a program administrator:
421 (a) May not enroll a contractor who contracts with
422 residential property owners to install qualifying improvements
424 1. The program administrator makes a reasonable effort to
425 confirm that the contractor maintains in good standing an
426 appropriate license from the state, if applicable, as well as
427 any other permit, license, or registration required for engaging
428 in business in the jurisdiction in which he or she operates and
429 that the contractor maintains all state-required bond and
430 insurance coverage; and
431 2. The program administrator obtains the contractor’s
432 written agreement that the contractor will act in accordance
433 with all applicable laws, including applicable advertising and
434 marketing laws and regulations.
435 (b) Shall maintain a process to enroll new contractors
436 which includes reasonable review of the following for each
438 1. Relevant work or project history.
439 2. Financial and reputational background checks.
440 3. A criminal background check.
441 4. Status on the Better Business Bureau online platform or
442 another online platform that tracks contractor reviews.
443 (c) A program administrator may pay or reimburse
444 contractors for any expense allowable under applicable state law
445 and not otherwise prohibited under this section, including, but
446 not limited to, marketing, training, and promotions.
447 (d) A program administrator may not disclose to a
448 contractor or to a third party engaged in soliciting a financing
449 agreement the maximum financing amount for which a residential
450 property owner is eligible.
451 (23) Before disbursing funds to a contractor for a
452 qualifying improvement on residential property, a program
453 administrator must first confirm that the applicable work or
454 service has been completed through any of the following:
455 (a) A written certification from the property owner;
456 (b) A recorded telephone call with the property owner;
457 (c) A review of geotagged and time-stamped photographs;
458 (d) A review of a final permit; or
459 (e) A site inspection through third-party means.
460 (24) A program administrator shall comply with the
461 following marketing and communications guidelines when
462 communicating with residential property owners:
463 (a) A program administrator may not represent:
464 1. That the REEF program or assessment financing is a
465 government assistance program;
466 2. That qualifying improvements are free or that assessment
467 financing is a free program; or
468 3. That the financing of a qualifying improvement using the
469 REEF program does not require the property owner to repay the
470 financial obligation.
471 (b) A program administrator may not make any representation
472 as to the tax deductibility of an assessment authorized under
473 this section. A program administrator may encourage a property
474 owner to seek the advice of a tax professional regarding tax
475 matters related to assessments.
476 (25) A contractor may not present a higher price for a
477 qualifying improvement on residential property financed by an
478 assessment financing agreement than the contractor would
479 otherwise reasonably present if the qualifying improvement was
480 not being financed through an assessment financing agreement.
481 (26) A program administrator shall use appropriate
482 methodologies or technologies to identify and verify the
483 identity of the residential property owner who executes an
484 assessment financing agreement.
485 (27) A program administrator may not provide a contractor
486 with any payment, fee, or kickback in exchange for referring
487 assessment financing business relating to a specific assessment
488 financing agreement on residential property.
489 (28) A program administrator shall develop and implement
490 policies and procedures for responding to, tracking, and helping
491 to resolve questions and property owner complaints as soon as
492 reasonably practicable.
493 (29) A program administrator shall maintain a process for
494 monitoring enrolled contractors that contract with residential
495 property owners to install qualifying improvements with regard
496 to performance and compliance with program policies and shall
497 implement policies for suspending and terminating enrolled
498 contractors based on violations of program policies or
499 unscrupulous behavior. A program administrator shall maintain a
500 policy for determining the conditions on which a contractor may
501 be reinstated to the program.
502 (30) A program administrator shall provide, at a reasonable
503 time following the end of the prior calendar year, an annual
504 report to the dependent special district as defined in s.
505 189.012 or a separate legal entity created pursuant to s.
506 163.01(7) which it has contracted with to administer a REEF
507 program and shall include information and data related to the
509 (a) The total number of property owner complaints received
510 which are associated with project funding in the report year.
511 (b) Of the total number of property owner complaints
512 received which are associated with project funding in the report
514 1. The number and percentage of complaints that relate to
515 the assessment financing.
516 2. The number and percentage of complaints that relate to a
517 contractor or the workmanship of a contractor and are not
518 related to assessment financing.
519 3. The number and percentage of complaints that relate to
520 both a contractor and the assessment financing.
521 4. The number and percentage of complaints received
522 pursuant to subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. which were resolved and
523 the number and percentage of complaints received pursuant to
524 subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. which were not resolved.
525 (c) The percentage of property owner complaints received
526 pursuant to subparagraphs (b)1., 2., and 3. expressed as a total
527 of all projects funded in the report year.
528 (31)(a) Subsections (16) through (30) do not apply to
529 residential property if the program administrator reasonably
530 determines that:
531 1. The residential property is owned by a business entity
532 that owns more than four residential properties; and
533 2. The business entity’s managing member, partner, or
534 beneficial owner does not reside in the residential property.
535 (b) Subsections (16) through (30) apply to a program
536 administrator only when administering a REEF program for
537 qualifying improvements on residential property. Subsections
538 (16) through (30) do not apply with respect to a local
539 government, to residential property owned by a local government,
540 or to commercial property.
541 Section 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2024.
543 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================
544 And the title is amended as follows:
545 Delete lines 19 - 25
546 and insert:
547 requirements for qualifying improvements; authorizing
548 execution of an assessment financing agreement under
549 certain circumstances; authorizing progress payments
550 made before completion for commercial properties under
551 certain circumstances; revising the calculation of
552 non-ad valorem assessment limits; providing
553 construction; specifying underwriting, financing
554 estimate, disclosure, and confirmation requirements
555 for program administrators relating to residential
556 property; authorizing a residential property owner,
557 under certain circumstances and