(1) The department shall serve as the state agency approving applicants for funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying the applicant as the International Game Fish Association World Center facility. For purposes of this section, “facility” means the International Game Fish Association World Center, and “project” means the International Game Fish Association World Center and new colocated improvements by private sector concerns who have made cash or in-kind contributions to the facility of $1 million or more. (2) Prior to certifying this facility, the department must determine that:
(a) The International Game Fish Association World Center is the only fishing museum, Hall of Fame, and international administrative headquarters in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that one or more private sector concerns have committed to donate to the International Game Fish Association land upon which the International Game Fish Association World Center will operate.
(b) International Game Fish Association is a not-for-profit Florida corporation that has contracted to construct and operate the facility.
(c) The municipality in which the facility is located, or the county if the facility is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the facility serves a public purpose.
(d) There are existing projections that the International Game Fish Association World Center facility and the colocated facilities of private sector concerns will attract an attendance of more than 1.8 million annually.
(e) There is an independent analysis or study, using methodology approved by the department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the project will exceed $1 million annually.
(f) There are existing projections that the project will attract more than 300,000 persons annually who are not residents of the state.
(g) The applicant has submitted an agreement to provide $500,000 annually in national and international media promotion of the facility, at the then-current commercial rates, during the period of time that the facility receives funds pursuant to s. 212.20. Failure on the part of the applicant to annually provide the advertising as provided in this paragraph shall result in the termination of the funding as provided in s. 212.20. The applicant can discharge its obligation under this paragraph by contracting with other persons, including private sector concerns who participate in the project.
(h) Documentation exists that demonstrates that the applicant has provided, and is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide, more than one-half of the cost incurred or related to the improvements and the development of the facility.
(i) The application is signed by senior officials of the International Game Fish Association and is notarized according to Florida law providing for penalties for falsification.
(3) The applicant may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 for the purpose of paying for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, promotion, or operation of the facility, or to pay or pledge for payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or by refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(4) Upon determining that an applicant is or is not certifiable, the department shall notify the applicant of its status by means of an official letter. If certifiable, the department shall notify the executive director of the Department of Revenue and the applicant of such certification by means of an official letter granting certification. From the date of such certification, the applicant shall have 5 years to open the facility to the public and notify the department of such opening. The Department of Revenue shall not begin distributing funds until 30 days following notice by the department that the facility is open to the public.
(5) The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the contributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required by this section. (6) The department must recertify every 10 years that the facility is open, that the International Game Fish Association World Center continues to be the only international administrative headquarters, fishing museum, and Hall of Fame in the United States recognized by the International Game Fish Association, and that the project is meeting the minimum projections for attendance or sales tax revenues as required at the time of original certification. If the facility is not recertified during this 10-year review as meeting the minimum projections, then funding shall be abated until certification criteria are met. If the project fails to generate $1 million of annual revenues pursuant to paragraph (2)(e), the distribution of revenues pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.d. shall be reduced to an amount equal to $83,333 multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the actual revenues generated and the denominator of which is $1 million. Such reduction remains in effect until revenues generated by the project in a 12-month period equal or exceed $1 million.