(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.—The Legislature finds that attracting, retaining, and providing favorable conditions for the growth of certain high-impact facilities provides widespread economic benefits to Florida citizens through high-quality employment opportunities in the facility and in related facilities attracted to Florida, through the increased tax base provided by the high-impact facility and its related sector businesses, through an enhanced entrepreneurial climate in the state and the resulting business and employment opportunities, and through the stimulation and enhancement of the state’s universities and community colleges. It is the policy of this state to stimulate growth of these business sectors and the state economy by enhancing Florida’s competitive position and encouraging the location of such major high-impact facilities in the state.
(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Commencement of operations” means that the qualified high-impact business has begun to actively operate the principal function for which the facility was constructed as determined by the department and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(b) “Cumulative investment” means the total investment in buildings and equipment made by a qualified high-impact business since the beginning of construction of such facility.
(c) “Eligible high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors identified by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and certified by the department as provided in subsection (5), which is making a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million and creating at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs in the state or a research and development facility making a cumulative investment of at least $25 million and creating at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs. Such investment and employment must be achieved in a period not to exceed 3 years after the date the business is certified as a qualified high-impact business.
(d) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
(e) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, including, but not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union agreement or coemployment under a professional employer organization agreement, that result directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved in the construction of the project facility.
(f) “Qualified high-impact business” means a business in one of the high-impact sectors that has been certified by the department as a qualified high-impact business to receive a high-impact sector performance grant.
(g) “Research and development” means basic and applied research in science or engineering, as well as the design, development, and testing of prototypes or processes of new or improved products. Research and development does not mean market research, routine consumer product testing, sales research, research in the social sciences or psychology, nontechnological activities or technical services.
(3) HIGH-IMPACT SECTOR PERFORMANCE GRANTS; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
(a) Upon commencement of operations, a qualified high-impact business is eligible to receive a high-impact business performance grant in the amount as determined by the department under subsection (5), consistent with eligible amounts as provided in paragraph (b), and specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement. The precise conditions that are considered commencement of operations must be specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(b) The department may negotiate qualified high-impact business performance grant awards for any single qualified high-impact business. In negotiating such awards, the department shall consider the following guidelines in conjunction with other relevant applicant impact and cost information and analysis as required in subsection (5).
1. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $50 million and creating 50 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $500,000 to $1 million.
2. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $100 million and creating 100 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $1 million to $2 million.
3. A qualified high-impact business making a cumulative investment of $800 million and creating 800 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $10 million to $12 million.
4. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $25 million and creating 25 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $700,000 to $1 million.
5. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $75 million, and creating 75 jobs may be eligible for a total qualified high-impact business performance grant of $2 million to $3 million.
6. A qualified high-impact business engaged in research and development making a cumulative investment of $150 million, and creating 150 jobs may be eligible for a qualified high-impact business performance grant of $3.5 million to $4.5 million.
(c) Fifty percent of the performance grant awarded under subsection (5) must be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon certification by the business that operations have commenced.
(d) The balance of the performance grant award shall be paid to the qualified high-impact business upon the business’s certification that full operations have commenced and that the full investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement have been met and verified by the department. The verification must occur not later than 60 days after the qualified high-impact business has provided the certification specified in this paragraph.
(e) The department may, upon a showing of reasonable cause for delay and significant progress toward the achievement of the investment and employment goals specified in the qualified high-impact business agreement, extend the date for commencement of operations, not to exceed an additional 2 years beyond the limit specified in paragraph (2)(a), but in no case may any high-impact sector performance grant payment be made to the business until the scheduled goals have been achieved.
(4) AUTHORITY TO APPROVE QUALIFIED HIGH-IMPACT BUSINESS PERFORMANCE GRANTS.—
(a) The total amount of active performance grants scheduled for payment by the department in any single fiscal year may not exceed the lesser of $30 million or the amount appropriated by the Legislature for that fiscal year for qualified high-impact business performance grants. If the scheduled grant payments are not made in the year for which they were scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement and are rescheduled as authorized in paragraph (3)(e), they are, for purposes of this paragraph, deemed to have been paid in the year in which they were originally scheduled in the qualified high-impact business agreement.
(b) If the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy the qualified high-impact business performance grant payments scheduled for any fiscal year, the department shall, not later than July 15 of that year, determine the proportion of each grant payment which may be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for qualified high-impact business performance grant payments for the fiscal year by the total performance grant payments scheduled in all performance grant agreements for the fiscal year. The amount of each grant scheduled for payment in that fiscal year must be multiplied by the resulting quotient. All businesses affected by this calculation must be notified by August 1 of each fiscal year. If, after the payment of all the refund claims, funds remain in the appropriation for payment of qualified high-impact business performance grants, the department shall recalculate the proportion for each performance grant payment and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.
(5) APPLICATIONS; CERTIFICATION PROCESS; GRANT AGREEMENT.— (a) The department shall review an application pursuant to s. 288.061 which is received from any eligible business, as defined in subsection (2), for consideration as a qualified high-impact business before the business has made a decision to locate or expand a facility in this state. The business must provide the following information:
1. A complete description of the type of facility, business operations, and product or service associated with the project.
2. The number of full-time equivalent jobs that will be created by the project and the average annual wage of those jobs.
3. The cumulative amount of investment to be dedicated to this project within 3 years.
4. A statement concerning any special impacts the facility is expected to stimulate in the sector, the state, or regional economy and in state universities and community colleges.
5. A statement concerning the role the grant will play in the decision of the applicant business to locate or expand in this state.
6. Any additional information requested by the department.
(b) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061.
(c) The department and the qualified high-impact business shall enter into a performance grant agreement setting forth the conditions for payment of the qualified high-impact business performance grant. The agreement shall include the total amount of the qualified high-impact business facility performance grant award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the award, including the employment, average salary, investment, the methodology for determining if the conditions have been met, and the schedule of performance grant payments.
(6) SELECTION AND DESIGNATION OF HIGH-IMPACT SECTORS.—
(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall, by January 1, of every third year, beginning January 1, 2011, initiate the process of reviewing and, if appropriate, selecting a new high-impact sector for designation or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector. The process of reviewing designated high-impact sectors or recommending the deactivation of a designated high-impact sector shall be in consultation with the department, economic development organizations, the State University System, local governments, employee and employer organizations, market analysts, and economists.
(b) The department has authority, after recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., to designate a high-impact sector or to deauthorize a designated high-impact sector.
(c) To begin the process of selecting and designating a new high-impact sector, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall undertake a thorough study of the proposed sector. This study must consider the definition of the sector, including the types of facilities which characterize the sector that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant and whether a powerful incentive like the high-impact performance grant is needed to induce major facilities in the sector to locate or grow in this state; the benefits that major facilities in the sector have or could have on the state’s economy and the relative significance of those benefits; the needs of the sector and major sector facilities, including natural, public, and human resources and benefits and costs with regard to these resources; the sector’s current and future markets; the current fiscal and potential fiscal impacts of the sector, to both the state and its communities; any geographic opportunities or limitations with regard to the sector, including areas of the state most likely to benefit from the sector and areas unlikely to benefit from the sector; the state’s advantages or disadvantages with regard to the sector; and the long-term expectations for the industry on a global level and in the state. If Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds favorable conditions for the designation of the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall include in the study recommendations for a complete and comprehensive sector strategy, including appropriate marketing and workforce strategies for the entire sector and any recommendations that Enterprise Florida, Inc., may have for statutory or policy changes needed to improve the state’s business climate and to attract and grow Florida businesses, particularly small businesses, in the proposed sector. The study shall reflect the finding of the sector-business network specified in paragraph (d).
(d) In conjunction with the study required in paragraph (c), Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall develop and consult with a network of sector businesses. While this network may include non-Florida businesses, it must include any businesses currently within the state. If the number of Florida businesses in the sector is large, a representative cross-section of Florida sector businesses may form the core of this network.
(e) The study and its findings and recommendations and the recommendations gathered from the sector-business network must be discussed and considered during at least one meeting per calendar year of leaders in business, government, education, workforce development, and economic development called by the Governor to address the business climate in the state, develop a common vision for the economic future of the state, and identify economic development efforts to fulfill that vision.
(f) If after consideration of the completed study required in paragraph (c) and the input derived from consultation with the sector-business network in paragraph (d) and the meeting as required in paragraph (e), the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., finds that the sector will have exceptionally large and widespread benefits to the state and its citizens, relative to any public costs; that the sector is characterized by the types of facilities that require exceptionally large investments and provide employment opportunities to a relatively large number of workers in high-quality, high-income jobs that might qualify for a high-impact performance grant; and that given the competition for such businesses it may be necessary for the state to be able to offer a large inducement, such as a high-impact performance grant, to attract such a business to the state or to encourage businesses to continue to grow in the state, the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may recommend that the department consider the designation of the sector as a high-impact business sector.
(g) Upon receiving a recommendation from the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., together with the study required in paragraph (c) and a summary of the findings and recommendations of the sector-business network required in paragraph (d), including a list of all meetings of the sector network and participants in those meetings and the findings and recommendations from the meeting as required in paragraph (e), the department shall after a thorough evaluation of the study and accompanying materials report its findings and either concur in the recommendation of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and designate the sector as a high-impact business sector or notify Enterprise Florida, Inc., that it does not concur and deny the board’s request for designation or return the recommendation and study to Enterprise Florida, Inc., for further evaluation. In any case, the department’s decision must be in writing and justify the reasons for the decision.
(h) If the department designates the sector as a high-impact sector, it shall, within 30 days, notify the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of its decision and provide a complete report on its decision, including copies of the material provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the department’s evaluation and comment on any statutory or policy changes recommended by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(i) For the purposes of this subsection, a high-impact sector consists of the silicon technology sector that Enterprise Florida, Inc., has found to be focused around the type of high-impact businesses for which the incentive created in this subsection is required and will create the kinds of sector and economy wide benefits that justify the use of state resources to encourage these investments and require substantial inducements to compete with the incentive packages offered by other states and nations.
1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2015-221, provides that:
“(1) A business may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the incentives specified in subsection (2) if each of the following criteria is satisfied:
“(a) The business has entered into a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity for a project under ss. 288.0659, 288.1045, 288.106, 288.107, 288.108, 288.1088, or 288.1089, Florida Statutes, between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015.
“(b) The contract is deemed active by the Department of Economic Opportunity and has not expired or been terminated.
“(c) The project that is the subject of the contract is located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone designated pursuant to chapter 290, Florida Statutes, as the boundaries existed on May 1, 2015.
“(2) For a project described under paragraph (1)(c), a business qualified under subsection (1) may apply for the following incentives:
“(a) The property tax exemption for a licensed child care facility under s. 196.095, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(b) The building sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(g), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(c) The business property sales tax refund under s. 212.08(5)(h), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(d) The electrical energy sales tax exemption under s. 212.08(15), Florida Statutes 2014.
“(e) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 212.096, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(f) The enterprise zone jobs tax credit under s. 220.181, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(g) The enterprise zone property tax credit under s. 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014.
“(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity must provide a list of businesses that are qualified under subsection (1) to the Department of Revenue by December 31, 2015. The Department of Economic Opportunity must also provide notice to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after the expiration or termination of a contract.
“(4) From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, the Department of Economic Opportunity is designated to perform all the duties and responsibilities that were performed by the governing body or enterprise zone development agency having jurisdiction over the enterprise zone under ss. 196.095, 212.08(5)(g) and (h), 212.08(15), 212.096, 220.181, and 220.182, Florida Statutes 2014, including receipt and review of applications and verifications.
“(5) The incentives described in subsection (2) are to be treated as if they had not expired on December 31, 2015.
“(6) This section is effective January 1, 2016, and expires on December 31, 2018.”