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2016 Florida Statutes

CHAPTER 125
CHAPTER 125
COUNTY GOVERNMENT
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: POWERS AND DUTIES
(ss. 125.001-125.59)
SELF-GOVERNMENT
(ss. 125.60-125.69)
COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
(ss. 125.70-125.74)
OPTIONAL COUNTY CHARTERS
(ss. 125.80-125.88)
CHILDREN’S SERVICES
(ss. 125.901, 125.902)
VOLUNTEERS
(ss. 125.9501-125.9506)
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS:
POWERS AND DUTIES
125.001 Board meetings; notice.
125.01 Powers and duties.
125.0101 County may contract to provide services to municipalities and special districts.
125.0102 Sign ordinances.
125.0103 Ordinances and rules imposing price controls; findings required; procedures.
125.0104 Tourist development tax; procedure for levying; authorized uses; referendum; enforcement.
125.01045 Prohibition of fees for first responder services.
125.0105 Service fee for dishonored check.
125.01055 Affordable housing.
125.0107 Ordinances relating to possession or sale of ammunition.
125.0108 Areas of critical state concern; tourist impact tax.
125.0109 Family day care homes; local zoning regulation.
125.011 Definitions.
125.012 Project facilities; general powers and duties.
125.013 General obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
125.014 Title designation of authority.
125.015 Acquisition of facilities from municipalities.
125.016 Ad valorem tax.
125.0167 Discretionary surtax on documents; adoption; application of revenue.
125.0168 Special assessments levied on recreational vehicle parks regulated under chapter 513.
125.017 Administrative agents.
125.018 Rules and regulations.
125.019 Exemption from taxation; immunity.
125.022 Development permits.
125.025 County-municipality consolidated governments; additional powers.
125.029 County park entrance fee discounts.
125.031 Lease or lease-purchases of property for public purposes.
125.045 County economic development powers.
125.15 To sue and be sued in the name of county.
125.17 Clerk.
125.221 Holding of court and meeting of grand jury; place other than courthouse.
125.222 Auxiliary county offices, court proceedings.
125.27 Countywide forest fire protection; authority of the Florida Forest Service; state funding; county fire control assessments; disposition; equipment donations.
125.271 Emergency medical services; county emergency medical service assessments.
125.275 Countywide air quality protection; authority of counties designated as nonattainment areas; preemption of municipal ordinances.
125.325 Loans to public agencies authorized.
125.3401 Purchase, sale, or privatization of water, sewer, or wastewater reuse utility by county.
125.35 County authorized to sell real and personal property and to lease real property.
125.355 Proposed purchase of real property by county; confidentiality of records; procedure.
125.37 Exchange of county property.
125.379 Disposition of county property for affordable housing.
125.38 Sale of county property to United States, or state.
125.39 Nonapplicability to county lands acquired for specific purposes.
125.411 Conveyance of land by county.
125.42 Water, sewage, gas, power, telephone, other utility, and television lines within the right-of-way limits of county roads and highways.
125.421 Telecommunications services.
125.485 Utility services; nonpayment of charges by former occupant of rental unit; county action limited.
125.56 Enforcement and amendment of the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code; inspection fees; inspectors; etc.
125.561 Amateur radio antennas; construction in conformance with federal requirements.
125.563 Abatement of water pollution and shore erosion of inland lakes.
125.568 Conservation of water; Florida-friendly landscaping.
125.5801 Criminal history record checks for certain county employees and appointees.
125.581 Certain local employment registration prohibited.
125.585 Employee assistance programs; public records exemption.
125.59 Special grand jury fund.
125.001 Board meetings; notice.
(1) Upon the giving of due public notice, regular and special meetings of the board may be held at any appropriate public place in the county.
(2) The board may hold joint meetings with the governing body or bodies of one or more adjacent counties or municipalities to discuss matters regarding land development, economic development, or any other matters of mutual interest at any appropriate public place within the jurisdiction of any participating county or municipality only if the board provides due public notice within the jurisdiction of all participating municipalities and counties.
(a) To participate in a joint public meeting, the governing body of a county or municipality must first adopt a resolution authorizing such participation.
(b) No official vote may be taken at a joint meeting.
(c) A joint meeting may not take the place of any public hearing required by law.
History.s. 3, ch. 71-305; s. 1, ch. 2016-148.
125.01 Powers and duties.
(1) The legislative and governing body of a county shall have the power to carry on county government. To the extent not inconsistent with general or special law, this power includes, but is not restricted to, the power to:
(a) Adopt its own rules of procedure, select its officers, and set the time and place of its official meetings.
(b) Provide for the prosecution and defense of legal causes in behalf of the county or state and retain counsel and set their compensation.
(c) Provide and maintain county buildings.
(d) Provide fire protection, including the enforcement of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, as provided in ss. 633.206 and 633.208, and adopt and enforce local technical amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code as provided in those sections and pursuant to s. 633.202.
(e) Provide hospitals, ambulance service, and health and welfare programs.
(f) Provide parks, preserves, playgrounds, recreation areas, libraries, museums, historical commissions, and other recreation and cultural facilities and programs.
(g) Prepare and enforce comprehensive plans for the development of the county.
(h) Establish, coordinate, and enforce zoning and such business regulations as are necessary for the protection of the public.
(i) Adopt, by reference or in full, and enforce housing and related technical codes and regulations.
(j) Establish and administer programs of housing, slum clearance, community redevelopment, conservation, flood and beach erosion control, air pollution control, and navigation and drainage and cooperate with governmental agencies and private enterprises in the development and operation of such programs.
(k)1. Provide and regulate waste and sewage collection and disposal, water and alternative water supplies, including, but not limited to, reclaimed water and water from aquifer storage and recovery and desalination systems, and conservation programs.
2. The governing body of a county may require that any person within the county demonstrate the existence of some arrangement or contract by which such person will dispose of solid waste in a manner consistent with county ordinance or state or federal law. For any person who will produce special wastes or biomedical waste, as the same may be defined by state or federal law or county ordinance, the county may require satisfactory proof of a contract or similar arrangement by which such special or biomedical wastes will be collected by a qualified and duly licensed collector and disposed of in accordance with the laws of Florida or the Federal Government.
(l) Provide and operate air, water, rail, and bus terminals; port facilities; and public transportation systems.
(m) Provide and regulate arterial, toll, and other roads, bridges, tunnels, and related facilities; eliminate grade crossings; regulate the placement of signs, lights, and other structures within the right-of-way limits of the county road system; provide and regulate parking facilities; and develop and enforce plans for the control of traffic and parking. Revenues derived from the operation of toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and related facilities may, after provision has been made for the payment of operation and maintenance expenses of such toll facilities and any debt service on indebtedness incurred with respect thereto, be utilized for the payment of costs related to any other transportation facilities within the county, including the purchase of rights-of-way; the construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, and repair of such transportation facilities; and the payment of indebtedness incurred with respect to such transportation facilities.
(n) License and regulate taxis, jitneys, limousines for hire, rental cars, and other passenger vehicles for hire that operate in the unincorporated areas of the county; except that any constitutional charter county as defined in s. 125.011(1) shall on July 1, 1988, have been authorized to have issued a number of permits to operate taxis which is no less than the ratio of one permit for each 1,000 residents of said county, and any such new permits issued after June 4, 1988, shall be issued by lottery among individuals with such experience as a taxi driver as the county may determine.
(o) Establish and enforce regulations for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the unincorporated areas of the county pursuant to general law.
(p) Enter into agreements with other governmental agencies within or outside the boundaries of the county for joint performance, or performance by one unit in behalf of the other, of any of either agency’s authorized functions.
(q) Establish, and subsequently merge or abolish those created hereunder, municipal service taxing or benefit units for any part or all of the unincorporated area of the county, within which may be provided fire protection; law enforcement; beach erosion control; recreation service and facilities; water; alternative water supplies, including, but not limited to, reclaimed water and water from aquifer storage and recovery and desalination systems; streets; sidewalks; street lighting; garbage and trash collection and disposal; waste and sewage collection and disposal; drainage; transportation; indigent health care services; mental health care services; and other essential facilities and municipal services from funds derived from service charges, special assessments, or taxes within such unit only. Subject to the consent by ordinance of the governing body of the affected municipality given either annually or for a term of years, the boundaries of a municipal service taxing or benefit unit may include all or part of the boundaries of a municipality. If ad valorem taxes are levied to provide essential facilities and municipal services within the unit, the millage levied on any parcel of property for municipal purposes by all municipal service taxing units and the municipality may not exceed 10 mills. This paragraph authorizes all counties to levy additional taxes, within the limits fixed for municipal purposes, within such municipal service taxing units under the authority of the second sentence of s. 9(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution.
1(r) Levy and collect taxes, both for county purposes and for the providing of municipal services within any municipal service taxing unit, and special assessments; borrow and expend money; and issue bonds, revenue certificates, and other obligations of indebtedness, which power shall be exercised in such manner, and subject to such limitations, as may be provided by general law. There shall be no referendum required for the levy by a county of ad valorem taxes, both for county purposes and for the providing of municipal services within any municipal service taxing unit.
(s) Make investigations of county affairs; inquire into accounts, records, and transactions of any county department, office, or officer; and, for these purposes, require reports from any county officer or employee and the production of official records.
(t) Adopt ordinances and resolutions necessary for the exercise of its powers and prescribe fines and penalties for the violation of ordinances in accordance with law.
(u) Create civil service systems and boards.
(v) Require every county official to submit to it annually, at such time as it may specify, a copy of the official’s operating budget for the succeeding fiscal year.
(w) Perform any other acts not inconsistent with law, which acts are in the common interest of the people of the county, and exercise all powers and privileges not specifically prohibited by law.
(x) Employ an independent certified public accounting firm to audit any funds, accounts, and financial records of the county and its agencies and governmental subdivisions. Entities that are funded wholly or in part by the county, at the discretion of the county, may be required by the county to conduct a performance audit paid for by the county. An entity shall not be considered as funded by the county by virtue of the fact that such entity utilizes the county to collect taxes, assessments, fees, or other revenue. If an independent special district receives county funds pursuant to a contract or interlocal agreement for the purposes of funding, in whole or in part, a discrete program of the district, only that program may be required by the county to undergo a performance audit. Not fewer than five copies of each complete audit report, with accompanying documents, shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court and maintained there for public inspection. The clerk shall thereupon forward one complete copy of the audit report with accompanying documents to the Auditor General.
(y) Place questions or propositions on the ballot at any primary election, general election, or otherwise called special election, when agreed to by a majority vote of the total membership of the legislative and governing body, so as to obtain an expression of elector sentiment with respect to matters of substantial concern within the county. No special election may be called for the purpose of conducting a straw ballot. Any election costs, as defined in s. 97.021, associated with any ballot question or election called specifically at the request of a district or for the creation of a district shall be paid by the district either in whole or in part as the case may warrant.
(z) Approve or disapprove the issuance of industrial development bonds authorized by law for entities within its geographic jurisdiction.
(aa) Use ad valorem tax revenues to purchase any or all interests in land for the protection of natural floodplains, marshes, or estuaries; for use as wilderness or wildlife management areas; for restoration of altered ecosystems; or for preservation of significant archaeological or historic sites.
(bb) Enforce the Florida Building Code, as provided in s. 553.80, and adopt and enforce local technical amendments to the Florida Building Code, pursuant to s. 553.73(4)(b) and (c).
(cc) Prohibit a business entity, other than a county tourism promotion agency, from using names as specified in s. 125.0104(9)(e) when representing itself to the public as an entity representing tourism interests of the county levying the local option tourist development tax under s. 125.0104.
(2) The board of county commissioners shall be the governing body of any municipal service taxing or benefit unit created pursuant to paragraph (1)(q).
(3)(a) The enumeration of powers herein may not be deemed exclusive or restrictive, but is deemed to incorporate all implied powers necessary or incident to carrying out such powers enumerated, including, specifically, authority to employ personnel, expend funds, enter into contractual obligations, and purchase or lease and sell or exchange real or personal property. The authority to employ personnel includes, but is not limited to, the authority to determine benefits available to different types of personnel. Such benefits may include, but are not limited to, insurance coverage and paid leave. The provisions of chapter 121 govern the participation of county employees in the Florida Retirement System.
(b) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed in order to effectively carry out the purpose of this section and to secure for the counties the broad exercise of home rule powers authorized by the State Constitution.
(4) The legislative and governing body of a county shall not have the power to regulate the taking or possession of saltwater fish, as defined in s. 379.101, with respect to the method of taking, size, number, season, or species. However, this subsection does not prohibit a county from prohibiting, for reasons of protecting the public health, safety, or welfare, saltwater fishing from real property owned by that county, nor does it prohibit the imposition of excise taxes by county ordinance.
(5)(a) To an extent not inconsistent with general or special law, the governing body of a county shall have the power to establish, and subsequently merge or abolish those created hereunder, special districts to include both incorporated and unincorporated areas subject to the approval of the governing body of the incorporated area affected, within which may be provided municipal services and facilities from funds derived from service charges, special assessments, or taxes within such district only. Such ordinance may be subsequently amended by the same procedure as the original enactment.
(b) The governing body of such special district shall be composed of county commissioners and may include elected officials of the governing body of an incorporated area included in the boundaries of the special district, with the basis of apportionment being set forth in the ordinance creating the special district.
(c) It is declared to be the intent of the Legislature that this subsection is the authorization for the levy by a special district of any millage designated in the ordinance creating such a special district or amendment thereto and approved by vote of the electors under the authority of the first sentence of s. 9(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution. It is the further intent of the Legislature that a special district created under this subsection include both unincorporated and incorporated areas of a county and that such special district may not be used to provide services in the unincorporated area only.
(6)(a) The governing body of a municipality or municipalities by resolution, or the citizens of a municipality or county by petition of 10 percent of the qualified electors of such unit, may identify a service or program rendered specially for the benefit of the property or residents in unincorporated areas and financed from countywide revenues and petition the board of county commissioners to develop an appropriate mechanism to finance such activity for the ensuing fiscal year, which may be by taxes, special assessments, or service charges levied or imposed solely upon residents or property in the unincorporated area, by the establishment of a municipal service taxing or benefit unit pursuant to paragraph (1)(q), or by remitting the identified cost of service paid from revenues required to be expended on a countywide basis to the municipality or municipalities, within 6 months of the adoption of the county budget, in the proportion that the amount of county ad valorem taxes collected within such municipality or municipalities bears to the total amount of countywide ad valorem taxes collected by the county, or by any other method prescribed by state law.
(b) The board of county commissioners shall, within 90 days, file a response to such petition, which response shall either reflect action to develop appropriate mechanisms or shall reject such petition and state findings of fact demonstrating that the service does not specially benefit the property or residents of the unincorporated areas.
(7) No county revenues, except those derived specifically from or on behalf of a municipal service taxing unit, special district, unincorporated area, service area, or program area, shall be used to fund any service or project provided by the county when no real and substantial benefit accrues to the property or residents within a municipality or municipalities.
History.s. 1, ch. 1882, 1872; s. 1, ch. 3039, 1877; RS 578; GS 769; s. 1, ch. 6842, 1915; RGS 1475; CGL 2153; s. 1, ch. 59-436; s. 1, ch. 69-265; ss. 1, 2, 6, ch. 71-14; s. 2, ch. 73-208; s. 1, ch. 73-272; s. 1, ch. 74-150; ss. 1, 2, 4, ch. 74-191; s. 1, ch. 75-63; s. 1, ch. 77-33; s. 1, ch. 79-87; s. 1, ch. 80-407; s. 1, ch. 83-1; s. 17, ch. 83-271; s. 12, ch. 84-330; s. 2, ch. 87-92; s. 1, ch. 87-263; s. 9, ch. 87-363; s. 2, ch. 88-163; s. 18, ch. 88-286; s. 2, ch. 89-273; s. 1, ch. 90-175; s. 1, ch. 90-332; s. 1, ch. 91-238; s. 1, ch. 92-90; s. 1, ch. 93-207; s. 41, ch. 94-224; s. 31, ch. 94-237; s. 1, ch. 94-332; s. 1433, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-323; s. 41, ch. 96-397; s. 42, ch. 97-13; s. 2, ch. 2000-141; s. 34, ch. 2001-186; s. 36, ch. 2001-266; s. 3, ch. 2001-372; s. 20, ch. 2002-281; s. 1, ch. 2003-78; ss. 27, 28, ch. 2003-415; s. 184, ch. 2008-247; s. 2, ch. 2011-143; s. 122, ch. 2013-183; s. 1, ch. 2014-7; s. 1, ch. 2016-89.
1Note.Section 1, ch. 2016-89, amended paragraph (1)(r), effective November 1, 2017, to read:

(r) Levy and collect taxes, both for county purposes and for the providing of municipal services within any municipal service taxing unit, and special assessments; borrow and expend money; and issue bonds, revenue certificates, and other obligations of indebtedness, which power shall be exercised in such manner, and subject to such limitations, as may be provided by general law. There shall be no referendum required for the levy by a county of ad valorem taxes, both for county purposes and for the providing of municipal services within any municipal service taxing unit. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county may not levy special assessments for the provision of fire protection services on lands classified as agricultural lands under s. 193.461 unless the land contains a residential dwelling or nonresidential farm building, with the exception of an agricultural pole barn, provided the nonresidential farm building exceeds a just value of $10,000. Such special assessments must be based solely on the special benefit accruing to that portion of the land consisting of the residential dwelling and curtilage, and qualifying nonresidential farm buildings. As used in this paragraph, the term “agricultural pole barn” means a nonresidential farm building in which 70 percent or more of the perimeter walls are permanently open and allow free ingress and egress.

125.0101 County may contract to provide services to municipalities and special districts.
(1) It is the legislative intent of this act to permit counties to contract for services with municipalities and special districts as provided by s. 4, Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
(2) In addition to the powers enumerated in this chapter, the legislative and governing body of a county shall have the power to contract with a municipality or special district within the county for fire protection, law enforcement, library services and facilities, beach erosion control, recreation services and facilities, water, streets, sidewalks, street lighting, garbage and trash collection and disposal, waste and sewage collection and disposal, drainage, transportation, and other essential facilities and municipal services. Such services shall be funded as agreed upon between the county and the municipality or special district. This section shall not be construed to authorize the county to impose any service charge or special assessment or to levy any tax within the municipality or special district, nor shall this section be construed to authorize the creation of a municipal service taxing unit within such area.
(3) Municipalities and special districts are hereby authorized and empowered to enter into service contracts pursuant to this section.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the powers granted by this section shall not be deemed to be a limitation of powers already existing but shall be deemed to be cumulative.
(5) This section shall not apply to any county operating under a home rule charter adopted pursuant to ss. 10, 11, and 24, Art. VIII of the Constitution of 1885, as preserved by s. 6(e), Art. VIII, of the Constitution of 1968.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-47.
1125.0102 Sign ordinances.Nothing in chapter 78-8, Laws of Florida, shall be deemed to supersede the rights and powers of municipalities and counties to establish sign ordinances; however, such ordinances shall not conflict with any applicable state or federal laws.
History.s. 5, ch. 78-8.
1Note.Also published at s. 166.0425.
125.0103 Ordinances and rules imposing price controls; findings required; procedures.
(1)(a) Except as hereinafter provided, no county, municipality, or other entity of local government shall adopt or maintain in effect an ordinance or a rule which has the effect of imposing price controls upon a lawful business activity which is not franchised by, owned by, or under contract with, the governmental agency, unless specifically provided by general law.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not prevent the enactment by local governments of public service rates otherwise authorized by law, including water, sewer, solid waste, public transportation, taxicab, or port rates, rates for towing of vehicles from or immobilization of vehicles on private property, or rates for removal and storage of wrecked or disabled vehicles from an accident scene or the removal and storage of vehicles in the event the owner or operator is incapacitated, unavailable, leaves the procurement of wrecker service to the law enforcement officer at the scene, or otherwise does not consent to the removal of the vehicle.
(c) Counties must establish maximum rates which may be charged on the towing of vehicles from or immobilization of vehicles on private property, removal and storage of wrecked or disabled vehicles from an accident scene or for the removal and storage of vehicles, in the event the owner or operator is incapacitated, unavailable, leaves the procurement of wrecker service to the law enforcement officer at the scene, or otherwise does not consent to the removal of the vehicle. However, if a municipality chooses to enact an ordinance establishing the maximum fees for the towing or immobilization of vehicles as described in paragraph (b), the county’s ordinance shall not apply within such municipality.
(2) No law, ordinance, rule, or other measure which would have the effect of imposing controls on rents shall be adopted or maintained in effect except as provided herein and unless it is found and determined, as hereinafter provided, that such controls are necessary and proper to eliminate an existing housing emergency which is so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public.
(3) Any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure which has the effect of imposing controls on rents shall terminate and expire within 1 year and shall not be extended or renewed except by the adoption of a new measure meeting all the requirements of this section.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, no controls shall be imposed on rents for any accommodation used or offered for residential purposes as a seasonal or tourist unit, as a second housing unit, or on rents for dwelling units located in luxury apartment buildings. For the purposes of this section, a luxury apartment building is one wherein on January 1, 1977, the aggregate rent due on a monthly basis from all dwelling units as stated in leases or rent lists existing on that date divided by the number of dwelling units exceeds $250.
(5) No municipality, county, or other entity of local government shall adopt or maintain in effect any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure which would have the effect of imposing controls on rents unless:
(a) Such measure is duly adopted by the governing body of such entity of local government, after notice and public hearing, in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Florida and United States Constitutions, the charter or charters governing such entity of local government, this section, and any other applicable laws.
(b) Such governing body makes and recites in such measure its findings establishing the existence in fact of a housing emergency so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public and that such controls are necessary and proper to eliminate such grave housing emergency.
(c) Such measure is approved by the voters in such municipality, county, or other entity of local government.
(6) In any court action brought to challenge the validity of rent control imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the evidentiary effect of any findings or recitations required by subsection (5) shall be limited to imposing upon any party challenging the validity of such measure the burden of going forward with the evidence, and the burden of proof (that is, the risk of nonpersuasion) shall rest upon any party seeking to have the measure upheld.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, municipalities, counties, or other entities of local government may adopt and maintain in effect any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure which is adopted for the purposes of increasing the supply of affordable housing using land use mechanisms such as inclusionary housing ordinances.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 77-50; s. 71, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 88-240; s. 2, ch. 90-283; s. 52, ch. 97-300; s. 4, ch. 98-324; s. 8, ch. 99-360; s. 33, ch. 2001-201.
125.0104 Tourist development tax; procedure for levying; authorized uses; referendum; enforcement.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Option Tourist Development Act.”
(2) APPLICATION; DEFINITIONS.
(a) Application.The provisions contained in chapter 212 apply to the administration of any tax levied pursuant to this section.
(b) Definitions.For purposes of this section:
1. “Promotion” means marketing or advertising designed to increase tourist-related business activities.
2. “Tourist” means a person who participates in trade or recreation activities outside the county of his or her permanent residence or who rents or leases transient accommodations as described in paragraph (3)(a).
3. “Retained spring training franchise” means a spring training franchise that had a location in this state on or before December 31, 1998, and that has continuously remained at that location for at least the 10 years preceding that date.
(3) TAXABLE PRIVILEGES; EXEMPTIONS; LEVY; RATE.
(a)1. It is declared to be the intent of the Legislature that every person who rents, leases, or lets for consideration any living quarters or accommodations in any hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, roominghouse, mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, condominium, or timeshare resort for a term of 6 months or less is exercising a privilege which is subject to taxation under this section, unless such person rents, leases, or lets for consideration any living quarters or accommodations which are exempt according to the provisions of chapter 212.
2.a. Tax shall be due on the consideration paid for occupancy in the county pursuant to a regulated short-term product, as defined in s. 721.05, or occupancy in the county pursuant to a product that would be deemed a regulated short-term product if the agreement to purchase the short-term right were executed in this state. Such tax shall be collected on the last day of occupancy within the county unless such consideration is applied to the purchase of a timeshare estate. The occupancy of an accommodation of a timeshare resort pursuant to a timeshare plan, a multisite timeshare plan, or an exchange transaction in an exchange program, as defined in s. 721.05, by the owner of a timeshare interest or such owner’s guest, which guest is not paying monetary consideration to the owner or to a third party for the benefit of the owner, is not a privilege subject to taxation under this section. A membership or transaction fee paid by a timeshare owner that does not provide the timeshare owner with the right to occupy any specific timeshare unit but merely provides the timeshare owner with the opportunity to exchange a timeshare interest through an exchange program is a service charge and not subject to taxation under this section.
b. Consideration paid for the purchase of a timeshare license in a timeshare plan, as defined in s. 721.05, is rent subject to taxation under this section.
(b) Subject to the provisions of this section, any county in this state may levy and impose a tourist development tax on the exercise within its boundaries of the taxable privilege described in paragraph (a), except that there shall be no additional levy under this section in any cities or towns presently imposing a municipal resort tax as authorized under chapter 67-930, Laws of Florida, and this section shall not in any way affect the powers and existence of any tourist development authority created pursuant to chapter 67-930, Laws of Florida. No county authorized to levy a convention development tax pursuant to s. 212.0305, or to s. 8 of chapter 84-324, Laws of Florida, shall be allowed to levy more than the 2-percent tax authorized by this section. A county may elect to levy and impose the tourist development tax in a subcounty special district of the county. However, if a county so elects to levy and impose the tax on a subcounty special district basis, the district shall embrace all or a significant contiguous portion of the county, and the county shall assist the Department of Revenue in identifying the rental units subject to tax in the district.
(c) The tourist development tax shall be levied, imposed, and set by the governing board of the county at a rate of 1 percent or 2 percent of each dollar and major fraction of each dollar of the total consideration charged for such lease or rental. When receipt of consideration is by way of property other than money, the tax shall be levied and imposed on the fair market value of such nonmonetary consideration.
(d) In addition to any 1-percent or 2-percent tax imposed under paragraph (c), the governing board of the county may levy, impose, and set an additional 1 percent of each dollar above the tax rate set under paragraph (c) by the extraordinary vote of the governing board for the purposes set forth in subsection (5) or by referendum approval by the registered electors within the county or subcounty special district. No county shall levy, impose, and set the tax authorized under this paragraph unless the county has imposed the 1-percent or 2-percent tax authorized under paragraph (c) for a minimum of 3 years prior to the effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax authorized by this paragraph. Revenues raised by the additional tax authorized under this paragraph shall not be used for debt service on or refinancing of existing facilities as specified in subparagraph (5)(a)1. unless approved by a resolution adopted by an extraordinary majority of the total membership of the governing board of the county. If the 1-percent or 2-percent tax authorized in paragraph (c) is levied within a subcounty special taxing district, the additional tax authorized in this paragraph shall only be levied therein. The provisions of paragraphs (4)(a)-(d) shall not apply to the adoption of the additional tax authorized in this paragraph. The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax authorized under this paragraph shall be the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by the governing board or the first day of any subsequent month as may be specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of such ordinance shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after approval of such ordinance.
(e) The tourist development tax shall be in addition to any other tax imposed pursuant to chapter 212 and in addition to all other taxes and fees and the consideration for the rental or lease.
(f) The tourist development tax shall be charged by the person receiving the consideration for the lease or rental, and it shall be collected from the lessee, tenant, or customer at the time of payment of the consideration for such lease or rental.
(g) The person receiving the consideration for such rental or lease shall receive, account for, and remit the tax to the Department of Revenue at the time and in the manner provided for persons who collect and remit taxes under s. 212.03. The same duties and privileges imposed by chapter 212 upon dealers in tangible property, respecting the collection and remission of tax; the making of returns; the keeping of books, records, and accounts; and compliance with the rules of the Department of Revenue in the administration of that chapter shall apply to and be binding upon all persons who are subject to the provisions of this section. However, the Department of Revenue may authorize a quarterly return and payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding quarter did not exceed $25.
(h) The Department of Revenue shall keep records showing the amount of taxes collected, which records shall also include records disclosing the amount of taxes collected for and from each county in which the tax authorized by this section is applicable. These records shall be open for inspection during the regular office hours of the Department of Revenue, subject to the provisions of s. 213.053.
(i) Collections received by the Department of Revenue from the tax, less costs of administration of this section, shall be paid and returned monthly to the county which imposed the tax, for use by the county in accordance with the provisions of this section. They shall be placed in the county tourist development trust fund of the respective county, which shall be established by each county as a condition precedent to receipt of such funds.
(j) The Department of Revenue is authorized to employ persons and incur other expenses for which funds are appropriated by the Legislature.
(k) The Department of Revenue shall promulgate such rules and shall prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.
(l) In addition to any other tax which is imposed pursuant to this section, a county may impose up to an additional 1-percent tax on the exercise of the privilege described in paragraph (a) by majority vote of the governing board of the county in order to:
1. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a professional sports franchise facility, or the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a retained spring training franchise facility, either publicly owned and operated, or publicly owned and operated by the owner of a professional sports franchise or other lessee with sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facility, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.
2. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a convention center, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.
3. Pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for a period of up to 10 years. Only counties that have elected to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. may use the tax for the purposes enumerated in this subparagraph. Any county that elects to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. after July 1, 2000, may use the proceeds of the tax to pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for the life of the bonds.
4. Promote and advertise tourism in the State of Florida and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event shall have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists.

The provision of paragraph (b) which prohibits any county authorized to levy a convention development tax pursuant to s. 212.0305 from levying more than the 2-percent tax authorized by this section, and the provisions of paragraphs (4)(a)-(d), shall not apply to the additional tax authorized in this paragraph. The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax authorized under this paragraph shall be the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by the governing board or the first day of any subsequent month as may be specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of such ordinance shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after approval of such ordinance.

(m)1. In addition to any other tax which is imposed pursuant to this section, a high tourism impact county may impose an additional 1-percent tax on the exercise of the privilege described in paragraph (a) by extraordinary vote of the governing board of the county. The tax revenues received pursuant to this paragraph shall be used for one or more of the authorized uses pursuant to subsection (5).
2. A county is considered to be a high tourism impact county after the Department of Revenue has certified to such county that the sales subject to the tax levied pursuant to this section exceeded $600 million during the previous calendar year, or were at least 18 percent of the county’s total taxable sales under chapter 212 where the sales subject to the tax levied pursuant to this section were a minimum of $200 million, except that no county authorized to levy a convention development tax pursuant to s. 212.0305 shall be considered a high tourism impact county. Once a county qualifies as a high tourism impact county, it shall retain this designation for the period the tax is levied pursuant to this paragraph.
3. The provisions of paragraphs (4)(a)-(d) shall not apply to the adoption of the additional tax authorized in this paragraph. The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax authorized under this paragraph shall be the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by the governing board or the first day of any subsequent month as may be specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of such ordinance shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after approval of such ordinance.
(n) In addition to any other tax that is imposed under this section, a county that has imposed the tax under paragraph (l) may impose an additional tax that is no greater than 1 percent on the exercise of the privilege described in paragraph (a) by a majority plus one vote of the membership of the board of county commissioners in order to:
1. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance:
a. The construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility either publicly owned and operated, or publicly owned and operated by the owner of a professional sports franchise or other lessee with sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facility, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds for a new professional sports franchise as defined in s. 288.1162.
b. The acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility either publicly owned and operated, or publicly owned and operated by the owner of a professional sports franchise or other lessee with sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facility, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds for a retained spring training franchise.
2. Promote and advertise tourism in the State of Florida and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event shall have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists.

A county that imposes the tax authorized in this paragraph may not expend any ad valorem tax revenues for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for which tax revenues are used pursuant to subparagraph 1. The provision of paragraph (b) which prohibits any county authorized to levy a convention development tax pursuant to s. 212.0305 from levying more than the 2-percent tax authorized by this section shall not apply to the additional tax authorized by this paragraph in counties which levy convention development taxes pursuant to s. 212.0305(4)(a). Subsection (4) does not apply to the adoption of the additional tax authorized in this paragraph. The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax authorized under this paragraph is the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by the board of county commissioners or the first day of any subsequent month specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of such ordinance shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after approval of the ordinance.

(4) ORDINANCE LEVY TAX; PROCEDURE.
(a) The tourist development tax shall be levied and imposed pursuant to an ordinance containing the county tourist development plan prescribed under paragraph (c), enacted by the governing board of the county. The ordinance levying and imposing the tourist development tax shall not be effective unless the electors of the county or the electors in the subcounty special district in which the tax is to be levied approve the ordinance authorizing the levy and imposition of the tax, in accordance with subsection (6). The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tax shall be the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by referendum, as prescribed in subsection (6), or the first day of any subsequent month as may be specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of the ordinance shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after approval of such ordinance. The governing authority of any county levying such tax shall notify the department, within 10 days after approval of the ordinance by referendum, of the time period during which the tax will be levied.
(b) At least 60 days prior to the enactment of the ordinance levying the tax, the governing board of the county shall adopt a resolution establishing and appointing the members of the county tourist development council, as prescribed in paragraph (e), and indicating the intention of the county to consider the enactment of an ordinance levying and imposing the tourist development tax.
(c) Prior to enactment of the ordinance levying and imposing the tax, the county tourist development council shall prepare and submit to the governing board of the county for its approval a plan for tourist development. The plan shall set forth the anticipated net tourist development tax revenue to be derived by the county for the 24 months following the levy of the tax; the tax district in which the tourist development tax is proposed; and a list, in the order of priority, of the proposed uses of the tax revenue by specific project or special use as the same are authorized under subsection (5). The plan shall include the approximate cost or expense allocation for each specific project or special use.
(d) The governing board of the county shall adopt the county plan for tourist development as part of the ordinance levying the tax. After enactment of the ordinance levying and imposing the tax, the plan of tourist development may not be substantially amended except by ordinance enacted by an affirmative vote of a majority plus one additional member of the governing board.
(e) The governing board of each county which levies and imposes a tourist development tax under this section shall appoint an advisory council to be known as the “  (name of county)   Tourist Development Council.” The council shall be established by ordinance and composed of nine members who shall be appointed by the governing board. The chair of the governing board of the county or any other member of the governing board as designated by the chair shall serve on the council. Two members of the council shall be elected municipal officials, at least one of whom shall be from the most populous municipality in the county or subcounty special taxing district in which the tax is levied. Six members of the council shall be persons who are involved in the tourist industry and who have demonstrated an interest in tourist development, of which members, not less than three nor more than four shall be owners or operators of motels, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, or other tourist accommodations in the county and subject to the tax. All members of the council shall be electors of the county. The governing board of the county shall have the option of designating the chair of the council or allowing the council to elect a chair. The chair shall be appointed or elected annually and may be reelected or reappointed. The members of the council shall serve for staggered terms of 4 years. The terms of office of the original members shall be prescribed in the resolution required under paragraph (b). The council shall meet at least once each quarter and, from time to time, shall make recommendations to the county governing board for the effective operation of the special projects or for uses of the tourist development tax revenue and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by county ordinance or resolution. The council shall continuously review expenditures of revenues from the tourist development trust fund and shall receive, at least quarterly, expenditure reports from the county governing board or its designee. Expenditures which the council believes to be unauthorized shall be reported to the county governing board and the Department of Revenue. The governing board and the department shall review the findings of the council and take appropriate administrative or judicial action to ensure compliance with this section. The changes in the composition of the membership of the tourist development council mandated by chapter 86-4, Laws of Florida, and this act shall not cause the interruption of the current term of any person who is a member of a council on October 1, 1996.
(5) AUTHORIZED USES OF REVENUE.
(a) All tax revenues received pursuant to this section by a county imposing the tourist development tax shall be used by that county for the following purposes only:
1. To acquire, construct, extend, enlarge, remodel, repair, improve, maintain, operate, or promote one or more:
a. Publicly owned and operated convention centers, sports stadiums, sports arenas, coliseums, or auditoriums within the boundaries of the county or subcounty special taxing district in which the tax is levied; or
b. Aquariums or museums that are publicly owned and operated or owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations and open to the public, within the boundaries of the county or subcounty special taxing district in which the tax is levied;
2. To promote zoological parks that are publicly owned and operated or owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations and open to the public;
3. To promote and advertise tourism in this state and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event must have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists;
4. To fund convention bureaus, tourist bureaus, tourist information centers, and news bureaus as county agencies or by contract with the chambers of commerce or similar associations in the county, which may include any indirect administrative costs for services performed by the county on behalf of the promotion agency; or
5. To finance beach park facilities or beach improvement, maintenance, renourishment, restoration, and erosion control, including shoreline protection, enhancement, cleanup, or restoration of inland lakes and rivers to which there is public access as those uses relate to the physical preservation of the beach, shoreline, or inland lake or river. However, any funds identified by a county as the local matching source for beach renourishment, restoration, or erosion control projects included in the long-range budget plan of the state’s Beach Management Plan, pursuant to s. 161.091, or funds contractually obligated by a county in the financial plan for a federally authorized shore protection project may not be used or loaned for any other purpose. In counties of fewer than 100,000 population, up to 10 percent of the revenues from the tourist development tax may be used for beach park facilities.

Subparagraphs 1. and 2. may be implemented through service contracts and leases with lessees that have sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facilities.

(b) Tax revenues received pursuant to this section by a county of less than 750,000 population imposing a tourist development tax may only be used by that county for the following purposes in addition to those purposes allowed pursuant to paragraph (a): to acquire, construct, extend, enlarge, remodel, repair, improve, maintain, operate, or promote one or more zoological parks, fishing piers or nature centers which are publicly owned and operated or owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations and open to the public. All population figures relating to this subsection shall be based on the most recent population estimates prepared pursuant to the provisions of s. 186.901. These population estimates shall be those in effect on July 1 of each year.
(c) A county located adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, except a county that receives revenue from taxes levied pursuant to s. 125.0108, which meets the following criteria may use up to 10 percent of the tax revenue received pursuant to this section to reimburse expenses incurred in providing public safety services, including emergency medical services as defined in s. 401.107(3), and law enforcement services, which are needed to address impacts related to increased tourism and visitors to an area. However, if taxes collected pursuant to this section are used to reimburse emergency medical services or public safety services for tourism or special events, the governing board of a county or municipality may not use such taxes to supplant the normal operating expenses of an emergency medical services department, a fire department, a sheriff’s office, or a police department. To receive reimbursement, the county must:
1. Generate a minimum of $10 million in annual proceeds from any tax, or any combination of taxes, authorized to be levied pursuant to this section;
2. Have at least three municipalities; and
3. Have an estimated population of less than 225,000, according to the most recent population estimate prepared pursuant to s. 186.901, excluding the inmate population.

The board of county commissioners must by majority vote approve reimbursement made pursuant to this paragraph upon receipt of a recommendation from the tourist development council.

(d) The revenues to be derived from the tourist development tax may be pledged to secure and liquidate revenue bonds issued by the county for the purposes set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 2., and 5. or for the purpose of refunding bonds previously issued for such purposes, or both; however, no more than 50 percent of the revenues from the tourist development tax may be pledged to secure and liquidate revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds issued for the purposes set forth in subparagraph (a)5. Such revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds may be authorized and issued in such principal amounts, with such interest rates and maturity dates, and subject to such other terms, conditions, and covenants as the governing board of the county shall provide. The Legislature intends that this paragraph be full and complete authority for accomplishing such purposes, but such authority is supplemental and additional to, and not in derogation of, any powers now existing or later conferred under law.
(e) Any use of the local option tourist development tax revenues collected pursuant to this section for a purpose not expressly authorized by paragraph (3)(l) or paragraph (3)(n) or paragraphs (a)-(d) of this subsection is expressly prohibited.
(6) REFERENDUM.
(a) No ordinance enacted by any county levying the tax authorized by paragraphs (3)(b) and (c) shall take effect until the ordinance levying and imposing the tax has been approved in a referendum election by a majority of the electors voting in such election in the county or by a majority of the electors voting in the subcounty special tax district affected by the tax.
(b) The governing board of the county levying the tax shall arrange to place a question on the ballot at the next regular or special election to be held within the county, substantially as follows:

 FOR the Tourist Development Tax

 AGAINST the Tourist Development Tax.

(c) If a majority of the electors voting on the question approve the levy, the ordinance shall be deemed to be in effect.
(d) In any case where a referendum levying and imposing the tax has been approved pursuant to this section and 15 percent of the electors in the county or 15 percent of the electors in the subcounty special district in which the tax is levied file a petition with the board of county commissioners for a referendum to repeal the tax, the board of county commissioners shall cause an election to be held for the repeal of the tax which election shall be subject only to the outstanding bonds for which the tax has been pledged. However, the repeal of the tax shall not be effective with respect to any portion of taxes initially levied in November 1989, which has been pledged or is being used to support bonds under paragraph (3)(d) or paragraph (3)(l) until the retirement of those bonds.
(7) AUTOMATIC EXPIRATION ON RETIREMENT OF BONDS.Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if the plan for tourist development approved by the governing board of the county, as amended pursuant to paragraph (4)(d), includes the acquisition, construction, extension, enlargement, remodeling, repair, or improvement of a publicly owned and operated convention center, sports stadium, sports arena, coliseum, or auditorium, or museum or aquarium that is publicly owned and operated or owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization, the county ordinance levying and imposing the tax automatically expires upon the later of:
(a) The retirement of all bonds issued by the county for financing the acquisition, construction, extension, enlargement, remodeling, repair, or improvement of a publicly owned and operated convention center, sports stadium, sports arena, coliseum, or auditorium, or museum or aquarium that is publicly owned and operated or owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization; or
(b) The expiration of any agreement by the county for the operation or maintenance, or both, of a publicly owned and operated convention center, sports stadium, sports arena, coliseum, auditorium, aquarium, or museum. However, this does not preclude that county from amending the ordinance extending the tax to the extent that the board of the county determines to be necessary to provide funds to operate, maintain, repair, or renew and replace a publicly owned and operated convention center, sports stadium, sports arena, coliseum, auditorium, aquarium, or museum or from enacting an ordinance that takes effect without referendum approval, unless the original referendum required ordinance expiration, pursuant to the provisions of this section reimposing a tourist development tax, upon or following the expiration of the previous ordinance.
(8) PROHIBITED ACTS; ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES.
(a) Any person who is taxable hereunder who fails or refuses to charge and collect from the person paying any rental or lease the taxes herein provided, either by himself or herself or through agents or employees, is, in addition to being personally liable for the payment of the tax, guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) No person shall advertise or hold out to the public in any manner, directly or indirectly, that he or she will absorb all or any part of the tax, that he or she will relieve the person paying the rental of the payment of all or any part of the tax, or that the tax will not be added to the rental or lease consideration or, when added, that it or any part thereof will be refunded or refused, either directly or indirectly, by any method whatsoever. Any person who willfully violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) The tax authorized to be levied by this section shall constitute a lien on the property of the lessee, customer, or tenant in the same manner as, and shall be collectible as are, liens authorized and imposed in ss. 713.67, 713.68, and 713.69.
(9) COUNTY TOURISM PROMOTION AGENCIES.In addition to any other powers and duties provided for agencies created for the purpose of tourism promotion by a county levying the tourist development tax, such agencies are authorized and empowered to:
(a) Provide, arrange, and make expenditures for transportation, lodging, meals, and other reasonable and necessary items and services for such persons, as determined by the head of the agency, in connection with the performance of promotional and other duties of the agency. However, entertainment expenses shall be authorized only when meeting with travel writers, tour brokers, or other persons connected with the tourist industry. All travel and entertainment-related expenditures in excess of $10 made pursuant to this subsection shall be substantiated by paid bills therefor. Complete and detailed justification for all travel and entertainment-related expenditures made pursuant to this subsection shall be shown on the travel expense voucher or attached thereto. Transportation and other incidental expenses, other than those provided in s. 112.061, shall only be authorized for officers and employees of the agency, other authorized persons, travel writers, tour brokers, or other persons connected with the tourist industry when traveling pursuant to paragraph (c). All other transportation and incidental expenses pursuant to this subsection shall be as provided in s. 112.061. Operational or promotional advancements, as defined in s. 288.35(4), obtained pursuant to this subsection, shall not be commingled with any other funds.
(b) Pay by advancement or reimbursement, or a combination thereof, the costs of per diem and incidental expenses of officers and employees of the agency and other authorized persons, for foreign travel at the current rates as specified in the federal publication “Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas).” The provisions of this paragraph shall apply for any officer or employee of the agency traveling in foreign countries for the purposes of promoting tourism and travel to the county, if such travel expenses are approved and certified by the agency head from whose funds the traveler is paid. As used in this paragraph, the term “authorized person” shall have the same meaning as provided in s. 112.061(2)(e). With the exception of provisions concerning rates of payment for per diem, the provisions of s. 112.061 are applicable to the travel described in this paragraph. As used in this paragraph, “foreign travel” means all travel outside the United States. Persons traveling in foreign countries pursuant to this subsection shall not be entitled to reimbursements or advancements pursuant to s. 112.061(6)(a)2.
(c) Pay by advancement or reimbursement, or by a combination thereof, the actual reasonable and necessary costs of travel, meals, lodging, and incidental expenses of officers and employees of the agency and other authorized persons when meeting with travel writers, tour brokers, or other persons connected with the tourist industry, and while attending or traveling in connection with travel or trade shows. With the exception of provisions concerning rates of payment, the provisions of s. 112.061 are applicable to the travel described in this paragraph.
(d) Undertake marketing research and advertising research studies and provide reservations services and convention and meetings booking services consistent with the authorized uses of revenue as set forth in subsection (5).
1. Information given to a county tourism promotion agency which, if released, would reveal the identity of persons or entities who provide data or other information as a response to a sales promotion effort, an advertisement, or a research project or whose names, addresses, meeting or convention plan information or accommodations or other visitation needs become booking or reservation list data, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
2. The following information, when held by a county tourism promotion agency, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
a. Booking business records, as defined in s. 255.047.
b. Trade secrets and commercial or financial information gathered from a person and privileged or confidential, as defined and interpreted under 5 U.S.C. s. 552(b)(4), or any amendments thereto.
3. A trade secret, as defined in s. 812.081, held by a county tourism promotion agency is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(e) Represent themselves to the public as convention and visitors bureaus, visitors bureaus, tourist development councils, vacation bureaus, or county tourism promotion agencies operating under any other name or names specifically designated by ordinance.
(10) LOCAL ADMINISTRATION OF TAX.
(a) A county levying a tax under this section or s. 125.0108 may be exempted from the requirements of the respective section that:
1. The tax collected be remitted to the Department of Revenue before being returned to the county; and
2. The tax be administered according to chapter 212,

if the county adopts an ordinance providing for the local collection and administration of the tax.

(b) The ordinance shall include provision for, but need not be limited to:
1. Initial collection of the tax to be made in the same manner as the tax imposed under chapter 212.
2. Designation of the local official to whom the tax shall be remitted, and that official’s powers and duties with respect thereto. Tax revenues may be used only in accordance with the provisions of this section.
3. Requirements respecting the keeping of appropriate books, records, and accounts by those responsible for collecting and administering the tax.
4. Provision for payment of a dealer’s credit as required under chapter 212.
5. A portion of the tax collected may be retained by the county for costs of administration, but such portion shall not exceed 3 percent of collections.
(c) A county adopting an ordinance providing for the collection and administration of the tax on a local basis shall also adopt an ordinance electing either to assume all responsibility for auditing the records and accounts of dealers, and assessing, collecting, and enforcing payments of delinquent taxes, or to delegate such authority to the Department of Revenue. If the county elects to assume such responsibility, it shall be bound by all rules promulgated by the Department of Revenue pursuant to paragraph (3)(k), as well as those rules pertaining to the sales and use tax on transient rentals imposed by s. 212.03. The county may use any power granted in this section to the department to determine the amount of tax, penalties, and interest to be paid by each dealer and to enforce payment of such tax, penalties, and interest. The county may use a certified public accountant licensed in this state in the administration of its statutory duties and responsibilities. Such certified public accountants are bound by the same confidentiality requirements and subject to the same penalties as the county under s. 213.053. If the county delegates such authority to the department, the department shall distribute any collections so received, less costs of administration, to the county. The amount deducted for costs of administration by the department shall be used only for those costs which are solely and directly attributable to auditing, assessing, collecting, processing, and enforcing payments of delinquent taxes authorized in this section. If a county elects to delegate such authority to the department, the department shall audit only those businesses in the county that it audits pursuant to chapter 212.
(11) INTEREST PAID ON DISTRIBUTIONS.
(a) Interest shall be paid on undistributed taxes collected and remitted to the Department of Revenue under this section. Such interest shall be included along with the tax proceeds distributed to the counties and shall be paid from moneys transferred from the General Revenue Fund. The department shall calculate the interest for net tax distributions using the average daily rate that was earned by the State Treasury for the preceding calendar quarter and paid to the General Revenue Fund. This rate shall be certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the department by the 20th day following the close of each quarter.
(b) The interest applicable to taxes collected under this section shall be calculated by multiplying the tax amounts to be distributed times the daily rate times the number of days after the third working day following the date the tax is due and payable pursuant to s. 212.11 until the date the department issues a voucher to request the Chief Financial Officer to issue the payment warrant. The warrant shall be issued within 7 days after the request.
(c) If an overdistribution of taxes is made by the department, interest shall be paid on the overpaid amount beginning on the date the warrant including the overpayment was issued until the third working day following the due date of the payment period from which the overpayment is being deducted. The interest on an overpayment shall be calculated using the average daily rate from the applicable calendar quarter and shall be deducted from moneys distributed to the county under this section.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ch. 77-209; s. 3, ch. 79-359; s. 72, ch. 79-400; s. 4, ch. 80-209; s. 2, ch. 80-222; s. 5, ch. 83-297; s. 1, ch. 83-321; s. 40, ch. 85-55; s. 1, ch. 86-4; s. 76, ch. 86-163; s. 61, ch. 87-6; s. 1, ch. 87-99; s. 35, ch. 87-101; s. 1, ch. 87-175; s. 5, ch. 87-280; s. 4, ch. 88-226; s. 6, ch. 88-243; s. 2, ch. 89-217; ss. 31, 66, ch. 89-356; s. 2, ch. 89-362; s. 1, ch. 90-107; s. 1, ch. 90-349; s. 81, ch. 91-45; s. 230, ch. 91-224; s. 3, ch. 92-175; s. 1, ch. 92-204; s. 32, ch. 92-320; s. 4, ch. 93-233; s. 1, ch. 94-275; s. 3, ch. 94-314; s. 37, ch. 94-338; s. 3, ch. 94-353; s. 1, ch. 95-133; s. 1434, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 95-304; s. 1, ch. 95-360; s. 1, ch. 95-416; ss. 44, 46, ch. 96-397; s. 43, ch. 96-406; s. 15, ch. 97-99; s. 1, ch. 98-106; s. 58, ch. 99-2; s. 1, ch. 99-287; ss. 6, 11, 14, ch. 2000-312; s. 11, ch. 2000-351; s. 14, ch. 2001-252; s. 10, ch. 2002-265; s. 1, ch. 2003-34; s. 1, ch. 2003-37; s. 2, ch. 2003-78; s. 145, ch. 2003-261; s. 1, ch. 2005-96; s. 1, ch. 2009-133; s. 1, ch. 2012-180; s. 1, ch. 2013-168; s. 2, ch. 2016-6; s. 1, ch. 2016-220.
125.01045 Prohibition of fees for first responder services.
(1) A county may not impose a fee or seek reimbursement for any costs or expenses that may be incurred for services provided by a first responder, including costs or expenses related to personnel, supplies, motor vehicles, or equipment in response to a motor vehicle accident, except for costs to contain or clean up hazardous materials in quantities reportable to the Florida State Warning Point at the Division of Emergency Management, and costs for transportation and treatment provided by ambulance services licensed pursuant to s. 401.23(4) and (5).
(2) As used in this section, the term “first responder” means a law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10, a firefighter as defined in s. 633.102, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic as defined in s. 401.23 who is employed by the state or a local government. A volunteer law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician or paramedic engaged by the state or a local government is also considered a first responder of the state or local government for purposes of this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-191; s. 123, ch. 2013-183.
125.0105 Service fee for dishonored check.The governing body of a county may adopt a service fee not to exceed the service fees authorized under s. 832.08(5) or 5 percent of the face amount of the check, draft, or order, whichever is greater, for the collection of a dishonored check, draft, or other order for the payment of money to a county official or agency. The service fee shall be in addition to all other penalties imposed by law. Proceeds from this fee, if imposed, shall be retained by the collector of the fee.
History.s. 2, ch. 75-56; s. 28, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 86-51; s. 3, ch. 89-303; s. 3, ch. 91-211; s. 2, ch. 96-239.
125.01055 Affordable housing.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county may adopt and maintain in effect any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure that is adopted for the purpose of increasing the supply of affordable housing using land use mechanisms such as inclusionary housing ordinances.
History.s. 16, ch. 2001-252.
125.0107 Ordinances relating to possession or sale of ammunition.No county may adopt any ordinance relating to the possession or sale of ammunition. Any such ordinance in effect on June 24, 1983, is void.
History.s. 2, ch. 83-253.
125.0108 Areas of critical state concern; tourist impact tax.
(1)(a) Subject to the provisions of this section, any county creating a land authority pursuant to s. 380.0663(1) is authorized to levy by ordinance, in the area or areas within said county designated as an area of critical state concern pursuant to chapter 380, a tourist impact tax on the taxable privileges described in paragraph (b); however, if the area or areas of critical state concern are greater than 50 percent of the land area of the county, the tax may be levied throughout the entire county. Such tax shall not be effective unless and until land development regulations and a local comprehensive plan that meet the requirements of chapter 380 have become effective and such tax is approved by referendum as provided for in subsection (5).
(b)1. It is declared to be the intent of the Legislature that every person who rents, leases, or lets for consideration any living quarters or accommodations in any hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, roominghouse, mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, condominium, or timeshare resort for a term of 6 months or less, unless such establishment is exempt from the tax imposed by s. 212.03, is exercising a taxable privilege on the proceeds therefrom under this section.
2.a. Tax shall be due on the consideration paid for occupancy in the county pursuant to a regulated short-term product, as defined in s. 721.05, or occupancy in the county pursuant to a product that would be deemed a regulated short-term product if the agreement to purchase the short-term right were executed in this state. Such tax shall be collected on the last day of occupancy within the county unless such consideration is applied to the purchase of a timeshare estate. The occupancy of an accommodation of a timeshare resort pursuant to a timeshare plan, a multisite timeshare plan, or an exchange transaction in an exchange program, as defined in s. 721.05, by the owner of a timeshare interest or such owner’s guest, which guest is not paying monetary consideration to the owner or to a third party for the benefit of the owner, is not a privilege subject to taxation under this section. A membership or transaction fee paid by a timeshare owner that does not provide the timeshare owner with the right to occupy any specific timeshare unit but merely provides the timeshare owner with the opportunity to exchange a timeshare interest through an exchange program is a service charge and not subject to taxation under this section.
b. Consideration paid for the purchase of a timeshare license in a timeshare plan, as defined in s. 721.05, is rent subject to taxation under this section.
(c) The governing board of the county may, by passage of a resolution by four-fifths vote, repeal such tax.
(d) The tourist impact tax shall be levied at the rate of 1 percent of each dollar and major fraction thereof of the total consideration charged for such taxable privilege. When receipt of consideration is by way of property other than money, the tax shall be levied and imposed on the fair market value of such nonmonetary consideration.
(e) The tourist impact tax shall be in addition to any other tax imposed pursuant to chapter 212 and in addition to all other taxes and fees and the consideration for the taxable privilege.
(f) The tourist impact tax shall be charged by the person receiving the consideration for the taxable privilege, and it shall be collected from the lessee, tenant, or customer at the time of payment of the consideration for such taxable privilege.
(g) A county that has levied the tourist impact tax authorized by this section in an area or areas designated as an area of critical state concern for at least 20 consecutive years prior to removal of the designation may continue to levy the tourist impact tax in accordance with this section for 20 years following removal of the designation. After expiration of the 20-year period, a county may continue to levy the tourist impact tax authorized by this section if the county adopts an ordinance reauthorizing levy of the tax and the continued levy of the tax is approved by referendum as provided for in subsection (5).
(2)(a) The person receiving the consideration for such taxable privilege and the person doing business within such area or areas of critical state concern or within the entire county, as applicable, shall receive, account for, and remit the tourist impact tax to the Department of Revenue at the time and in the manner provided for persons who collect and remit taxes under chapter 212. The same duties and privileges imposed by chapter 212 upon dealers in tangible property, respecting the collection and remission of tax; the making of returns; the keeping of books, records, and accounts; and compliance with the rules of the Department of Revenue in the administration of that chapter shall apply to and be binding upon all persons who are subject to the provisions of this section. However, the Department of Revenue may authorize a quarterly return and payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding quarter did not exceed $25.
(b) The Department of Revenue shall keep records showing the amount of taxes collected, which records shall also include records disclosing the amount of taxes collected for and from each county in which the tax imposed and authorized by this section is applicable. These records shall be open for inspection during the regular office hours of the Department of Revenue, subject to the provisions of s. 213.053.
(c) Collections received by the Department of Revenue from the tax, less costs of administration of this section, shall be paid and returned monthly to the county and the land authority in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3).
(d) The Department of Revenue is authorized to employ persons and incur other expenses for which funds are appropriated by the Legislature.
(e) The Department of Revenue is empowered to promulgate such rules and prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. The department is authorized to establish audit procedures and to assess for delinquent taxes.
(f) The estimated tax provisions contained in s. 212.11 do not apply to the administration of any tax levied under this section.
(3) All tax revenues received pursuant to this section, less administrative costs, shall be distributed as follows:
(a) Fifty percent shall be transferred to the land authority to be used in accordance with s. 380.0666 in the area of critical state concern for which the revenue is generated. An amount not to exceed 5 percent may be used for administration and other costs incident to the exercise of said powers.
(b) Fifty percent shall be distributed to the governing body of the county where the revenue was generated. Such proceeds shall be used to offset the loss of ad valorem taxes due to acquisitions provided for by this act.
(4)(a) Any person who is taxable hereunder who fails or refuses to charge and collect from the person paying for the taxable privilege the taxes herein provided, either by himself or herself or through agents or employees, is, in addition to being personally liable for the payment of the tax, guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) No person shall advertise or hold out to the public in any manner, directly or indirectly, that he or she will absorb all or any part of the tax; that he or she will relieve the person paying for the taxable privilege of the payment of all or any part of the tax; or that the tax will not be added to the consideration for the taxable privilege or that, when added, the tax or any part thereof will be refunded or refused, either directly or indirectly, by any method whatsoever. Any person who willfully violates any provision of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) The tax authorized to be levied by this section shall constitute a lien on the property of the business, lessee, customer, or tenant in the same manner as, and shall be collectible as are, liens authorized and imposed in ss. 713.67, 713.68, and 713.69.
(5) The tourist impact tax authorized by this section shall take effect only upon express approval by a majority vote of those qualified electors in the area or areas of critical state concern in the county seeking to levy such tax, voting in a referendum to be held by the governing board of such county in conjunction with a general or special election, in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections currently in force. However, if the area or areas of critical state concern are greater than 50 percent of the land area of the county and the tax is to be imposed throughout the entire county, the tax shall take effect only upon express approval of a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting in such a referendum.
(6) The effective date of the levy and imposition of the tourist impact tax authorized under this section shall be the first day of the second month following approval of the ordinance by referendum or the first day of any subsequent month as may be specified in the ordinance. A certified copy of the ordinance shall include the time period and the effective date of the tax levy and shall be furnished by the county to the Department of Revenue within 10 days after passing an ordinance levying such tax and again within 10 days after approval by referendum of such tax. If applicable, the county levying the tax shall provide the Department of Revenue with a list of the businesses in the area of critical state concern where the tourist impact tax is levied by zip code or other means of identification. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 213.053, the Department of Revenue shall assist the county in compiling such list of businesses. The tourist impact tax, if not repealed sooner pursuant to paragraph (1)(c), shall be repealed 10 years after the date the area of critical state concern designation is removed.
History.s. 2, ch. 86-170; s. 4, ch. 87-280; s. 29, ch. 90-132; s. 231, ch. 91-224; s. 813, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 97-99; s. 21, ch. 2001-60; s. 13, ch. 2001-252; s. 1, ch. 2006-223; s. 2, ch. 2009-133; s. 32, ch. 2015-30.
1125.0109 Family day care homes; local zoning regulation.The operation of a residence as a family day care home, as defined by law, registered or licensed with the Department of Children and Families shall constitute a valid residential use for purposes of any local zoning regulations, and no such regulation shall require the owner or operator of such family day care home to obtain any special exemption or use permit or waiver, or to pay any special fee in excess of $50, to operate in an area zoned for residential use.
History.s. 3, ch. 86-87; s. 11, ch. 99-8; s. 34, ch. 2014-19.
1Note.Also published at s. 166.0445.
125.011 Definitions.As used in ss. 125.011-125.019:
(1) “County” means any county operating under a home rule charter adopted pursuant to ss. 10, 11, and 24, Art. VIII of the Constitution of 1885, as preserved by Art. VIII, s. 6(e) of the Constitution of 1968, which county, by resolution of its board of county commissioners, elects to exercise the powers herein conferred. Use of the word “county” within the above provisions shall include “board of county commissioners” of such county.
(2) “Project” includes any one or any combination of two or more of the following:
(a) Public mass transportation, harbor, port, shipping, and airport facilities of all kinds and includes, but is not limited to, harbors, channels, turning basins, anchorage areas, jetties, breakwaters, waterways, canals, locks, tidal basins, wharves, docks, piers, slips, bulkheads, public landings, warehouses, terminals, refrigerating and cold storage plants, railroads and motor terminals for passengers and freight, rolling stock, car ferries, boats, conveyors and appliances of all kinds for the handling, storage, inspection and transportation of freight and the handling of passenger traffic, airport facilities of all kinds for land and sea planes, including, but not limited to, landing fields, water areas for the landing and taking off of aircraft, hangars, shops, buses, trucks, and all other facilities for the landing, taking off, operating, servicing, repairing, and parking of aircraft, and the loading and unloading and handling of passengers, mail, express and freight;
(b) Administration buildings, toll highways, tunnels, causeways and bridges connected therewith or incident or auxiliary thereto, and may include all property, rights, easements, and franchises relating to any such project and deemed necessary or convenient for the acquisition, construction, purchase, or operation thereof; and
(c) Export trading companies, foreign sales corporations, consulting services corporations, cargo clearance centers, and customs clearance facilities as provided in s. 125.012(26).
(3) “Cost,” as applied to improvements, means the cost of constructing or acquiring improvements, as defined in subsection (2), and shall embrace the cost of all labor and materials, machinery and equipment, financing charges, engineering and legal expenses, plans, specifications, and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to such construction or acquisition.
(4) “Cost,” as applied to a project acquired, constructed, extended, or enlarged, includes the purchase price of any project acquired; the cost of improvements; the cost of construction, extension or enlargement; the cost of all lands, properties, rights, easements and franchises acquired; the cost of all machinery and equipment, financing charges, interest during construction; and, if deemed advisable, for 1 year after completion of construction, cost of investigations, audits, and engineering and legal services; and all other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of such acquisition or construction, administrative expense and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the financing herein authorized and to the acquisition or construction of a project and the placing of the same in operation. Any obligation or expense incurred by the county prior to the issuance of revenue bonds under the provisions of s. 125.013 for engineering studies and for estimates of cost and of revenues, and for other technical, financial, or legal services in connection with the acquisition or construction of any project, may be regarded as a part of the cost of such project.
(5) “Board of county commissioners” includes all members of the board of county commissioners in a county whether their offices are created by the Constitution, the Legislature, or by any home rule charter.
History.s. 1, ch. 71-249; s. 1, ch. 79-291; s. 1, ch. 87-144; s. 22, ch. 91-45.
125.012 Project facilities; general powers and duties.Any county and the board of county commissioners thereof shall have the power, in addition to the powers otherwise conferred:
(1) To construct, acquire, establish, improve, extend, enlarge, reconstruct, equip, maintain, repair, and operate any project as defined in s. 125.011, either within or without the territorial boundaries of the county.
(2) Subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and the State of Florida and the general laws of Florida relating to dredging and filling, to construct, establish, and improve harbors in the county and all navigable and nonnavigable waters connected therewith; to regulate and control all such waters; to construct and maintain such canals, slips, turning basins, and channels and upon such terms and conditions as may be required by the United States; and to enact, adopt, and establish by resolution rules and regulations for the complete exercise of jurisdiction and control over all such waters.
(3) To acquire by grant, purchase, gift, devise, condemnation, or exchange, or in any other manner, property, real or personal, or any estate or interest therein, upon such terms and conditions as such county shall by resolution fix and determine.
(4) To construct, maintain, and operate elevated toll roads and the approaches thereto, along, over, and across any public street or streets of any city, town, or municipality located within its boundaries.
(5) To appoint shipping masters for ports or harbors under its control, to determine their qualifications, and to adopt rules and regulations prescribing their duties.
(6) To license stevedores as independent contractors for hire to handle stevedoring at and in the harbors and airports in the county, to fix the terms and conditions of such licenses, and to determine the fees to be charged for same. Any and all such licenses of all persons, firms, groups, or corporations so licensed shall continue at the pleasure of the county.
(7) To enter into joint arrangements with steamship lines, railroads, airlines, or other transportation lines, or any common carrier, if the county deems it advantageous so to do.
(8) To make and enter into all contracts and agreements and to do and perform all acts and deeds necessary and incidental to the performance of its duties and the exercise of its powers.
(9) To fix, regulate, and collect rates and charges for the services and facilities furnished by any project under its control; to establish, limit, and control the use of any project as may be deemed necessary to ensure the proper operation of the project; to impose sanctions to promote and enforce compliances; to prescribe rules and regulations and impose penalties and sanctions to ensure the proper performance of the duties of any stevedore or of any shipping master and the enforcement of any rule or regulation which the county may adopt in the regulation of the ports, harbors, wharves, docks, airports, and other projects under its control.
(10) To fix the rates of wharfage, dockage, warehousing, storage, and port and terminal charges for the use of the port and harbor facilities located within or without the county and owned or operated by the county; and to fix and determine the rates, tolls, and other charges for the use of harbor and airport improvements and harbor and airport facilities located within or without the county insofar as it may do so under the State Constitution and the Constitution and laws of the United States.
(11) To regulate the operation, docking, storing, and conduct of all watercraft of any kind plying or using the waterways within the county and of all aircraft of any kind operating over and within the county or utilizing any other area, field, location, or place within the county for air navigation purposes or for the repair, storage, or handling of aircraft within the county.
(12) To receive and accept, from any federal agency, grants for or in aid of the construction, improvement, or operation of any project and to receive and accept contributions from any source of either money, property, labor, or other things of value.
(13) To make any and all applications required by the Treasury Department and other departments or agencies of the United States Government as a condition precedent to the establishment within the county of a free port, foreign trade zone, or area for the reception from foreign countries of articles of commerce; to expedite and encourage foreign commerce and the handling, processing, and delivery thereof into foreign commerce free from the payment of custom duties and to enter into any agreements required by such departments or agencies in connection therewith; and to make like applications and agreements with respect to the establishment within the county of one or more bonded warehouses.
(14) To enter into any contract with the government of the United States or any agency thereof which may be necessary in order to procure assistance, appropriations, and aid for the deepening, widening, and extending of channels and turning basins, the building and construction of public mass transit facilities, airport and airport facilities, slips, wharves, breakwaters, jetties, bulkheads, and any and all other harbor and air navigation improvements and facilities.
(15) To employ consulting engineers, superintendents, managers, and such other engineering, construction, and accounting experts, attorneys, employees, and agents as may be necessary in its judgment, and to fix their compensation; and to pay to the clerk of the circuit court of any county such compensation as the board of county commissioners may determine, but not to exceed $2,500 per annum, to be paid exclusively from the revenues arising from the operation of any project owned and operated under authority of ss. 125.011-125.019 for his or her extraordinary services rendered to such board in the performance of its duties and the exercise of its powers. Such compensation shall be in addition to any and all other compensation provided by law for the clerk of the circuit court.
(16) To make or cause to be made such surveys, investigations, studies, borings, maps, plans, drawings, and estimates of cost and revenues as it may deem necessary and to prepare and adopt a comprehensive plan or plans for the location, construction, improvement, and development of any project.
(17) To grant exclusive or nonexclusive franchises to persons, firms, or corporations for the operating of restaurants, cafeterias, bars, taxicabs, vending machines, and other concessions of a nonaeronautical nature in, on, and in connection with any project owned and operated by the county. However, no exclusive franchise shall be so granted unless the board of county commissioners of such county shall award such franchise following receipt of sealed competitive bids in the manner prescribed by law, or cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county notice of the fact that it intends to grant such exclusive franchise and will at a time certain to be fixed in such notice, not less than 30 days after the publication of the notice, enter into negotiations with any interested parties as to the terms, conditions, and provisions of any such exclusive franchise. Such negotiations with any interested parties as to the terms, conditions, and provisions of any such exclusive franchise are to continue for a period of not less than 10 days before such exclusive franchise is granted.
(18) To adopt and promulgate suitable rules, regulations, and directions for the operation and conduct of any project owned or operated by the county and for the use of any such project and any facility connected therewith by others.
(19) To enter into contracts with utility companies or others for the supplying by such utility companies or others of water, electricity, or telephone service to or in connection with any project.
(20) To approve or disapprove the location, establishment, construction, and operation of privately owned airports within the county. No state airport license or state approval of an airport site shall be effective in the county without the approval of the county on the application therefor.
(21) To pledge by resolution or contract the revenues arising from the operation of any project or projects owned and operated by the county to the payment of the cost of operation, maintenance, repair, improvement, extension, or enlargement of the project or projects from the operation of which such revenues are received and for the payment of principal and interest on bonds issued in connection with any such project or projects; and to combine for financing purposes any two or more projects constructed or acquired by the county under the provisions of ss. 125.011-125.019. In any such case, the board of county commissioners may adopt separate budgets for the operation of such project or projects and it shall not be necessary to include such revenues and the expenditure thereof in the general county budget except by reference and for accounting purposes only. In every such case, such revenues shall be expended exclusively for the payment of the costs of operation, maintenance, repair, improvement, extension, and enlargement of the project or projects from the operation of which such revenues arise, for the performance of the contracts of the county in connection with such project or projects, and for the payment of principal and interest requirements of any bonds issued in connection with the project or projects. Any surplus of such funds remaining on hand at the end of any year shall be carried forward and may be expended in the succeeding year for the payment of the costs of operation of such project or projects or for the repair, improvement, or extension thereof as the board may determine, unless such surplus has been pledged for the payment of principal and interest on bonds, as authorized in s. 125.013, in which event any such surplus shall be applied in accordance with the resolution pledging the same.
(22) To construct, own, maintain, and operate trade marts and exposition halls, and buildings for the display, exhibition, and sale of goods, wares, and merchandise, which are hereby defined to be projects within the meaning of s. 125.011; to rent space in, around, or connected with such trade marts to others and to collect rents, fees, and charges therefor; to sublet the whole or any part thereof to others and to enter into contracts with others for the operation thereof on such terms and conditions as the board of county commissioners shall by resolution determine to be for the best interest of the county; to rent, let, and lease to others ground space on, in, or connected with any project owned and operated by the county for the construction, maintenance, and operation thereon of any such trade mart, exposition hall, or building; to use the proceeds arising from the operation or rental of any such trade mart or exposition hall or building or from the rental of ground space therefor to pay the expense of operation, upkeep, and maintenance thereof, for advertising and publicity thereof, and for such other purposes as the board of county commissioners determines to be for the best interest of the county.
(23) To borrow money and to issue notes for any purpose or purposes for which bonds may be issued under the provisions of s. 125.013 and to refund the same; to issue notes in anticipation of the receipt of the proceeds of the sale of any such bonds; to secure an advance of credit for any such purpose or purposes under a credit agreement or other agreement with any bank or trust company or any person, firm, or corporation within or without the state; and to secure any such borrowing, notes, or agreement by a pledge of all or any part of the available income or revenues to be received by the county under the provisions of ss. 125.011-125.019 or by an agreement to exercise any of the powers conferred by ss. 125.011-125.019.
(24) To enter into contracts with tenants or other users of the project or providers of service in, on, or in connection with any project, which contracts may include agreements to design or construct any project or improvement, extension, or enlargement thereof, on such terms and conditions as the county shall by resolution determine. Such contracts may provide for the hiring of professional services, including the hiring of architects and engineers, and the award of construction contracts by such tenants, users, or providers of service and, in such cases, shall provide for their reimbursement upon audit for their reasonable and necessary expenses incurred on behalf of the project. Such reimbursement may, at the option of the county, be provided from the proceeds or issuance of revenue bonds, bond anticipation notes, or loans, or by any other method authorized by law, including the allowance of advance rental credits.
(25) To publicize, advertise, and promote the activities and projects herein authorized; to make known the advantages, facilities, resources, products, attractions, and attributes of the activities and projects authorized; to create a favorable climate of opinion concerning the activities and projects authorized; to cooperate with other agencies, public and private, in accomplishing these purposes; and in furtherance thereof, to authorize expenditures for the purposes here enumerated, including meals, hospitality, and entertainment of persons in the interest of promoting and engendering good will towards the activities and projects authorized.
(26) To own, maintain, operate, and control export trading companies, foreign sales corporations, and consulting services corporations as provided by the laws of the United States or this state; to enter into management contracts with such corporations or companies established for the purpose of providing or operating such facilities; to own, maintain, operate, and control cargo clearance centers and customs clearance facilities, and to enter into management contracts with corporations established for the purpose of providing or operating such facilities; to maintain the confidentiality of trade information and data pursuant to the patent or copyright laws of the United States, pursuant to the patent or copyright laws of foreign nations to the extent that same are enforced by the courts of the United States, and pursuant to the trade secrets doctrine; and to authorize airport and port employees to serve as officers and directors of export trading companies, foreign sales corporations, customs and cargo clearance corporations, and consulting services corporations for the sale of services to others. Counties are hereby authorized to expend any unobligated and available surplus funds from the activities authorized in this subsection for the construction of capital facilities.
(27) To do all other acts and things necessary or proper in the exercise of the powers herein granted.
History.s. 2, ch. 71-249; s. 2, ch. 79-291; s. 6, ch. 82-104; s. 2, ch. 87-144; s. 23, ch. 91-45; s. 814, ch. 95-147.
125.013 General obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
(1) The board of county commissioners of any such county is authorized to issue general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness of the county for the purpose of paying all or a part of the cost of any one or more projects as herein defined, including the cost of enlargement, expansion, or development of such project, whether the property used therefor has previously been acquired or not, and the cost of removing therefrom or relocating or reconstructing at another location, any buildings, structures, or facilities which, in the opinion of the board, constitute obstructions or hazards to the safe or efficient operation of any such project, and for the purpose of paying off and retiring any revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this section.
(2) The bonds of each issue and other evidences of indebtedness shall be dated, shall mature at such time or times not exceeding 40 years from their date or dates, as may be determined by the board, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the county, at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the board prior to their issuance. Such bonds and other evidences of indebtedness shall bear interest at a rate or rates to be fixed by the board, not to exceed 7 percent per annum. However, in the event such bonds or other evidences of indebtedness are sold at public sale pursuant to advertisement for sealed bids for their purchase, such bonds or other evidences of indebtedness shall bear interest at any rate or rates submitted by the lowest responsible bidder and approved by the board. The board shall determine the form of bonds or other evidences of indebtedness, including any interest coupons to be attached to such bonds, and the manner of execution, and shall fix the denomination or denominations thereof and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without the state. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons or other evidences of indebtedness shall cease to be such officer before the delivery thereof, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he or she had remained in office until such delivery. All bonds or other evidences of indebtedness issued under the provisions of this section shall have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the negotiable instruments law of the state. The bonds may be issued in coupon or registered form, or both, as the board may determine. Provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone, and also as to both the principal and interest, and for the reconversion into coupon bonds or any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. Other evidences of indebtedness may be issued in such form as the board may determine. The issuance of such bonds or other evidences of indebtedness shall not be subject to any limitations or conditions contained in any other law, and the board may sell such bonds or other evidences of indebtedness in such manner, either at public or at private sale, for such price, as it may determine to be for the best interest of the county, but no such sale shall be made at a price of less than 95 percent of par value plus accrued interest.
(3) For the payment of the principal of and the interest on any general obligation bonds of the county issued under the provisions of this section, the board is authorized and required to levy annually a special tax upon all taxable property within the county, over and above all other taxes authorized or limited by law, and in addition to the tax authorized by s. 125.016, sufficient to pay such principal and interest as the same respectively become due and payable. Except as provided in s. 200.181, the proceeds of all such taxes shall, when collected, be paid into a special fund and used for no other purpose than the payment of such principal and interest. However, there may be pledged to the payment of such principal and interest the surplus of the revenues of the project or projects, after payment of the costs of operation, maintenance and repair thereof, and in the event of such pledge, the amount of the annual tax levy herein required may be reduced in any year by the amount of such revenues actually received in the preceding year and then remaining on deposit to the credit of the special fund for the payment of such principal and interest.
(4) No general obligation bonds shall be issued hereunder unless the issuance of such bonds has been approved in the manner required by the State Constitution and laws of Florida for the issuance of bonds of the county.
History.s. 2, ch. 71-249; s. 815, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-259.
125.014 Title designation of authority.For administrative convenience, the board of county commissioners, in the exercise of the powers hereby conferred and those powers otherwise conferred, may be referred to as the county port authority or any other appropriate title duly adopted by resolution of the board of county commissioners. However, in counties to which ss. 125.011-125.019 apply which counties have adopted, or may hereafter adopt, a home rule form of government and which create or establish thereunder a port authority to conveniently administer the business and exercise the powers provided for in ss. 125.011-125.019, the words “port authority” shall apply wherever the words “county” or “board of county commissioners” are used, and such authority may exercise all the powers granted under ss. 125.011-125.019.
History.s. 3, ch. 71-249; s. 24, ch. 91-45.
125.015 Acquisition of facilities from municipalities.Any county coming within the provisions hereof shall have the power to acquire by purchase or condemnation the docks, wharves, warehouses, and other port facilities or any project (as herein defined) of any municipality within such county. Any project owned or operated by such county and lying within the boundaries of a municipality shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the county and shall be without the jurisdiction of said municipality.
History.s. 4, ch. 71-249.
125.016 Ad valorem tax.Annually an ad valorem tax of not exceeding 11/2 mills may be levied upon all property in the county, which shall be levied and collected as other county taxes are levied and collected. The taxes shall be charged to the general fund, but such revenue may be appropriated by the county for the cost of constructing, operating, maintaining, expanding, enlarging, improving, or developing any project or projects herein specified, or for the payment of the costs of removing and relocating any structures, installations, or facilities which in the opinion of the board of county commissioners may be required for the safe and efficient operation of any such projects. Said tax may be levied, collected, and expended for any of the purposes herein specified notwithstanding the cost and expense thereof which may have been incurred in a previous year, and when so collected and used the tax shall be considered to be levied, collected and used for a county purpose.
History.s. 5, ch. 71-249.
1125.0167 Discretionary surtax on documents; adoption; application of revenue.
(1) Pursuant to the provisions of s. 201.031, the governing authority in each county, as defined by s. 125.011(1), is authorized to levy a discretionary surtax on documents for the purpose of establishing and financing a Housing Assistance Loan Trust Fund to assist in the financing of construction, rehabilitation, or purchase of housing for low-income and moderate-income families. No less than 50 percent of the funds used in each county to provide such housing assistance shall be for the benefit of low-income families. For the purpose of this section, “low-income family” means a family whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area, and “moderate-income family” means a family whose income is in excess of 80 percent but less than 140 percent of the median income for the area. For purposes of this section, the term “housing” is not limited to single-family, detached dwellings. The rate of the surtax shall not exceed the rate of 45 cents for each $100 or fractional part thereof of the consideration therefor. Such surtax shall apply only to those documents taxable under s. 201.02, except that there shall be no surtax on any document pursuant to which the interest granted, assigned, transferred, or conveyed involves only a single-family residence. Such single-family residence may be a condominium unit, a unit held through stock ownership or membership representing a proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a leasehold initially in excess of 98 years, or a detached dwelling.
(2) The levy of the discretionary surtax and the creation of a Housing Assistance Loan Trust Fund shall be by ordinance which shall set forth the policies and procedures of the assistance program. The ordinance shall be proposed at a regular meeting of the governing authority at least 2 weeks prior to formal adoption. Formal adoption shall not be effective unless approved on final vote by a majority of the total membership of the governing authority. The ordinance shall not take effect until 90 days after formal adoption.
(3) The county shall deposit revenues from the discretionary surtax in the Housing Assistance Loan Trust Fund of the county, except that a portion of such revenues may be deposited into the Home Investment Trust Fund of the county as defined by and created pursuant to the requirements of federal law. The county shall use the revenues only to help finance the construction, rehabilitation, or purchase of housing for low-income families and moderate-income families, to pay necessary costs of collection and enforcement of the surtax, and to fund any local matching contributions required pursuant to federal law. For purposes of this section, authorized uses of the revenues include, but are not limited to, providing funds for first and second mortgages and acquiring property for the purpose of forming housing cooperatives. Special consideration shall be given toward using the revenues in the neighborhood economic development programs of community development corporations. No more than 50 percent of the revenues collected each year pursuant to this section may be used to help finance new construction as provided herein. The proceeds of the surtax shall not be used for rent subsidies or grants.
(4) No more than 10 percent of surtax revenues collected under this section by the Department of Revenue and remitted to the county in any fiscal year may be used for administrative costs.
(5)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3), of the discretionary surtax revenues collected by the Department of Revenue remaining after any deduction for administrative costs as provided in subsection (4), no less than 35 percent shall be used to provide homeownership assistance for low-income and moderate-income families, and no less than 35 percent shall be used for construction, rehabilitation, and purchase of rental housing units. The remaining amount may be allocated to provide for homeownership assistance or rental housing units, at the discretion of the county. Any funds allocated for homeownership assistance or rental housing units that are not committed at the end of the fiscal year shall be reallocated in subsequent years consistent with the provisions of this subsection, in that no less than 35 percent shall be reallocated to provide homeownership assistance for low-income and moderate-income families, and no less than 35 percent shall be reallocated for construction, rehabilitation, and purchase of rental housing units. The remaining amount of uncommitted funds may be reallocated at the discretion of the county within any of the categories established in this subsection.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, the term “homeownership assistance” means assisting low-income and moderate-income families in purchasing a home as their primary residence, including, but not limited to, reducing the cost of the home with below-market construction financing, the amount of down payment and closing costs paid by the borrower, or the mortgage payment to an affordable amount for the purchaser or using any other financial assistance measure set forth in s. 420.5088.
(6) Rehabilitation of housing owned by a recipient government may be authorized only after a determination approved by a majority of the governing body that no other sources of funds are available.
(7)(a) The governing body of each county as defined in s. 125.011(1) may, by county ordinance and pursuant to procedures and requirements provided by such ordinance, create a housing choice assistance voucher program.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, the term:
1. “Housing choice assistance voucher” means the document used to access assistance paid by the county from the discretionary surtax balance in the Housing Assistance Trust Fund to a prospective purchaser of a single-family residence, which must be the purchaser’s homestead.
2. “Purchasing employer” means a business or business entity that has acquired real property within the county and paid the surtax due as a result of the acquisition of that property pursuant to this section.
(c) Housing choice assistance vouchers shall be used for down payment assistance for the purchase of a single-family residence by low-income or moderate-income persons within the county and within a 5-mile radius of the purchasing employer who are:
1. Actively employed by the purchasing employer or by a business entity directly affiliated with the purchasing employer.
2. Prequalified for a mortgage loan by a certified lending institution.
(d) Upon payment of the discretionary surtax pursuant to this section, the purchasing employer may file for an allocation for housing choice assistance vouchers from the county in an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the amount of the discretionary surtax paid. The purchasing employer shall distribute the allocation to employees in the form of housing choice assistance vouchers pursuant to rules and procedures established for the program.
(e) Any housing choice assistance voucher allocation not distributed to employees and redeemed by an employee within 1 year after the date the discretionary surtax is paid may not be used for housing choice assistance vouchers under this subsection.
(f) Any housing assistance paid pursuant to the housing choice assistance voucher program shall be included in the calculation determining the percentage of discretionary surtax funds used for homeownership purposes during the year in which the surtax funds for such purposes are expended.
(8) By June 30, 2012, and every 5 years thereafter, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall review the discretionary surtax program operated by counties under this section and shall provide a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
History.ss. 1, 3, ch. 83-220; s. 1, ch. 84-270; s. 1, ch. 89-252; s. 35, ch. 92-317; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2009-131.
1Note.Repealed October 1, 2031, by s. 3, ch. 83-220, as amended by s. 1, ch. 84-270; s. 1, ch. 89-252; and s. 1, ch. 2009-131.
125.0168 Special assessments levied on recreational vehicle parks regulated under chapter 513.When a county levies a non-ad valorem special assessment on a recreational vehicle park regulated under chapter 513, the non-ad valorem special assessment shall not be based on the assertion that the recreational vehicle park is comprised of residential units. Instead, recreational vehicle parks regulated under chapter 513 shall be assessed as a commercial entity in the same manner as a hotel, motel, or other similar facility.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-241.
125.017 Administrative agents.The county may employ agents, clerks, or servants to administer any project under the rules, regulations, directions, and supervision of the county, and it may exact of any agent, clerk or servant a good and sufficient bond with proper surety to secure the faithful performance of his or her duties and otherwise conditioned as it shall see fit.
History.s. 6, ch. 71-249; s. 816, ch. 95-147.
125.018 Rules and regulations.All rules and regulations promulgated and all impositions and exactions made by authority hereof shall be just and reasonable and consistent with public interest, and their application shall be subject to review by certiorari in any court of proper and competent jurisdiction. All rules and regulations shall be published and dispensed by the county at cost to all applicants therefor.
History.s. 7, ch. 71-249.
125.019 Exemption from taxation; immunity.
(1) All powers, acts, and deeds hereby conferred or authorized are found to be and made a county purpose. Each project financed under the provisions of ss. 125.011-125.019 and the income therefrom, and any bonds issued under the provisions of s. 125.013 and the income therefrom, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state. The exemption granted by this subsection shall not be applicable to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
(2) In the exercise of the additional powers conferred by ss. 125.011-125.019 as heretofore and hereafter amended, the county and county commissioners of any such county shall have the same rights, privileges, powers and immunities of a county of the state.
History.ss. 2, 8, ch. 71-249; s. 1, ch. 73-327; s. 25, ch. 91-45.
125.022 Development permits.
(1) When reviewing an application for a development permit that is certified by a professional listed in s. 403.0877, a county may not request additional information from the applicant more than three times, unless the applicant waives the limitation in writing. Before a third request for additional information, the applicant must be offered a meeting to attempt to resolve outstanding issues. Except as provided in subsection (4), if the applicant believes the request for additional information is not authorized by ordinance, rule, statute, or other legal authority, the county, at the applicant’s request, shall proceed to process the application for approval or denial.
(2) When a county denies an application for a development permit, the county shall give written notice to the applicant. The notice must include a citation to the applicable portions of an ordinance, rule, statute, or other legal authority for the denial of the permit.
(3) As used in this section, the term “development permit” has the same meaning as in s. 163.3164, but does not include building permits.
(4) For any development permit application filed with the county after July 1, 2012, a county may not require as a condition of processing or issuing a development permit that an applicant obtain a permit or approval from any state or federal agency unless the agency has issued a final agency action that denies the federal or state permit before the county action on the local development permit.
(5) Issuance of a development permit by a county does not in any way create any rights on the part of the applicant to obtain a permit from a state or federal agency and does not create any liability on the part of the county for issuance of the permit if the applicant fails to obtain requisite approvals or fulfill the obligations imposed by a state or federal agency or undertakes actions that result in a violation of state or federal law. A county shall attach such a disclaimer to the issuance of a development permit and shall include a permit condition that all other applicable state or federal permits be obtained before commencement of the development.
(6) This section does not prohibit a county from providing information to an applicant regarding what other state or federal permits may apply.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-88; s. 1, ch. 2012-205; s. 2, ch. 2013-92; s. 1, ch. 2013-193; s. 1, ch. 2013-213.
125.025 County-municipality consolidated governments; additional powers.Each county which operates under a government consolidated with that of one or more municipalities in the county shall have the power, in addition to the powers otherwise conferred, to own, maintain, operate, and control export trading companies and foreign sales corporations as provided by the laws of the United States; to own, maintain, operate, and control cargo clearance centers and customs clearance facilities and corporations established for the purpose of providing or operating such facilities; to maintain the confidentiality of trade information to the degree provided by the Export Trading Company Act of 1982, Pub. L. No. 97-290, as it is amended from time to time; to maintain the confidentiality of trade information and data pursuant to the patent laws of the United States, the patent laws of foreign nations to the extent that they are enforced by the courts of the United States, the copyright laws of the United States, the copyright laws of foreign nations to the extent that they are enforced by the courts of the United States, and the trade secrets doctrine; and to authorize airport and port employees to serve as officers and directors of export trading companies, foreign sales corporations, and customs and cargo clearance corporations.
History.s. 3, ch. 87-144.
125.029 County park entrance fee discounts.
(1) A county park or recreation department shall provide a partial or a full discount on park entrance fees to the following individuals who present information satisfactory to the county department which evidences eligibility for the discount:
(a) A current member of the United States Armed Forces, their reserve components, or the National Guard.
(b) An honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces, their reserve components, or the National Guard.
(c) An honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces, their reserve components, or the National Guard, who has a service-connected disability as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(d) A surviving spouse and parents of a deceased member of the United States Armed Forces, their reserve components, or the National Guard, who died in the line of duty under combat-related conditions.
(e) A surviving spouse and parents of a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(1), a firefighter, as defined in s. 633.102, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic employed by state or local government, who died in the line of duty.
(2) As used in this section, the term “park entrance fee” means a fee charged to access lands managed by a county park or recreation department. The term does not include expanded fees for amenities, such as campgrounds, aquatic facilities, stadiums or arenas, facility rentals, special events, boat launching, golf, zoos, museums, gardens, or programs taking place within public lands.
History.s. 1, ch. 2016-196.
125.031 Lease or lease-purchases of property for public purposes.Counties may enter into leases or lease-purchase arrangements relating to properties needed for public purposes for periods not to exceed 30 years at a stipulated rental to be paid from current or other legally available funds and may make all other contracts or agreements necessary or convenient to carry out such objective. The county shall have the right to enter into such leases or lease-purchase arrangements with private individuals, other governmental agencies, or corporations. When the term of such lease is for longer than 60 months, the rental shall be payable only from funds arising from sources other than ad valorem taxation. Such leases or lease-purchase arrangements shall be subject to approval by the board of county commissioners, and no such lease or lease-purchase contract shall be entered into without said approval. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a lease entered into by a county, as defined in s. 125.011(1), with the state or another governmental entity or authorized under the provisions of s. 125.01 is not subject to the 30-year lease term limitation of this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 71-240; s. 1, ch. 89-103; s. 1, ch. 2008-48.
125.045 County economic development powers.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that this state faces increasing competition from other states and other countries for the location and retention of private enterprises within its borders. Furthermore, the Legislature finds that there is a need to enhance and expand economic activity in the counties of this state by attracting and retaining manufacturing development, business enterprise management, and other activities conducive to economic promotion, in order to provide a stronger, more balanced, and stable economy in the state; to enhance and preserve purchasing power and employment opportunities for the residents of this state; and to improve the welfare and competitive position of the state. The Legislature declares that it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the growth and creation of business enterprises in the counties of the state.
(2) The governing body of a county may expend public funds to attract and retain business enterprises, and the use of public funds toward the achievement of such economic development goals constitutes a public purpose. The provisions of this chapter which confer powers and duties on the governing body of a county, including any powers not specifically prohibited by law which can be exercised by the governing body of a county, must be liberally construed in order to effectively carry out the purposes of this section.
(3) For the purposes of this section, it constitutes a public purpose to expend public funds for economic development activities, including, but not limited to, developing or improving local infrastructure, issuing bonds to finance or refinance the cost of capital projects for industrial or manufacturing plants, leasing or conveying real property, and making grants to private enterprises for the expansion of businesses existing in the community or the attraction of new businesses to the community.
(4) A contract between the governing body of a county or other entity engaged in economic development activities on behalf of the county and an economic development agency must require the agency or entity receiving county funds to submit a report to the governing body of the county detailing how county funds were spent and detailing the results of the economic development agency’s or entity’s efforts on behalf of the county. By January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, the county must file a copy of the report with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and post a copy of the report on the county’s website.
(5)(a) By January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, each county shall report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research the economic development incentives in excess of $25,000 given to any business during the county’s previous fiscal year. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall compile the information from the counties into a report and provide the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Department of Economic Opportunity. Economic development incentives include:
1. Direct financial incentives of monetary assistance provided to a business from the county or through an organization authorized by the county. Such incentives include, but are not limited to, grants, loans, equity investments, loan insurance and guarantees, and training subsidies.
2. Indirect incentives in the form of grants and loans provided to businesses and community organizations that provide support to businesses or promote business investment or development.
3. Fee-based or tax-based incentives, including, but not limited to, credits, refunds, exemptions, and property tax abatement or assessment reductions.
4. Below-market rate leases or deeds for real property.
(b) A county shall report its economic development incentives in the format specified by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
(c) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall compile the economic development incentives provided by each county in a manner that shows the total of each class of economic development incentives provided by each county and all counties.
History.s. 1, ch. 95-309; H.C.R. 2741 (1995); s. 1, ch. 2010-147; s. 19, ch. 2011-34; s. 51, ch. 2011-142.
125.15 To sue and be sued in the name of county.The county commissioners shall sue and be sued in the name of the county of which they are commissioners. A change in the persons composing the board of county commissioners shall not abate the suit, but it shall proceed as if such change had not taken place.
History.ss. 1, 3, ch. 3242, 1881; RS 580; GS 773; RGS 1493; CGL 2202.
125.17 Clerk.The clerk of the circuit court for the county shall be clerk and accountant of the board of county commissioners. He or she shall keep their minutes and accounts, and perform such other duties as their clerk as the board may direct. The clerk shall have custody of their seal, shall affix the same to any paper or instrument to which it shall be proper or necessary that the same shall be affixed, and may give copies of writings in his or her custody as the clerk of said board, attested by his or her signature and authenticated by said seal.
History.RS 583; GS 776; RGS 1498; CGL 2261; s. 817, ch. 95-147.
125.221 Holding of court and meeting of grand jury; place other than courthouse.In the event there is not suitable available space in the courthouse due to construction or reconstruction, destruction or other good reasons, for the holding of any court or courts now provided to be held in the county courthouse, or for the meeting of the grand jury of the county, the county commission, with the approval of the court, may designate some other place or places located in the county seat for the holding of court or courts or for the meeting of the grand jury.
History.s. 1, ch. 29795, 1955.
125.222 Auxiliary county offices, court proceedings.All proceedings, except trial by jury, had in any of the several counties of this state in connection with any civil, equity or criminal action may be conducted in auxiliary county offices where such offices have been established and are maintained under authorization of law, provided adequate space and facilities are available therein and provided that the Official Records books be kept and maintained in the county offices at the county seat.
History.s. 1, ch. 57-331; s. 19, ch. 94-348.
125.27 Countywide forest fire protection; authority of the Florida Forest Service; state funding; county fire control assessments; disposition; equipment donations.
(1) The Florida Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the board of county commissioners of each county in this state shall enter into agreements for the establishment and maintenance of countywide fire protection of all forest and wild lands within said county, with the total cost of such fire protection being funded by state and federal funds. Each county shall, under the terms of such agreements, be assessed each fiscal year, as its share of the cost of providing such fire protection, a sum in dollars equal to the total forest and wild land acreage of the county, as determined by the Florida Forest Service, multiplied by 7 cents. The forest and wild lands acreage included in such agreements shall be reviewed each year by the contracting parties and the number of forest and wild land acres and the annual fire control assessment adjusted so as to reflect the current forest acreage of the county. In the event the Florida Forest Service and the county commissioners do not agree, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall make such acreage determination. All fire control assessments received by the Florida Forest Service from the several counties under agreements made pursuant to this section shall be deposited as follows:
(a) An amount equal to the total forest land and wild land acreage of the counties, multiplied by 4 cents, shall be distributed to the Incidental Trust Fund of the Florida Forest Service; and
(b) An amount equal to the total forest land and wild land acreage of the counties, multiplied by 3 cents, shall be distributed to the General Revenue Fund.
(2) The Florida Forest Service may include provisions in the agreements authorized in this section, or execute separate or supplemental agreements with the several counties, county agencies, or municipalities, to provide communication services and other services directly related to fire protection within the county, other than forest fire control, on a cost reimbursable basis only, provided the rendering of such services does not hinder or impede in any way the Florida Forest Service’s ability to accomplish its primary function with respect to forest fire control.
(3) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may lease, loan, or otherwise make available, without charge, to state, county, and local governmental entities that have fire/rescue responsibilities, new or used fire protection equipment, vehicles, or supplies, which shall include all such items received from public or private entities. The department, and those private or public entities providing at no cost, or de minimis cost, such items for loan or lease through the department, shall not be held liable for civil damages resulting from use or possession of such items. Private or public entities that donate fire/rescue equipment, vehicles, or supplies directly to state, county, or local governmental entities having fire/rescue responsibilities shall not be held liable for civil damages resulting from use or possession of such items.
History.s. 5, ch. 17024, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 2181(23); ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-305, s. 1, ch. 73-248; s. 3, ch. 2001-279; s. 2, ch. 2008-107; s. 2, ch. 2012-7.
125.271 Emergency medical services; county emergency medical service assessments.
(1) As used in this section, the term “county” means:
(a) A county that is within a rural area of opportunity as designated by the Governor pursuant to s. 288.0656;
(b) A small county having a population of 75,000 or fewer on the effective date of this act which has levied at least 10 mills of ad valorem tax for the previous fiscal year; or
(c) A county that adopted an ordinance authorizing the imposition of an assessment for emergency medical services prior to January 1, 2002.

Once a county has qualified under this subsection, it always retains the qualification.

(2) A county may fund the costs of emergency medical services through the levy of a special assessment that apportions the cost among the property based on a reasonable methodology that charges a parcel in proportion to its benefits.
(3) The authorization provided in this section shall be construed to be general law authorization pursuant to ss. 1 and 9 of Art. VII of the State Constitution.
(4) All special assessments for emergency medical services levied by a county prior to the effective date of this section are ratified and validated in all respects if they would have been valid had this section been in effect at the time they were levied; however, this subsection shall not validate assessments in counties with litigation challenging the validity of an assessment pending on January 1, 2002.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-37; s. 23, ch. 2014-218.
125.275 Countywide air quality protection; authority of counties designated as nonattainment areas; preemption of municipal ordinances.
(1) The board of county commissioners of any county which is designated, in whole or in part, as a nonattainment area for air quality pursuant to state and federal law is hereby authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to provide by ordinance for countywide protection of air quality. In furtherance of this purpose, the board of county commissioners of such county shall have the following powers:
(a) To act as the local implementing authority of a nonattainment plan promulgated and adopted pursuant to state and federal law.
(b) To adopt, revise, and amend, from time to time, appropriate ordinances, rules, and regulations reasonably necessary to maintain air quality standards established pursuant to state and federal law, including the federal Clean Air Act.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the authority granted in subsection (1) shall vest in such county, and, when exercised by the county, any municipality is hereby preempted from adoption of an ordinance pertaining to air quality upon the designation set forth in subsection (1).
(3) No county is authorized by this act to promulgate any air quality standard more stringent than any state or federal standard as to any particular pollutant. Nothing herein shall be construed to modify any authority granted by an existing special act pertaining to air quality control.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-240.
125.325 Loans to public agencies authorized.Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 163.01, a legal entity created pursuant to interlocal agreement under s. 163.01, the membership of which entity consists of at least three counties, may lend the proceeds of obligations issued by such entity to any public agency as provided in s. 163.01(3)(b) whether or not such agency is a member of the entity. Such entity may have as members, in addition to counties, other public agencies as described in s. 163.01(3)(b) and may lend the proceeds of obligations to such public agencies for purposes of financing or refinancing capital projects or working capital if such agencies are otherwise authorized to incur debt.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-216.
125.3401 Purchase, sale, or privatization of water, sewer, or wastewater reuse utility by county.No county may purchase or sell a water, sewer, or wastewater reuse utility that provides service to the public for compensation, or enter into a wastewater facility privatization contract for a wastewater facility, until the governing body of the county has held a public hearing on the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract and made a determination that the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract is in the public interest. In determining if the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract is in the public interest, the county shall consider, at a minimum, the following:
(1) The most recent available income and expense statement for the utility;
(2) The most recent available balance sheet for the utility, listing assets and liabilities and clearly showing the amount of contributions-in-aid-of-construction and the accumulated depreciation thereon;
(3) A statement of the existing rate base of the utility for regulatory purposes;
(4) The physical condition of the utility facilities being purchased, sold, or subject to a wastewater facility privatization contract;
(5) The reasonableness of the purchase, sales, or wastewater facility privatization contract price and terms;
(6) The impacts of the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract on utility customers, both positive and negative;
(7)(a) Any additional investment required and the ability and willingness of the purchaser, or the private firm under a wastewater facility privatization contract, to make that investment, whether the purchaser is the county or the entity purchasing the utility from the county;
(b) In the case of a wastewater facility privatization contract, the terms and conditions on which the private firm will provide capital investment and financing or a combination thereof for contemplated capital replacements, additions, expansions, and repairs. The county shall give significant weight to this criteria.
(8) The alternatives to the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract, and the potential impact on utility customers if the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract is not made; and
(9)(a) The ability of the purchaser or the private firm under a wastewater facility privatization contract to provide and maintain high-quality and cost-effective utility service, whether the purchaser is the county or the entity purchasing the utility from the county.
(b) In the case of a wastewater facility privatization contract, the county shall give significant weight to the technical expertise and experience of the private firm in carrying out the obligations specified in the wastewater facility privatization contract.
(10) All moneys paid by a private firm to a county pursuant to a wastewater facility privatization contract shall be used for the purpose of reducing or offsetting property taxes, wastewater service rates, or debt reduction or making infrastructure improvements or capital asset expenditures or other public purpose; provided, however, nothing herein shall preclude the county from using all or part of the moneys for the purpose of the county’s qualification for relief from the repayment of federal grant awards associated with the wastewater system as may be required by federal law or regulation.

The county shall prepare a statement showing that the purchase, sale, or wastewater facility privatization contract is in the public interest, including a summary of the purchaser’s or private firm’s experience in water, sewer, and wastewater reuse utility operation and a showing of financial ability to provide the service, whether the purchaser or private firm is the county or the entity purchasing the utility from the county.

History.s. 1, ch. 84-84; s. 1, ch. 93-51; s. 6, ch. 96-202.
125.35 County authorized to sell real and personal property and to lease real property.
(1)(a) The board of county commissioners is expressly authorized to sell and convey any real or personal property, and to lease real property, belonging to the county, whenever the board determines that it is to the best interest of the county to do so, to the highest and best bidder for the particular use the board deems to be the highest and best, for such length of term and such conditions as the governing body may in its discretion determine.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), under terms and conditions negotiated by the board, the board of county commissioners may:
1. Negotiate the lease of an airport or seaport facility;
2. Modify or extend an existing lease of real property for an additional term not to exceed 25 years, where the improved value of the lease has an appraised value in excess of $20 million; or
3. Lease a professional sports franchise facility financed by revenues received pursuant to s. 125.0104 or s. 212.20 which may include commercial development that is ancillary to the sports facility if the ancillary development property is part of or contiguous to the professional sports franchise facility. The board’s authority to lease the above described ancillary commercial development in conjunction with a professional sports franchise facility lease applies only if at the time the board leases the ancillary commercial development, the professional sports franchise facility lease has been in effect for at least 10 years and such lease has at least an additional 10 years remaining in the lease term.
(c) No sale of any real property shall be made unless notice thereof is published once a week for at least 2 weeks in some newspaper of general circulation published in the county, calling for bids for the purchase of the real estate so advertised to be sold. In the case of a sale, the bid of the highest bidder complying with the terms and conditions set forth in such notice shall be accepted, unless the board of county commissioners rejects all bids because they are too low. The board of county commissioners may require a deposit to be made or a surety bond to be given, in such form or in such amount as the board determines, with each bid submitted.
(2) When the board of county commissioners finds that a parcel of real property is of insufficient size and shape to be issued a building permit for any type of development to be constructed on the property or when the board of county commissioners finds that the value of a parcel of real property is $15,000 or less, as determined by a fee appraiser designated by the board or as determined by the county property appraiser, and when, due to the size, shape, location, and value of the parcel, it is determined by the board that the parcel is of use only to one or more adjacent property owners, the board may effect a private sale of the parcel. The board may, after sending notice of its intended action to owners of adjacent property by certified mail, effect a sale and conveyance of the parcel at private sale without receiving bids or publishing notice; however, if, within 10 working days after receiving such mailed notice, two or more owners of adjacent property notify the board of their desire to purchase the parcel, the board shall accept sealed bids for the parcel from such property owners and may convey such parcel to the highest bidder or may reject all offers.
(3) As an alternative to subsections (1) and (2), the board of county commissioners may by ordinance prescribe disposition standards and procedures to be used by the county in selling and conveying any real or personal property and in leasing real property owned by the county. The standards and procedures must provide at a minimum for:
(a) Establishment of competition and qualification standards upon which disposition will be determined.
(b) Reasonable public notice of the intent to consider disposition of county property and the availability of copies of the standards. Reasonableness of the notice is to be determined by the efficacy and efficiency of the means of communication used.
(c) Identification of the form and manner by which an interested person may acquire county property.
(d) Types of negotiation procedures applicable to the selection of a person to whom county properties may be disposed.
(e) The manner in which interested persons will be notified of the board’s intent to consider final action at a regular meeting of the board on the disposition of a property and the time and manner for making objections.
(f) Adherence in the disposition of real property to the governing comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances.
History.s. 1, ch. 23829, 1947; s. 1, ch. 70-388; s. 1, ch. 77-475; s. 1, ch. 81-87; s. 1, ch. 83-100; s. 1, ch. 86-105; s. 2, ch. 89-103; s. 2, ch. 95-416; ss. 1, 2, ch. 99-190; s. 1, ch. 2001-252; ss. 56, 79, ch. 2002-402; s. 8, ch. 2013-213.
125.355 Proposed purchase of real property by county; confidentiality of records; procedure.
(1)(a) In any case in which a county, pursuant to the provisions of this section, seeks to acquire by purchase any real property for a public purpose, every appraisal, offer, or counteroffer must be in writing. Such appraisals, offers, and counteroffers shall not be available for public disclosure or inspection and are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until an option contract is executed or, if no option contract is executed, until 30 days before a contract or agreement for purchase is considered for approval by the board of county commissioners. If a contract or agreement for purchase is not submitted to the board of county commissioners for approval, the exemption from s. 119.07(1) will expire 30 days after the termination of negotiations. The county shall maintain complete and accurate records of every such appraisal, offer, and counteroffer. For the purposes of this section, the term “option contract” means a proposed agreement by the county to purchase a piece of property, subject to the approval of the local governing body at a public meeting after 30 days’ public notice. The county will not be under any obligation to exercise the option unless the option contract is approved by the governing body at the public hearing specified in this section.
(b) If the exemptions provided in this section are utilized, the governing body shall obtain at least one appraisal by an appraiser approved pursuant to s. 253.025 for each purchase in an amount of not more than $500,000. For each purchase in an amount in excess of $500,000, the governing body shall obtain at least two appraisals by appraisers approved pursuant to s. 253.025. If the agreed purchase price exceeds the average appraised price of the two appraisals, the governing body is required to approve the purchase by an extraordinary vote. The governing body may, by ordinary vote, exempt a purchase in an amount of $100,000 or less from the requirement for an appraisal.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any county that does not choose with respect to any specific purchase to utilize the exemptions from s. 119.07(1) provided in this section may follow any procedure not in conflict with the provisions of chapter 119 for the purchase of real property which is authorized in its charter or established by ordinance.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as providing an exemption from, or an exception to, s. 286.011.
History.s. 1, ch. 84-298; s. 1, ch. 87-60; s. 1, ch. 88-315; s. 32, ch. 90-360; s. 8, ch. 94-240; s. 44, ch. 96-406; s. 29, ch. 2016-233.
125.37 Exchange of county property.Whenever, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, the county holds and possesses any real property, not needed for county purposes, and such property may be to the best interest of the county exchanged for other real property, which the county may desire to acquire for county purposes, the said board of county commissioners of any county is authorized and empowered to make such an exchange. Provided, however, before any exchange of property shall be effected, a notice, setting forth the terms and conditions of any such exchange of property, shall be first published, once a week for at least 2 weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county, before the adoption by the board of county commissioners of a resolution authorizing the exchange of properties.
History.s. 3, ch. 23829, 1947.
125.379 Disposition of county property for affordable housing.
(1) By July 1, 2007, and every 3 years thereafter, each county shall prepare an inventory list of all real property within its jurisdiction to which the county holds fee simple title that is appropriate for use as affordable housing. The inventory list must include the address and legal description of each such real property and specify whether the property is vacant or improved. The governing body of the county must review the inventory list at a public hearing and may revise it at the conclusion of the public hearing. The governing body of the county shall adopt a resolution that includes an inventory list of such property following the public hearing.
(2) The properties identified as appropriate for use as affordable housing on the inventory list adopted by the county may be offered for sale and the proceeds used to purchase land for the development of affordable housing or to increase the local government fund earmarked for affordable housing, or may be sold with a restriction that requires the development of the property as permanent affordable housing, or may be donated to a nonprofit housing organization for the construction of permanent affordable housing. Alternatively, the county may otherwise make the property available for use for the production and preservation of permanent affordable housing. For purposes of this section, the term “affordable” has the same meaning as in s. 420.0004(3).
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-69.
125.38 Sale of county property to United States, or state.If the United States, or any department or agency thereof, the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof, or any municipality of this state, or corporation or other organization not for profit which may be organized for the purposes of promoting community interest and welfare, should desire any real or personal property that may be owned by any county of this state or by its board of county commissioners, for public or community interest and welfare, then the United States, or any department or agency thereof, state or such political subdivision, agency, municipality, corporation or organization may apply to the board of county commissioners for a conveyance or lease of such property. Such board, if satisfied that such property is required for such use and is not needed for county purposes, may thereupon convey or lease the same at private sale to the applicant for such price, whether nominal or otherwise, as such board may fix, regardless of the actual value of such property. The fact of such application being made, the purpose for which such property is to be used, and the price or rent therefor shall be set out in a resolution duly adopted by such board. In case of a lease, the term of such lease shall be recited in such resolution. No advertisement shall be required.
History.s. 4, ch. 23829, 1947.
125.39 Nonapplicability to county lands acquired for specific purposes.The provisions of this law shall not be construed to cover the sale or disposition of any land conveyed to any county for a specific purpose and containing a reversionary clause whereby said land shall revert to the grantor or grantors upon failure to use said real property for such purpose.
History.s. 5, ch. 23829, 1947; s. 1, ch. 73-260; s. 29, ch. 73-332.
125.411 Conveyance of land by county.
(1) Deeds of conveyance of lands, the title to which is held by any county or in the name of its board of county commissioners, may be in substantially the following form:

THIS DEED, made this   day of  ,   (year)  , by   County, Florida, party of the first part, and  , party of the second part,

WITNESSETH that the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of $  to it in hand paid by the party of the second part, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has granted, bargained and sold to the party of the second part, his or her heirs and assigns forever, the following described land lying and being in   County, Florida:    

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the said party of the first part has caused these presents to be executed in its name by its Board of County Commissioners acting by the Chair or Vice Chair of said board, the day and year aforesaid.

(OFFICIAL SEAL)

ATTEST:   Clerk (or Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court)  

  County, Florida

By its Board of County Commissioners

By   Chair (or Vice Chair)  

(2) No such deed of conveyance shall be required to be witnessed or acknowledged, but shall be entitled to record when properly executed.
(3) All deeds of conveyance by any county or by its board of county commissioners shall convey only the interest of the county and such board in the property covered thereby, and shall not be deemed to warrant the title or to represent any state of facts concerning the same.
(4) Any conveyance of real property executed by the board of county commissioners of any county after May 5, 1971, and before October 1, 1975, if it would have been valid had this act been in effect at the time such conveyance was executed, and the recording thereof by the clerk of the circuit court are hereby validated, ratified, and confirmed.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-26; s. 818, ch. 95-147; s. 15, ch. 99-6.
Note.Former s. 125.41.
125.42 Water, sewage, gas, power, telephone, other utility, and television lines within the right-of-way limits of county roads and highways.
(1) The board of county commissioners, with respect to property located without the corporate limits of any municipality, is authorized to grant a license to any person or private corporation to construct, maintain, repair, operate, and remove lines for the transmission of water, sewage, gas, power, telephone, other public utilities, television, or other communications services as defined in s. 202.11(1) under, on, over, across, or within the right-of-way limits of any county highway or any public road or highway acquired by the county or public by purchase, gift, devise, dedication, or prescription. However, the board of county commissioners shall include in any instrument granting such license adequate provisions:
(a) To prevent the creation of any obstructions or conditions which are or may become dangerous to the traveling public;
(b) To require the licensee to repair any damage or injury to the road or highway by reason of the exercise of the privileges granted in any instrument creating such license and to repair the road or highway promptly, restoring it to a condition at least equal to that which existed immediately prior to the infliction of such damage or injury;
(c) Whereby the licensee shall hold the board of county commissioners and members thereof harmless from the payment of any compensation or damages resulting from the exercise of the privileges granted in any instrument creating the license; and
(d) As may be reasonably necessary, for the protection of the county and the public.
(2) A license may be granted in perpetuity or for a term of years, subject, however, to termination by the licensor, in the event the road or highway is closed, abandoned, vacated, discontinued, or reconstructed.
(3) The board of county commissioners is authorized to grant exclusive or nonexclusive licenses for the purposes stated herein for television.
(4) This law is intended to provide an additional method for the granting of licenses and shall not be construed to repeal any law now in effect relating to the same subject.
(5) In the event of widening, repair, or reconstruction of any such road, the licensee shall move or remove such water, sewage, gas, power, telephone, and other utility lines and television lines at no cost to the county should they be found by the county to be unreasonably interfering, except as provided in s. 337.403(1)(d)-(j).
History.ss. 1-3, ch. 23850, 1947; s. 1, ch. 57-777; s. 1, ch. 80-138; s. 2, ch. 2009-85; s. 1, ch. 2014-169; s. 1, ch. 2016-44.
125.421 Telecommunications services.A telecommunications company that is a county or other entity of local government may obtain or hold a certificate required by chapter 364, and the obtaining or holding of said certificate serves a public purpose only if the county or other entity of local government:
(1) Separately accounts for the revenues, expenses, property, and source of investment dollars associated with the provision of such service;
(2) Is subject, without exemption, to all local requirements applicable to telecommunications companies; and
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, pays, on its telecommunications facilities used to provide two-way telecommunication services to the public for hire and for which a certificate is required under chapter 364, ad valorem taxes, or fees in amounts equal thereto, to any taxing jurisdiction in which the county or other entity of local government operates. Any entity of local government may pay and impose such ad valorem taxes or fees. Any immunity of any county or other entity of local government from taxation of the property taxed by this section is hereby waived.

This section does not apply to the provision of telecommunications services for internal operational needs of a county or other entity of local government. This section does not apply to the provision of internal information services, including, but not limited to, tax records, engineering records, and property records, by a county or other entity of local government to the public for a fee.

History.s. 1, ch. 97-197.
125.485 Utility services; nonpayment of charges by former occupant of rental unit; county action limited.Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, no county may refuse services, or discontinue utility, water, sewer, or wastewater reuse services, to the owner of any rental unit, or to a tenant or prospective tenant of such rental unit, for nonpayment of service charges incurred by a former occupant of the rental unit; and any such unpaid service charges incurred by a former occupant shall not be the basis for any lien against the rental property except to the extent that the present tenant or owner has benefited directly from the service provided to the former occupant. This section applies only when the former occupant of the rental unit contracted for such services with the county.
History.s. 1, ch. 85-96; s. 18, ch. 87-224; s. 2, ch. 93-51; s. 10, ch. 97-95.
125.56 Enforcement and amendment of the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code; inspection fees; inspectors; etc.
(1) The board of county commissioners of each of the several counties of the state may enforce the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code, as provided in ss. 553.80, 633.206, and 633.208, and, at its discretion, adopt local technical amendments to the Florida Building Code, pursuant to s. 553.73(4)(b) and (c) and local technical amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code, pursuant to s. 633.202, to provide for the safe construction, erection, alteration, repair, securing, and demolition of any building within its territory outside the corporate limits of any municipality. Upon a determination to consider amending the Florida Building Code or the Florida Fire Prevention Code by a majority of the members of the board of county commissioners of such county, the board shall call a public hearing and comply with the public notice requirements of s. 125.66(2). The board shall hear all interested parties at the public hearing and may then amend the building code or the fire code consistent with the terms and purposes of this act. Upon adoption, an amendment to the code shall be in full force and effect throughout the unincorporated area of such county until otherwise notified by the Florida Building Commission pursuant to s. 553.73 or the State Fire Marshal pursuant to s. 633.202. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the board of county commissioners from repealing such amendment to the building code or the fire code at any regular meeting of such board.
(2) The board of county commissioners of each of the several counties may provide a schedule of reasonable inspection fees in order to defer the costs of inspection and enforcement of the provisions of this act, and of the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
(3) The board of county commissioners of each of the several counties may employ a building code inspector and such other personnel as it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this act and may pay reasonable salaries for such services.
1(4) After adoption of the Florida Building Code by the Florida Building Commission or the Florida Fire Prevention Code by the State Fire Marshal, or amendment of the building code or the fire code as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to construct, erect, alter, repair, secure, or demolish any building within the territory embraced by the terms of this act without first obtaining a permit therefor from the appropriate board of county commissioners, or from such persons as may by resolution be directed to issue such permits, upon the payment of such reasonable fees as shall be set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by the board; the board is hereby empowered to revoke any such permit upon a determination by the board that the construction, erection, alteration, repair, securing, or demolition of the building for which the permit was issued is in violation of or not in conformity with the building code or the fire code.
(5) Any person, firm, or corporation that violates any of the provisions of this section or of the Florida Building Code or the Florida Fire Prevention Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 1-5, 7, 8, ch. 63-290; s. 3, ch. 71-14; s. 76, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 83-160; s. 5, ch. 90-279; s. 1, ch. 95-310; s. 3, ch. 2000-141; s. 24, ch. 2000-372; s. 34, ch. 2001-186; s. 3, ch. 2001-372; s. 124, ch. 2013-183; s. 38, ch. 2016-129.
1Note.Section 38, ch. 2016-129, amended subsection (4), effective October 1, 2017, to read:

(4)(a) After adoption of the Florida Building Code by the Florida Building Commission or the Florida Fire Prevention Code by the State Fire Marshal, or amendment of the building code or the fire code as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to construct, erect, alter, repair, secure, or demolish any building within the territory embraced by the terms of this act without first obtaining a permit therefor from the appropriate board of county commissioners, or from such persons as may by resolution be directed to issue such permits, upon the payment of such reasonable fees as shall be set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by the board; the board is hereby empowered to revoke any such permit upon a determination by the board that the construction, erection, alteration, repair, securing, or demolition of the building for which the permit was issued is in violation of or not in conformity with the building code or the fire code.

(b) A county that issues building permits shall post each type of building permit application on its website. Completed applications must be able to be submitted electronically to the county building department. Accepted methods of electronic submission include, but are not limited to, e-mail submission of applications in portable document format or submission of applications through an electronic fill-in form available on the building department’s website or through a third-party submission management software. Payments, attachments, or drawings required as part of the permit application may be submitted in person in a nonelectronic format, at the discretion of the building official.

125.561 Amateur radio antennas; construction in conformance with federal requirements.
(1) No county shall enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation which fails to conform to the limited preemption entitled “Amateur Radio Preemption, 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985)” as issued by the Federal Communications Commission. Any ordinance or regulation adopted by a county with respect to amateur radio antennas shall conform to the above-cited limited preemption, which states that local regulations which involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations must be crafted to reasonably accommodate amateur communications, and to represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority’s legitimate purpose.
(2) Nothing in this section shall affect any applicable provisions of chapter 333.
History.s. 1, ch. 91-28.
Note.Former s. 125.0185.
125.563 Abatement of water pollution and shore erosion of inland lakes.
(1)(a) It is declared to be the legislative intent to provide for a speedy and effective procedure whereby property owners of land abutting or constituting the bottom of the small inland lakes of this state shall be able to gain relief from water pollution and shore erosion through the ordinance-making powers of the boards of county commissioners.
(b) “Small inland lakes,” for the purpose of this section, shall be those inland freshwater lakes essentially at rest and essentially surrounded by land, having a water surface area at mean water level of 150 acres or less.
(2) The following activities shall constitute a nuisance on evidence indicating that the shores of the small inland lakes are being eroded or that their waters are being polluted by:
(a) Dumping of raw or treated sewage into the lake.
(b) Introduction into the lake of chemicals which threaten, rather than enhance, the natural ecosystem of the lake.
(c) Use of dynamite or other explosives in the water or in altering the shoreline.
(d) Dumping of refuse into the water or dredging or filling operations in the lake.
(e) Removal from, or addition to, the lake of sufficient quantities of water to substantially alter the water level.
(3) Owners of more than 50 percent of the land abutting the lake or constituting the bottom of privately owned lakes may file a petition with the appropriate board of county commissioners (or boards when the lake lies in more than one county) alleging that any one of the nuisances enumerated in subsection (2) exists. The petition may be informally prepared, but each owner’s signature shall be acknowledged by an officer authorized to administer oaths. When the state or any of its agencies is an abutting or bottom owner, the responsible state official may sign for the state or his or her agency.
(4) On receipt of the petition, the chair of the board of county commissioners shall notify the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Such agencies may submit recommendations to the board of county commissioners within 60 days of receipt of notice of the petition.
(5) On receipt of the recommendations from the state agencies listed in subsection (4), or sooner if no such recommendations are to be submitted, the board of county commissioners may determine if any of the nuisances enumerated in subsection (2) exists. If such a positive determination is made, the board may enact an ordinance to abate such nuisance in such manner as is reasonable, unless there is a compelling public purpose to permit its continuance. Violation of such ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as restricting any general or local laws or ordinances of greater stringency or any municipal jurisdiction or powers over inland lakes, or portions thereof, within a municipality.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 73-147; s. 2, ch. 79-65; s. 15, ch. 94-356; s. 1435, ch. 95-147.
125.568 Conservation of water; Florida-friendly landscaping.
(1)(a) The Legislature finds that Florida-friendly landscaping contributes to the conservation, protection, and restoration of water. In an effort to meet the water needs of this state in a manner that will supply adequate and dependable supplies of water where needed, it is the intent of the Legislature that Florida-friendly landscaping be an essential part of water conservation and water quality protection and restoration planning.
(b) As used in this section, “Florida-friendly landscaping” has the same meaning as in s. 373.185.
(2) The board of county commissioners of each county shall consider enacting ordinances, consistent with s. 373.185, requiring the use of Florida-friendly landscaping as a water conservation or water quality protection or restoration measure. If the board determines that such landscaping would be of significant benefit as a water conservation or water quality protection or restoration measure, especially for waters designated as impaired pursuant to s. 403.067, relative to the cost to implement Florida-friendly landscaping in its area of jurisdiction, the board shall enact a Florida-friendly landscaping ordinance. Further, the board of county commissioners shall consider promoting Florida-friendly landscaping as a water conservation or water quality protection or restoration measure by: using such landscaping in any areas under its jurisdiction which are landscaped after the effective date of this act; providing public education on Florida-friendly landscaping, its uses in increasing water conservation and water quality protection or restoration, and its long-term cost-effectiveness; and offering incentives to local residents and businesses to implement Florida-friendly landscaping.
(3)(a) The Legislature finds that the use of Florida-friendly landscaping and other water use and pollution prevention measures to conserve or protect the state’s water resources serves a compelling public interest and that the participation of homeowners’ associations and local governments is essential to the state’s efforts in water conservation and water quality protection and restoration.
(b) A deed restriction or covenant may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land or create any requirement or limitation in conflict with any provision of part II of chapter 373 or a water shortage order, other order, consumptive use permit, or rule adopted or issued pursuant to part II of chapter 373.
(c) A local government ordinance may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land.
History.s. 5, ch. 91-41; s. 5, ch. 91-68; s. 2, ch. 2001-252; s. 21, ch. 2009-243.
125.5801 Criminal history record checks for certain county employees and appointees.
(1) Notwithstanding chapter 435, a county may require, by ordinance, state and national criminal history screening for:
(a) Any position of county employment or appointment, whether paid, unpaid, or contractual, which the governing body of the county finds is critical to security or public safety;
(b) Any private contractor, employee of a private contractor, vendor, repair person, or delivery person who is subject to licensing or regulation by the county; or
(c) Any private contractor, employee of a private contractor, vendor, repair person, for-hire chauffeur, or delivery person who has direct contact with individual members of the public or access to any public facility or publicly operated facility in such a manner or to such an extent that the governing body of the county finds that preventing unsuitable persons from having such contact or access is critical to security or public safety.
(2) The ordinance must require each person applying for, or continuing employment or appointment in, any such position, applying for initial or continuing licensing or regulation, or having such contact or access to be fingerprinted. The fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement for a state criminal history record check and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. The information obtained from the criminal history record checks conducted pursuant to the ordinance may be used by the county to determine a person’s eligibility for such employment or appointment and to determine a person’s eligibility for continued employment or appointment. This section is not intended to preempt or prevent any other background screening, including, but not limited to, criminal history record checks, which a county may lawfully undertake.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-169; s. 1, ch. 2013-116.
1125.581 Certain local employment registration prohibited.
(1) Except as authorized by law, no county or municipality shall enact or enforce any ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, policy, or other action which requires the registration or background screening of any individual engaged in or applying for a specific type or category of employment in the county or municipality or requires the carrying of an identification card issued as a result of such registration or screening, whether or not such requirement is based upon the residency of the person. However, an ordinance that regulates any business, institution, association, profession, or occupation by requiring background screening, which may include proof of certain skills, knowledge, or moral character, is not prohibited by this section, provided that such regulation:
(a) Is not preempted to the state or is not otherwise prohibited by law;
(b) Is a valid exercise of the police power;
(c) Is narrowly designed to offer the protection sought by the county or municipality; and
(d) Does not unfairly discriminate against any class of individuals.
(2) This act shall not be construed to prohibit any employer, including a local government, from investigating the background of employees or prospective employees or from requiring employees to carry an identification card or registration card.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 86-259.
1Note.Also published at s. 166.0443.
125.585 Employee assistance programs; public records exemption.
(1) As used in this section, “employee assistance program” means a counseling, therapeutic, or other professional treatment program provided by a county to assist any county employee who has a behavioral disorder, medical disorder, or substance abuse problem or who has an emotional difficulty which affects the employee’s job performance.
(2) A county employee’s personal identifying information contained in records held by the employing county relating to that employee’s participation in an employee assistance program is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.s. 2, ch. 98-8; s. 1, ch. 2003-101.
125.59 Special grand jury fund.
(1) The boards of county commissioners of the respective counties are hereby authorized to budget and expend county funds for the creation and use of a special grand jury fund.
(2) The moneys of the special grand jury fund may be used by any grand jury in the county, in their discretion, in investigating crime and enforcing the criminal laws. The grand jury may employ special investigators and special legal counsel and may pay all expenses incidental to such purposes; provided, that no expenditure shall be made without the approval of a majority of the members of the grand jury, whose vote shall be recorded in the minutes of the grand jury’s proceedings.
(3) The moneys in the special grand jury fund shall be payable to the grand jury on their order upon a voucher being presented to the clerk of the circuit court, signed by the foreperson and by a member of the grand jury designated as grand jury treasurer.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-466; s. 819, ch. 95-147.
SELF-GOVERNMENT
125.60 Adoption of county charter.
125.61 Charter commission.
125.62 Charter commission; organization.
125.63 Proposal of county charter.
125.64 Adoption of charter; dissolution of commission.
125.66 Ordinances; enactment procedure; emergency ordinances; rezoning or change of land use ordinances or resolutions.
125.67 Limitation on subject and matter embraced in ordinances; amendments; enacting clause.
125.68 Codification of ordinances; exceptions; public record.
125.69 Penalties; enforcement by code inspectors.
125.60 Adoption of county charter.Any county not having a chartered form of consolidated government may, pursuant to the provisions of ss. 125.60-125.64, locally initiate and adopt by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the county a county home rule charter.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-45.
125.61 Charter commission.
(1) Following the adoption of a resolution by the board of county commissioners or upon the submission of a petition to the county commission signed by at least 15 percent of the qualified electors of the county requesting that a charter commission be established, a charter commission shall be appointed pursuant to subsection (2) within 30 days of the adoption of said resolution or of the filing of said petition.
(2) The charter commission shall be composed of an odd number of not less than 11 or more than 15 members. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners of said county or, if so directed in the initiative petition, by the legislative delegation. No member of the Legislature or board of county commissioners shall be a member of the charter commission. Vacancies shall be filled within 30 days in the same manner as the original appointments.
History.s. 2, ch. 69-45; s. 1, ch. 73-290; s. 1, ch. 74-239.
125.62 Charter commission; organization.
(1) A charter commission appointed pursuant to s. 125.61 shall meet for the purpose of organization within 30 days after the appointments have been made. The charter commission shall elect a chair and vice chair from among its membership. Further meetings of the commission shall be held upon the call of the chair or a majority of the members of the commission. All meetings shall be open to the public. A majority of the members of the charter commission shall constitute a quorum. The commission may adopt such other rules for its operations and proceedings as it deems desirable. Members of the commission shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses pursuant to law.
(2) Expenses of the charter commission shall be verified by a majority vote of the commission forwarded to the board of county commissioners for payment from the general fund of the county. The charter commission may employ a staff, consult and retain experts, and purchase, lease, or otherwise provide for such supplies, materials, equipment and facilities as it deems necessary and desirable. The board of county commissioners may accept funds, grants, gifts, and services for the charter commission from the state, the Government of the United States, or other sources, public or private.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-45; s. 820, ch. 95-147.
125.63 Proposal of county charter.The charter commission shall conduct a comprehensive study of the operation of county government and of the ways in which the conduct of county government might be improved or reorganized. Within 18 months of its initial meeting, unless such time is extended by appropriate resolution of the board of county commissioners, the charter commission shall present to the board of county commissioners a proposed charter, upon which it shall have held three public hearings at intervals of not less than 10 nor more than 20 days. At the final hearing the charter commission shall incorporate any amendments it deems desirable, vote upon a proposed charter, and forward said charter to the board of county commissioners for the holding of a referendum election as provided in s. 125.64.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-45; s. 2, ch. 73-290.
125.64 Adoption of charter; dissolution of commission.
(1) Upon submission to the board of county commissioners of a charter by the charter commission, the board of county commissioners shall call a special election to be held not more than 90 nor less than 45 days subsequent to its receipt of the proposed charter, at which special election a referendum of the qualified electors within the county shall be held to determine whether the proposed charter shall be adopted. Notice of the election on the proposed charter shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county not less than 30 nor more than 45 days before the election.
(2) If a majority of those voting on the question favor the adoption of the new charter, it shall become effective January 1 of the succeeding year or at such other time as the charter shall provide. Such charter, once adopted by the electors, may be amended only by the electors of the county. The charter shall provide a method for submitting future charter revisions and amendments to the electors of the county.
(3) If a majority of the voters disapprove the proposed charter, no new referendum may be held during the next 2 years following the date of such disapproval.
(4) Upon acceptance or rejection of the proposed charter by the qualified electors, the charter commission will be dissolved, and all property of the charter commission will thereupon become the property of the county.
History.s. 4, ch. 69-45.
125.66 Ordinances; enactment procedure; emergency ordinances; rezoning or change of land use ordinances or resolutions.
(1) In exercising the ordinance-making powers conferred by s. 1, Art. VIII of the State Constitution, counties shall adhere to the procedures prescribed herein.
(2)(a) The regular enactment procedure shall be as follows: The board of county commissioners at any regular or special meeting may enact or amend any ordinance, except as provided in subsection (4), if notice of intent to consider such ordinance is given at least 10 days prior to said meeting by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. A copy of such notice shall be kept available for public inspection during the regular business hours of the office of the clerk of the board of county commissioners. The notice of proposed enactment shall state the date, time, and place of the meeting; the title or titles of proposed ordinances; and the place or places within the county where such proposed ordinances may be inspected by the public. The notice shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.
(b) Certified copies of ordinances or amendments thereto enacted under this regular enactment procedure shall be filed with the Department of State by the clerk of the board of county commissioners within 10 days after enactment by said board and shall take effect upon filing with the Department of State. However, any ordinance may prescribe a later effective date. In lieu of delivery of the certified copies of the enacted ordinances or amendments by first-class mail, the clerk of the board of county commissioners shall transmit the enacted ordinances or amendments to the department by e-mail. The department shall confirm by e-mail the receipt and effective date of the ordinances or amendments with the clerk of the board of county commissioners.
(c) Whenever any ordinance has heretofore been enacted and a separate book of notices of intent was not kept by the clerk of the board of county commissioners, but a copy of the notice of intent was available for public inspection during the regular business hours of the clerk of the board of county commissioners, such ordinance is hereby validated.
(3) The emergency enactment procedure shall be as follows: The board of county commissioners at any regular or special meeting may enact or amend any ordinance with a waiver of the notice requirements of subsection (2) by a four-fifths vote of the membership of such board, declaring that an emergency exists and that the immediate enactment of said ordinance is necessary. However, no emergency ordinance or resolution shall be enacted which establishes or amends the actual zoning map designation of a parcel or parcels of land or changes the actual list of permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses within a zoning category. Emergency enactment procedures for land use plans adopted pursuant to part II of chapter 163 shall be pursuant to that part. Certified copies of ordinances or amendments thereto enacted under this emergency enactment procedure by a county shall be filed with the Department of State by the clerk of the board of county commissioners as soon after enactment by said board as is practicable. An emergency ordinance enacted under this procedure shall be transmitted by the clerk of the board of county commissioners by e-mail to the Department of State. It shall be deemed to be filed and shall take effect when a copy has been accepted and confirmed by the department by e-mail.
(4) Ordinances or resolutions, initiated by other than the county, that change the actual zoning map designation of a parcel or parcels of land shall be enacted pursuant to subsection (2). Ordinances or resolutions that change the actual list of permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses within a zoning category, or ordinances or resolutions initiated by the county that change the actual zoning map designation of a parcel or parcels of land shall be enacted pursuant to the following procedure:
(a) In cases in which the proposed ordinance or resolution changes the actual zoning map designation for a parcel or parcels of land involving less than 10 contiguous acres, the board of county commissioners, in addition to following the general notice requirements of subsection (2), shall direct its clerk to notify by mail each real property owner whose land the governmental agency will redesignate by enactment of the ordinance or resolution and whose address is known by reference to the latest ad valorem tax records. The notice shall state the substance of the proposed ordinance or resolution as it affects that property owner and shall set a time and place for one or more public hearings on such ordinance or resolution. Such notice shall be given at least 30 days prior to the date set for the public hearing, and a copy of such notice shall be kept available for public inspection during the regular business hours of the office of the clerk of the board of county commissioners. The board of county commissioners shall hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance or resolution and may, upon the conclusion of the hearing, immediately adopt the ordinance or resolution.
(b) In cases in which the proposed ordinance or resolution changes the actual list of permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses within a zoning category, or changes the actual zoning map designation of a parcel or parcels of land involving 10 contiguous acres or more, the board of county commissioners shall provide for public notice and hearings as follows:
1. The board of county commissioners shall hold two advertised public hearings on the proposed ordinance or resolution. At least one hearing shall be held after 5 p.m. on a weekday, unless the board of county commissioners, by a majority plus one vote, elects to conduct that hearing at another time of day. The first public hearing shall be held at least 7 days after the day that the first advertisement is published. The second hearing shall be held at least 10 days after the first hearing and shall be advertised at least 5 days prior to the public hearing.
2. The required advertisements shall be no less than 2 columns wide by 10 inches long in a standard size or a tabloid size newspaper, and the headline in the advertisement shall be in a type no smaller than 18 point. The advertisement shall not be placed in that portion of the newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements appear. The advertisement shall be placed in a newspaper of general paid circulation in the county and of general interest and readership in the community pursuant to chapter 50, not one of limited subject matter. It is the legislative intent that, whenever possible, the advertisement shall appear in a newspaper that is published at least 5 days a week unless the only newspaper in the community is published less than 5 days a week. The advertisement shall be in substantially the following form:

NOTICE OF (TYPE OF) CHANGE

The   (name of local governmental unit)   proposes to adopt the following by ordinance or resolution:  (title of ordinance or resolution)  .

A public hearing on the ordinance or resolution will be held on   (date and time)   at   (meeting place)  .

Except for amendments which change the actual list of permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses within a zoning category, the advertisement shall contain a geographic location map which clearly indicates the area within the local government covered by the proposed ordinance or resolution. The map shall include major street names as a means of identification of the general area. In addition to being published in the newspaper, the map must be part of the online notice required pursuant to s. 50.0211.

3. In lieu of publishing the advertisements set out in this paragraph, the board of county commissioners may mail a notice to each person owning real property within the area covered by the ordinance or resolution. Such notice shall clearly explain the proposed ordinance or resolution and shall notify the person of the time, place, and location of both public hearings on the proposed ordinance or resolution.
(5) Five years after the adoption of any ordinance or resolution adopted after the effective date of this act, no cause of action shall be commenced as to the validity of an ordinance or resolution based on the failure to strictly adhere to the provisions contained in this section. After 5 years, substantial compliance with the provisions contained in this section shall be a defense to an action to invalidate an ordinance or resolution for failure to comply with the provisions contained in this section. Without limitation, the common law doctrines of laches and waiver are valid defenses to any action challenging the validity of an ordinance or resolution based on failure to strictly adhere to the provisions contained in this section. Standing to initiate a challenge to the adoption of an ordinance or resolution based on a failure to strictly adhere to the provisions contained in this section shall be limited to a person who was entitled to actual or constructive notice at the time the ordinance or resolution was adopted. Nothing herein shall be construed to affect the standing requirements under part II of chapter 163.
(6) The notice procedures required by this section are established as minimum notice procedures.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-32; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-422; s. 1, ch. 76-155; s. 1, ch. 77-331; s. 1, ch. 89-267; s. 1, ch. 90-152; s. 1, ch. 95-198; s. 2, ch. 95-310; s. 4, ch. 2012-212; s. 3, ch. 2013-192.
125.67 Limitation on subject and matter embraced in ordinances; amendments; enacting clause.Every ordinance shall embrace but one subject and matter properly connected therewith, and the subject shall be briefly expressed in the title. No ordinance shall be revised or amended by reference to its title only. Ordinances to revise or amend shall set out in full the revised or amended section, subsection, or paragraph of a subsection. The enacting clause of every ordinance shall read: “Be It Ordained by the Board of County Commissioners of   County:”
History.s. 2, ch. 69-32.
125.68 Codification of ordinances; exceptions; public record.
(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), counties shall maintain a current codification of all ordinances. Such codification shall be published annually by the board of county commissioners.
(b) Any comprehensive plan, or amendment to such plan, adopted by ordinance pursuant to s. 163.3184, is exempt from codification and annual publication requirements if the board of county commissioners determines that the text of the comprehensive plan, or an amendment to such plan, or any associated maps, diagrams, or charts cannot be published in a reasonable manner according to the county’s established method of publication. Factors which may be considered in determining reasonableness of publication include the cost of publication, changes that are required in the method of publication, the number of documents in the comprehensive plan or amendment, and how frequently a plan is amended. This paragraph does not prohibit the adoption or incorporation by reference of a comprehensive plan, or amendment to such plan, in order to enact the plan or amendment by ordinance.
(c) The following ordinances are exempt from codification and annual publication requirements:
1. Any development agreement, or amendment to such agreement, adopted by ordinance pursuant to ss. 163.3220-163.3243.
2. Any development order, or amendment to such order, adopted by ordinance pursuant to s. 380.06(15).
(d) Any ordinance that is exempt from codification and annual publication requirements must be recorded in a book kept for that purpose and maintained by the clerk of the board of county commissioners. The existence and location of such records shall be noted in any ordinance that adopts a comprehensive plan, development order, development agreement, or an amendment to any such plan, order, or agreement. The existence and location of such records shall also be noted in any ordinance that establishes procedures or requirements for development orders or development agreements.
(2) All ordinances shall be public records, and copies of such ordinances shall be available to the public. A reasonable charge may be made for the provision of copies, but such charges shall not exceed the actual costs incidental to providing such copies.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-32; s. 2, ch. 90-152.
125.69 Penalties; enforcement by code inspectors.
(1) Violations of county ordinances shall be prosecuted in the same manner as misdemeanors are prosecuted. Such violations shall be prosecuted in the name of the state in a court having jurisdiction of misdemeanors by the prosecuting attorney thereof and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 60 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. However, a county may specify, by ordinance, a violation of a county ordinance which is punishable by a fine in an amount exceeding $500, but not exceeding $2,000 a day, if the county must have authority to punish a violation of that ordinance by a fine in an amount greater than $500 in order for the county to carry out a federally mandated program. A county may also specify, by ordinance, that a violation of any provision of a county ordinance imposing standards of conduct and disclosure requirements as provided in s. 112.326 is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or a term of imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 1 year.
(2) Each county is authorized and required to pay any attorney appointed by the court to represent a defendant charged with a criminal violation of a special law or county ordinance not ancillary to a state charge if the defendant is indigent and otherwise entitled to court-appointed counsel under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Florida. In these cases, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the defendant in accordance with s. 27.40, and shall order the county to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and related expenses of the defense. The county may contract with the public defender or the office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel for the judicial circuit in which the county is located to serve as court-appointed counsel pursuant to s. 27.54.
(3) If the county is the prevailing party, the county may recover the court fees and costs paid by it and the fees and expenses paid to court-appointed counsel as part of its judgment. The state shall bear no expense of actions brought under this section except those that it would bear in an ordinary civil action between private parties in county court.
(4) The board of county commissioners of each county may designate its agents or employees as code inspectors whose duty it is to assure code compliance. Any person designated as a code inspector may issue citations for violations of county codes and ordinances, respectively, or subsequent amendments thereto, when such code inspector has actual knowledge that a violation has been committed.
(a) Prior to issuing a citation, a code inspector shall provide notice to the violator that the violator has committed a violation of a code or ordinance and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the violator must correct the violation. Such time period shall be no more than 30 days. If, upon personal investigation, a code inspector finds that the violator has not corrected the violation within the time period, a code inspector may issue a citation to the violator. A code inspector does not have to provide the violator with a reasonable time period to correct the violation prior to issuing a citation and may immediately issue a citation if the code inspector has reason to believe that the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible.
(b) A citation issued by a code inspector shall state the date and time of issuance, name and address of the person in violation, date of the violation, section of the codes or ordinances, or subsequent amendments thereto, violated, name of the code inspector, and date and time when the violator shall appear in county court.
(c) If a repeat violation is found subsequent to the issuance of a citation, the code inspector is not required to give the violator a reasonable time to correct the violation and may immediately issue a citation. For purposes of this subsection, the term “repeat violation” means a violation of a provision of a code or ordinance by a person who has previously been found to have violated the same provision within 5 years prior to the violation, notwithstanding the violations occurred at different locations.
(d) If the owner of property which is subject to an enforcement proceeding before county court transfers ownership of such property between the time the initial citation or citations are issued and the date the violator has been summoned to appear in county court, such owner shall:
1. Disclose, in writing, the existence and the nature of the proceeding to the prospective transferee.
2. Deliver to the prospective transferee a copy of the pleadings, notices, and other materials relating to the county court proceeding received by the transferor.
3. Disclose, in writing, to the prospective transferee that the new owner will be responsible for compliance with the applicable code and with orders issued in the county court proceeding.
4. File a notice with the code enforcement official of the transfer of the property, with the identity and address of the new owner and copies of the disclosures made to the new owner, within 5 days after the date of the transfer.

A failure to make the disclosure described in subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. before the transfer creates a rebuttable presumption of fraud. If the property is transferred before the date the violator has been summoned to appear in county court, the proceeding shall not be dismissed but the new owner will be substituted as the party of record and thereafter provided a reasonable period of time to correct the violation before the continuation of proceedings in county court.

(e) If the code inspector has reason to believe a violation or the condition causing the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature, or if after attempts under this section to bring a repeat violation into compliance with a provision of a code or ordinance prove unsuccessful, the local governing body may make all reasonable repairs which are required to bring the property into compliance and charge the owner with the reasonable cost of the repairs along with the fine imposed pursuant to this section. Making such repairs does not create a continuing obligation on the part of the local governing body to make further repairs or to maintain the property and does not create any liability against the local governing body for any damages to the property if such repairs were completed in good faith.
(f) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize any person designated as a code inspector to perform any function or duties of a law enforcement officer other than as specified in this subsection. A code inspector shall not make physical arrests or take any person into custody and shall be exempt from requirements relating to the Special Risk Class of the Florida Retirement System, bonding, and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, as defined and provided by general law.
(g) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the enforcement pursuant to ss. 553.79 and 553.80 of the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to s. 553.73 as applied to construction, provided that a building permit is either not required or has been issued by the county.
(h) The provisions of this subsection may be used by a county in lieu of the provisions of part II of chapter 162.
(i) The provisions of this subsection are additional or supplemental means of enforcing county codes and ordinances. Except as provided in paragraph (h), nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a county from enforcing its codes or ordinances by any other means.
History.s. 3, ch. 69-234; ss. 1, 2, ch. 70-452; s. 1, ch. 79-379; s. 12, ch. 89-268; s. 1, ch. 90-37; s. 1, ch. 98-287; s. 1, ch. 99-360; s. 113, ch. 2000-141; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 80, ch. 2003-402; s. 52, ch. 2004-265; s. 26, ch. 2007-62; s. 1, ch. 2010-112.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
125.70 Short title.
125.71 Purpose.
125.72 Application of the part.
125.73 County administrator; appointment, qualifications, compensation.
125.74 County administrator; powers and duties.
125.70 Short title.This part shall be known and may be cited as the “County Administration Law of 1974.”
History.s. 1, ch. 74-193.
125.71 Purpose.It is the legislative intent that it is necessary to authorize a form of county administration that best assures an adequate and efficient provision of services to the citizens in this state, that provides for coordinated administration of county departments to better protect the health, welfare, safety, and quality of life of the residents in each of the more urbanized counties, and that places in the hands of a county administrator the multitude of details which must necessarily arise from the operation of a county as a unit of local government and, thus, enables the board of county commissioners to perform freely, without unnecessary interruption, its fundamental intended purpose of making policies within the framework of law applicable to county government in this state. It is the further legislative intent to provide a formula and structure for the economic and efficient conduct of county affairs by making the county administrator established by this act responsible for handling of all things necessary to accomplish and bring to fruition the policies established by the board of county commissioners.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-193.
125.72 Application of the part.The provisions of this part may apply to any county in this state which has not adopted a charter form of county government upon passage of a county ordinance by the governing body of such county expressly adopting this part.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-193.
125.73 County administrator; appointment, qualifications, compensation.
(1) Each county to which this part applies shall appoint a county administrator, who shall be the administrative head of the county and shall be responsible for the administration of all departments of the county government which the board of county commissioners has authority to control pursuant to this act, the general laws of Florida, or other applicable legislation.
(2) The county administrator shall be qualified by administrative and executive experience and ability to serve as the chief administrator of the county. He or she shall be appointed by an affirmative vote of not less than three members of the board of county commissioners and may be removed at any time by an affirmative vote, upon notice, of not less than three members of the board, after a hearing if such be requested by the county administrator. The administrator need not be a resident of the county at the time of appointment, but during his or her tenure in office shall reside within the county.
(3) The compensation of the administrator shall be fixed by the board of county commissioners unless otherwise provided by law.
(4) The office of county administrator shall be deemed vacant if the incumbent moves his or her residence from the county or is, by death, illness, or other casualty, unable to continue in office. A vacancy in the office shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The board of county commissioners may appoint an acting administrator in the case of vacancy or temporary absence or disability until a successor has been appointed and qualified or the administrator returns.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-193; s. 821, ch. 95-147.
125.74 County administrator; powers and duties.
(1) The administrator may be responsible for the administration of all departments responsible to the board of county commissioners and for the proper administration of all affairs under the jurisdiction of the board. To that end, the administrator may, by way of enumeration and not by way of limitation, have the following specific powers and duties to:
(a) Administer and carry out the directives and policies of the board of county commissioners and enforce all orders, resolutions, ordinances, and regulations of the board to assure that they are faithfully executed.
(b) Report to the board on action taken pursuant to any directive or policy within the time set by the board and provide an annual report to the board on the state of the county, the work of the previous year, and any recommendations as to actions or programs the administrator deems necessary for the improvement of the county and the welfare of its residents.
(c) Provide the board, or individual members thereof, upon request, with data or information concerning county government and to provide advice and recommendations on county government operations to the board.
(d) Prepare and submit to the board of county commissioners for its consideration and adoption an annual operating budget, a capital budget, and a capital program.
(e) Establish the schedules and procedures to be followed by all county departments, offices, and agencies in connection with the budget and supervise and administer all phases of the budgetary process.
(f) Prepare and submit to the board after the end of each fiscal year a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the county for the preceding year and submit his or her recommendations.
(g) Supervise the care and custody of all county property.
(h) Recommend to the board a current position classification and pay plan for all positions in county service.
(i) Develop, install, and maintain centralized budgeting, personnel, legal, and purchasing procedures.
(j) Organize the work of county departments, subject to an administrative code developed by the administrator and adopted by the board, and review the departments, administration, and operation of the county and make recommendations pertaining thereto for reorganization by the board.
(k) Select, employ, and supervise all personnel and fill all vacancies, positions, or employment under the jurisdiction of the board. However, the employment of all department heads shall require confirmation by the board of county commissioners.
(l) Suspend, discharge, or remove any employee under the jurisdiction of the board pursuant to procedures adopted by the board.
(m) Negotiate leases, contracts, and other agreements, including consultant services, for the county, subject to approval of the board, and make recommendations concerning the nature and location of county improvements.
(n) See that all terms and conditions in all leases, contracts, and agreements are performed and notify the board of any noted violation thereof.
(o) Order, upon advising the board, any agency under the administrator’s jurisdiction as specified in the administrative code to undertake any task for any other agency on a temporary basis if he or she deems it necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the county government to do so.
(p) Attend all meetings of the board with authority to participate in the discussion of any matter.
(q) Perform such other duties as may be required by the board of county commissioners.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to grant to the county administrator only those powers and duties which are administrative or ministerial in nature and not to delegate any governmental power imbued in the board of county commissioners as the governing body of the county pursuant to s. 1(e), Art. VIII of the State Constitution. To that end, the above specifically enumerated powers are to be construed as administrative in nature, and in any exercise of governmental power the administrator shall only be performing the duty of advising the board of county commissioners in its role as the policy-setting governing body of the county.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-193; s. 822, ch. 95-147.
OPTIONAL COUNTY CHARTERS
125.80 Short title.
125.81 Definitions.
125.82 Charter adoption by ordinance.
125.83 County charters; general provisions.
125.84 County charters; optional forms.
125.85 County charters; executive responsibilities.
125.86 County charters; legislative responsibilities.
125.87 Administrative code; adoption and amendment.
125.88 Civil service.
125.80 Short title.This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Optional County Charter Law.”
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
125.81 Definitions.As used in this part, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section except when the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “County charter” means the charter by which county government in this state may exercise all powers of local self-government not inconsistent with general law and as adopted by a vote of the electors of the county.
(2) “Form of county government” is that form adopted by the electors providing for the operation of a county government operating under a charter which shall be provided in the charter.
(3) “Officer” means all officials of county government operating under a charter which shall be provided in the charter.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
125.82 Charter adoption by ordinance.
(1) As a supplemental and alternative way to the provisions of ss. 125.60-125.64, inclusive, the board of county commissioners may propose by ordinance a charter consistent with the provisions of this part and provide for a special election pursuant to the procedures established in s. 101.161(1) with notice published as provided in s. 100.342. The time period provided in s. 125.64 does not apply to the proposal of a charter by ordinance under this section.
(2) Any charter proposed under this section which was adopted by vote of the electors at an election conducted and noticed in conformance with the requirements of ss. 100.342 and 101.161(1) is hereby ratified.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193; ss. 1, 2, ch. 88-38.
125.83 County charters; general provisions.
(1) A county charter may prescribe one of the optional forms of government herein authorized, and shall clearly define the responsibility for legislative and executive functions in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The county charter shall require all elective offices to be filled only by qualified voters of the county. All appointed offices may be filled by nonresidents of the county; however, the charter may require that, upon appointment, such officers shall reside in the county during their tenure in office.
(3) The county charter shall define “vacancy in office” and provide methods for filling such vacancy.
(4) The county charter shall provide that the salaries of all county officers shall be provided by ordinance and shall not be lowered during an officer’s term in office.
(5) The county charter shall provide a schedule for the transfer of governmental functions into the charter form of government as adopted.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
125.84 County charters; optional forms.Any county desiring to adopt a county charter shall provide for one of the following optional forms of government:
(1) COUNTY EXECUTIVE FORM.The county executive form shall provide for governance by an elected board of commissioners and an elected county executive and such other officers as may be duly elected or appointed pursuant to the charter. The elected county executive shall exercise the executive responsibilities assigned by the charter and shall, in addition, approve each ordinance by signing it or allowing it to become approved without signature by failing to veto it or may veto any ordinance by returning it to the clerk of the board within 10 days of passage with a written statement of his or her objections. If two-thirds of the members of the board present and voting and constituting a quorum shall, upon reconsideration, vote for the ordinance, the executive’s veto shall be overridden and the ordinance shall become law in 10 days or at such other time as may be provided in the ordinance or by resolution of the board, without the executive’s signature.
(2) COUNTY MANAGER FORM.The county manager form shall provide for governance by an elected board of commissioners and an appointed county manager and such other officers as may be duly elected or appointed pursuant to the charter. The county manager shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the board and shall exercise the executive responsibilities assigned by the charter.
(3) COUNTY CHAIR-ADMINISTRATOR PLAN.The county chair-administrator plan shall provide for governance by an elected board of commissioners, presided over by an elected chair who shall vote only in case of tie, and an appointed county administrator and such other officers as may be duly elected or appointed pursuant to the charter. The county administrator shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the chair. The chair shall exercise, in conjunction with the administrator, the executive responsibilities assigned by the charter.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193; s. 823, ch. 95-147.
125.85 County charters; executive responsibilities.The executive responsibilities and power of the county shall be assigned to, and vested in, the appropriate executive officer, pursuant to the optional form adopted under s. 125.83, and shall consist of the following powers and duties:
(1) Report annually, or more often if necessary, to the board of commissioners and to the citizens on the state of the county, the work of the previous year, recommendations for action or programs for improvement of the county, and the welfare of its residents;
(2) Prepare and submit to the board for its consideration and adoption an annual operating budget, a capital budget, and a capital program; establish the schedules and procedures to be followed by all county departments, offices, and agencies in connection therewith; and supervise and administer all phases of the budgetary process;
(3) Administer and carry out the directives and policies of the board of county commissioners and enforce all orders, resolutions, ordinances, and regulations of the board, the county charter, and all applicable general law, to assure that they are faithfully executed;
(4) Supervise the care and custody of all county property, institutions, and agencies;
(5) Supervise the collection of revenues, audit and control all disbursements and expenditures, and prepare a complete account of all expenditures;
(6) Review, analyze, and forecast trends of county services and finances and programs of all boards, commissions, agencies, and other county bodies and report and recommend thereon to the board;
(7) Develop, install, and maintain centralized budgeting, personnel, legal, and purchasing procedures as may be authorized by the administrative code;
(8) Negotiate contracts, bonds, or other instruments for the county, subject to board approval; make recommendations concerning the nature and location of county improvements; and execute services determined by the board;
(9) Assure that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the county or its inhabitants in any statute, franchise, or other contract are faithfully kept and performed;
(10) Supervise, direct, and control all county administrative departments;
(11) Appoint, with the advice and consent of the board, all appointed departmental heads, who shall serve at his or her pleasure, and employ, pursuant to appropriation and the administrative code, such personnel as necessary to administer county functions and services;
(12) Order, at his or her discretion, any agency under his or her jurisdiction as specified in the administrative code to undertake any task for any other agency on a temporary basis if he or she deems it necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the county government to do so; and
(13) Any other power or duty which may be assigned by county charter or by ordinance or resolution of the board.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 824, ch. 95-147.
125.86 County charters; legislative responsibilities.The legislative responsibilities and power of the county shall be assigned to, and vested in, the board of county commissioners and shall consist of the following powers and duties:
(1) Advise and consent to all appointments by the executive for which board confirmation is specified;
(2) Adopt or enact, in accordance with the procedures provided by general law, ordinances and resolutions it deems necessary and proper for the good governance of the county;
(3) Appoint a clerk to the board who shall serve at its pleasure and keep the records and minutes of the board;
(4) Approve the annual operating and capital budgets and any long-term capital or financial program;
(5) Conduct continuing studies in the operation of county programs and services and take action on programs for improvement of the county and the welfare of its residents;
(6) Adopt, and amend as necessary, a county administrative code to govern the operation of the county;
(7) Adopt, pursuant to the provisions of the charter, such ordinances of countywide force and effect as are necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents. It is the specific legislative intent to recognize that a county charter may properly determine that certain governmental areas are more conducive to uniform countywide enforcement and may provide the county government powers in relation to those areas as recognized and as may be amended from time to time by the people of that county; and
(8) All other powers of local self-government not inconsistent with general law as recognized by the Constitution and laws of the state and which have not been limited by the county charter.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
125.87 Administrative code; adoption and amendment.
(1) Following the organization of the first board of county commissioners elected pursuant to a charter, the board of commissioners shall adopt an administrative code organizing the administration of the county government and setting forth the duties and responsibilities and powers of all county officials and agencies pursuant to the provisions of the charter.
(2) The administrative code shall be effective upon adoption or as otherwise provided therein, and all existing agencies shall assume the form, perform the duties, and exercise the power granted them under the administrative code and shall do so in the manner prescribed.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
125.88 Civil service.
(1) Upon adoption of an administrative code and also upon the adoption of a charter, all officers and employees in the classified service of the county shall be transferred to the department, division, or agency to which the functions, powers, and duties in which they were engaged are allocated under the administrative code. Such transfer shall be without examination or diminution of existing compensation, pension or retirement rights, privileges, or obligations of any such officer or employee existing immediately prior to the referendum at which the charter was adopted. It is the intent of the Legislature that the adoption of any plan required by the charter shall not adversely affect the civil service tenure, pension, seniority, or promotional rights of any county officer or employee in the classified service.
(2) The board of county commissioners of any county adopting a charter may, by ordinance, administer the merit system through a county department of civil service unless otherwise provided by the charter. Such administration shall include classification, recruitment, examination, establishment of eligibility lists, grievances, compensation, and other conditions of employment pursuant to law.
History.s. 2, ch. 74-193.
CHILDREN’S SERVICES
125.901 Children’s services; independent special district; council; powers, duties, and functions; public records exemption.
125.902 Children’s services council or juvenile welfare board incentive grants.
125.901 Children’s services; independent special district; council; powers, duties, and functions; public records exemption.
(1) Each county may by ordinance create an independent special district, as defined in ss. 189.012 and 200.001(8)(e), to provide funding for children’s services throughout the county in accordance with this section. The boundaries of such district shall be coterminous with the boundaries of the county. The county governing body shall obtain approval, by a majority vote of those electors voting on the question, to annually levy ad valorem taxes which shall not exceed the maximum millage rate authorized by this section. Any district created pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be required to levy and fix millage subject to the provisions of s. 200.065. Once such millage is approved by the electorate, the district shall not be required to seek approval of the electorate in future years to levy the previously approved millage.
(a) The governing body of the district shall be a council on children’s services, which may also be known as a juvenile welfare board or similar name as established in the ordinance by the county governing body. Such council shall consist of 10 members, including: the superintendent of schools; a local school board member; the district administrator from the appropriate district of the Department of Children and Families, or his or her designee who is a member of the Senior Management Service or of the Selected Exempt Service; one member of the county governing body; and the judge assigned to juvenile cases who shall sit as a voting member of the board, except that said judge shall not vote or participate in the setting of ad valorem taxes under this section. If there is more than one judge assigned to juvenile cases in a county, the chief judge shall designate one of said juvenile judges to serve on the board. The remaining five members shall be appointed by the Governor, and shall, to the extent possible, represent the demographic diversity of the population of the county. After soliciting recommendations from the public, the county governing body shall submit to the Governor the names of at least three persons for each vacancy occurring among the five members appointed by the Governor, and the Governor shall appoint members to the council from the candidates nominated by the county governing body. The Governor shall make a selection within a 45-day period or request a new list of candidates. All members appointed by the Governor shall have been residents of the county for the previous 24-month period. Such members shall be appointed for 4-year terms, except that the length of the terms of the initial appointees shall be adjusted to stagger the terms. The Governor may remove a member for cause or upon the written petition of the county governing body. If any of the members of the council required to be appointed by the Governor under the provisions of this subsection shall resign, die, or be removed from office, the vacancy thereby created shall, as soon as practicable, be filled by appointment by the Governor, using the same method as the original appointment, and such appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term of the person who resigns, dies, or is removed from office.
(b) However, any county as defined in s. 125.011(1) may instead have a governing body consisting of 33 members, including: the superintendent of schools; two representatives of public postsecondary education institutions located in the county; the county manager or the equivalent county officer; the district administrator from the appropriate district of the Department of Children and Families, or the administrator’s designee who is a member of the Senior Management Service or the Selected Exempt Service; the director of the county health department or the director’s designee; the state attorney for the county or the state attorney’s designee; the chief judge assigned to juvenile cases, or another juvenile judge who is the chief judge’s designee and who shall sit as a voting member of the board, except that the judge may not vote or participate in setting ad valorem taxes under this section; an individual who is selected by the board of the local United Way or its equivalent; a member of a locally recognized faith-based coalition, selected by that coalition; a member of the local chamber of commerce, selected by that chamber or, if more than one chamber exists within the county, a person selected by a coalition of the local chambers; a member of the early learning coalition, selected by that coalition; a representative of a labor organization or union active in the county; a member of a local alliance or coalition engaged in cross-system planning for health and social service delivery in the county, selected by that alliance or coalition; a member of the local Parent-Teachers Association/Parent-Teacher-Student Association, selected by that association; a youth representative selected by the local school system’s student government; a local school board member appointed by the chair of the school board; the mayor of the county or the mayor’s designee; one member of the county governing body, appointed by the chair of that body; a member of the state Legislature who represents residents of the county, selected by the chair of the local legislative delegation; an elected official representing the residents of a municipality in the county, selected by the county municipal league; and 4 members-at-large, appointed to the council by the majority of sitting council members. The remaining 7 members shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with procedures set forth in paragraph (a), except that the Governor may remove a member for cause or upon the written petition of the council. Appointments by the Governor must, to the extent reasonably possible, represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the population of the county. Members who are appointed to the council by reason of their position are not subject to the length of terms and limits on consecutive terms as provided in this section. The remaining appointed members of the governing body shall be appointed to serve 2-year terms, except that those members appointed by the Governor shall be appointed to serve 4-year terms, and the youth representative and the legislative delegate shall be appointed to serve 1-year terms. A member may be reappointed; however, a member may not serve for more than three consecutive terms. A member is eligible to be appointed again after a 2-year hiatus from the council.
(c) This subsection does not prohibit a county from exercising such power as is provided by general or special law to provide children’s services or to create a special district to provide such services.
(2)(a) Each council on children’s services shall have all of the following powers and functions:
1. To provide and maintain in the county such preventive, developmental, treatment, and rehabilitative services for children as the council determines are needed for the general welfare of the county.
2. To provide such other services for all children as the council determines are needed for the general welfare of the county.
3. To allocate and provide funds for other agencies in the county which are operated for the benefit of children, provided they are not under the exclusive jurisdiction of the public school system.
4. To collect information and statistical data and to conduct research which will be helpful to the council and the county in deciding the needs of children in the county.
5. To consult and coordinate with other agencies dedicated to the welfare of children to the end that the overlapping of services will be prevented.
6. To lease or buy such real estate, equipment, and personal property and to construct such buildings as are needed to execute the foregoing powers and functions, provided that no such purchases shall be made or building done unless paid for with cash on hand or secured by funds deposited in financial institutions. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to authorize a district to issue bonds of any nature, nor shall a district have the power to require the imposition of any bond by the governing body of the county.
7. To employ, pay, and provide benefits for any part-time or full-time personnel needed to execute the foregoing powers and functions.
(b) Each council on children’s services shall:
1. Immediately after the members are appointed, elect a chair and a vice chair from among its members, and elect other officers as deemed necessary by the council.
2. Immediately after the members are appointed and officers are elected, identify and assess the needs of the children in the county served by the council and submit to the governing body of each county a written description of:
a. The activities, services, and opportunities that will be provided to children.
b. The anticipated schedule for providing those activities, services, and opportunities.
c. The manner in which children will be served, including a description of arrangements and agreements which will be made with community organizations, state and local educational agencies, federal agencies, public assistance agencies, the juvenile courts, foster care agencies, and other applicable public and private agencies and organizations.
d. The special outreach efforts that will be undertaken to provide services to at-risk, abused, or neglected children.
e. The manner in which the council will seek and provide funding for unmet needs.
f. The strategy which will be used for interagency coordination to maximize existing human and fiscal resources.
3. Provide training and orientation to all new members sufficient to allow them to perform their duties.
4. Make and adopt bylaws and rules and regulations for the council’s guidance, operation, governance, and maintenance, provided such rules and regulations are not inconsistent with federal or state laws or county ordinances.
5. Provide an annual written report, to be presented no later than January 1, to the governing body of the county. The annual report shall contain, but not be limited to, the following information:
a. Information on the effectiveness of activities, services, and programs offered by the council, including cost-effectiveness.
b. A detailed anticipated budget for continuation of activities, services, and programs offered by the council, and a list of all sources of requested funding, both public and private.
c. Procedures used for early identification of at-risk children who need additional or continued services and methods for ensuring that the additional or continued services are received.
d. A description of the degree to which the council’s objectives and activities are consistent with the goals of this section.
e. Detailed information on the various programs, services, and activities available to participants and the degree to which the programs, services, and activities have been successfully used by children.
f. Information on programs, services, and activities that should be eliminated; programs, services, and activities that should be continued; and programs, services, and activities that should be added to the basic format of the children’s services council.
(c) The council shall maintain minutes of each meeting, including a record of all votes cast, and shall make such minutes available to any interested person.
(d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses consistent with the provisions of s. 112.061.
(3)(a) The fiscal year of the district shall be the same as that of the county.
(b) On or before July 1 of each year, the council on children’s services shall prepare a tentative annual written budget of the district’s expected income and expenditures, including a contingency fund. The council shall, in addition, compute a proposed millage rate within the voter-approved cap necessary to fund the tentative budget and, prior to adopting a final budget, comply with the provisions of s. 200.065, relating to the method of fixing millage, and shall fix the final millage rate by resolution of the council. The adopted budget and final millage rate shall be certified and delivered to the governing body of the county as soon as possible following the council’s adoption of the final budget and millage rate pursuant to chapter 200. Included in each certified budget shall be the millage rate, adopted by resolution of the council, necessary to be applied to raise the funds budgeted for district operations and expenditures. In no circumstances, however, shall any district levy millage to exceed a maximum of 0.5 mills of assessed valuation of all properties within the county which are subject to ad valorem county taxes.
(c) The budget of the district so certified and delivered to the governing body of the county shall not be subject to change or modification by the governing body of the county or any other authority.
(d) All tax money collected under this section, as soon after the collection thereof as is reasonably practicable, shall be paid directly to the council on children’s services by the tax collector of the county, or the clerk of the circuit court if the clerk collects delinquent taxes.
(e)1. All moneys received by the council on children’s services shall be deposited in qualified public depositories, as defined in s. 280.02, with separate and distinguishable accounts established specifically for the council and shall be withdrawn only by checks signed by the chair of the council and countersigned by either one other member of the council on children’s services or by a chief executive officer who shall be so authorized by the council.
2. Upon entering the duties of office, the chair and the other member of the council or chief executive officer who signs its checks shall each give a surety bond in the sum of at least $1,000 for each $1 million or portion thereof of the council’s annual budget, which bond shall be conditioned that each shall faithfully discharge the duties of his or her office. The premium on such bond may be paid by the district as part of the expense of the council. No other member of the council shall be required to give bond or other security.
3. No funds of the district shall be expended except by check as aforesaid, except expenditures from a petty cash account which shall not at any time exceed $100. All expenditures from petty cash shall be recorded on the books and records of the council on children’s services. No funds of the council on children’s services, excepting expenditures from petty cash, shall be expended without prior approval of the council, in addition to the budgeting thereof.
(f) Within 10 days, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays, after the expiration of each quarter annual period, the council on children’s services shall cause to be prepared and filed with the governing body of the county a financial report which shall include the following:
1. The total expenditures of the council for the quarter annual period.
2. The total receipts of the council during the quarter annual period.
3. A statement of the funds the council has on hand, has invested, or has deposited with qualified public depositories at the end of the quarter annual period.
4. The total administrative costs of the council for the quarter annual period.
(4)(a) Any district created pursuant to this section may be dissolved by a special act of the Legislature, or the county governing body may by ordinance dissolve the district subject to the approval of the electorate.
(b)1.a. Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the governing body of the county shall submit the question of retention or dissolution of a district with voter-approved taxing authority to the electorate in the general election according to the following schedule:
(I) For a district in existence on July 1, 2010, and serving a county with a population of 400,000 or fewer persons as of that date..........2014.
(II) For a district in existence on July 1, 2010, and serving a county with a population of 2 million or more persons as of that date..........2020.
b. A referendum by the electorate on or after July 1, 2010, creating a new district with taxing authority may specify that the district is not subject to reauthorization or may specify the number of years for which the initial authorization shall remain effective. If the referendum does not prescribe terms of reauthorization, the governing body of the county shall submit the question of retention or dissolution of the district to the electorate in the general election 12 years after the initial authorization.
2. The governing body of the district may specify, and submit to the governing body of the county no later than 9 months before the scheduled election, that the district is not subsequently subject to reauthorization or may specify the number of years for which a reauthorization under this paragraph shall remain effective. If the governing body of the district makes such specification and submission, the governing body of the county shall include that information in the question submitted to the electorate. If the governing body of the district does not specify and submit such information, the governing body of the county shall resubmit the question of reauthorization to the electorate every 12 years after the year prescribed in subparagraph 1. The governing body of the district may recommend to the governing body of the county language for the question submitted to the electorate.
3. Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority to dissolve a district as provided under paragraph (a).
4. Nothing in this paragraph precludes the governing body of a district from requesting that the governing body of the county submit the question of retention or dissolution of a district with voter-approved taxing authority to the electorate at a date earlier than the year prescribed in subparagraph 1. If the governing body of the county accepts the request and submits the question to the electorate, the governing body satisfies the requirement of that subparagraph.

If any district is dissolved pursuant to this subsection, each county must first obligate itself to assume the debts, liabilities, contracts, and outstanding obligations of the district within the total millage available to the county governing body for all county and municipal purposes as provided for under s. 9, Art. VII of the State Constitution. Any district may also be dissolved pursuant to part VII of chapter 189.

(5) After or during the first year of operation of the council on children’s services, the governing body of the county, at its option, may fund in whole or in part the budget of the council on children’s services from its own funds.
(6) Any district created pursuant to the provisions of this section shall comply with all other statutory requirements of general application which relate to the filing of any financial reports or compliance reports required under part III of chapter 218, or any other report or documentation required by law, including the requirements of ss. 189.015, 189.016, and 189.08.
(7)(a) Each county may by ordinance create a dependent special district within the boundaries of the county for the purpose of providing preventive, developmental, treatment, and rehabilitative services for children. The district is authorized to seek grants from state, federal, and local agencies and to accept donations from public and private sources, provided that the district complies with the provisions of paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(b), and provided that the district has a budget that requires approval through an affirmative vote of the governing body of the county or may be vetoed by the governing body of the county.
(b) If the provisions of a county charter relating to the membership of the governing board of a dependent special district conflict with paragraph (1)(a), a county may by ordinance create a dependent special district within the boundaries of the county for the purpose of providing preventive, developmental, treatment, and rehabilitative services for children and the district shall be authorized to seek grants from state, federal, and local agencies and to accept donations from public and private sources, provided that the district complies with the provisions of paragraph (2)(b), and provided that the district has a budget that requires approval through an affirmative vote of the governing body of the county or may be vetoed by the governing body of the county.
(8) It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be used to support improvements in children’s services and that such funds shall not be used as a substitute for existing resources or for resources that would otherwise be available for children’s services.
(9) Two or more councils on children’s services may enter into a cooperative agreement to share administrative costs, including, but not limited to, staff and office space, if a more efficient or effective operation will result. The cooperative agreement shall include provisions on apportioning costs between the councils, keeping separate and distinct financial records for each council, and resolving any conflicts that might arise under the cooperative agreement.
(10) Two or more councils on children’s services may enter into a cooperative agreement to seek grants, to accept donations, or to jointly fund programs serving multicounty areas. The cooperative agreement shall include provisions for the adequate accounting of separate and joint funds.
(11) Personal identifying information of a child or the parent or guardian of the child, held by a council on children’s services, juvenile welfare board, or other similar entity created under this section or by special law, or held by a service provider or researcher under contract with such entity, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to such information held before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 86-197; s. 26, ch. 89-379; s. 30, ch. 90-288; s. 825, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 97-255; s. 12, ch. 99-8; s. 141, ch. 2001-266; s. 1, ch. 2002-238; s. 1, ch. 2004-86; s. 5, ch. 2004-484; s. 24, ch. 2008-4; s. 1, ch. 2009-151; s. 33, ch. 2010-210; s. 35, ch. 2014-19; s. 5, ch. 2014-22; s. 3, ch. 2015-79.
125.902 Children’s services council or juvenile welfare board incentive grants.
(1) Subject to specific appropriations, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide incentives to encourage children’s services councils or juvenile welfare boards to provide support to local child welfare programs related to implementation of community-based care.
(a) A children’s services council or juvenile welfare board, as authorized in s. 125.901, may submit a request for funding or continued funding to the Department of Children and Families to support programs funded by the council or board for local child welfare services related to implementation of community-based care.
(b) The Department of Children and Families shall establish grant application procedures.
(2) The Department of Children and Families shall make award determinations no later than October 1 of each year. All applicants shall be notified by the department of its final action.
(3) Each council or board that is awarded a grant as provided for in this section shall submit performance and output information as determined by the Department of Children and Families.
History.s. 75, ch. 2000-139; s. 40, ch. 2012-116; s. 36, ch. 2014-19.
VOLUNTEERS
125.9501 Definitions.
125.9502 Scope of ss. 125.9501-125.9506; status of volunteers.
125.9503 Responsibilities of units of county government and constitutional county officers.
125.9504 Volunteer benefits.
125.9506 Construction.
125.9501 Definitions.As used in ss. 125.9501-125.9506:
(1) “Volunteer” means a person who, of his or her own free will, provides goods or services to any unit of county government or to any constitutional county officer without receiving monetary or material compensation.
(2) “Regular-service volunteer” means a person engaged in specific voluntary service activities on an ongoing or continual basis.
(3) “Occasional-service volunteer” means a person who offers to provide a one-time or occasional voluntary service.
(4) “Material donor” means a person who provides funds, materials, employment, or opportunities for clients of county government without receiving monetary or material compensation.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-66; s. 826, ch. 95-147.
125.9502 Scope of ss. 125.9501-125.9506; status of volunteers.
(1) Each unit of county government and each constitutional county officer may recruit and accept, without regard to requirements of any civil service system, the services of volunteers, including regular-service volunteers, occasional-service volunteers, or material donors, to assist in programs administered by that unit of county government or constitutional county officer.
(2) Volunteers who are recruited, trained, or accepted by a unit of county government or constitutional county officer are not subject to any provisions of state law relating to public employment, to any collective bargaining agreement between the unit of county government or constitutional county officer and an employees’ association or union or to any laws relating to hours of work, rates of compensation, leave time, or employee benefits, except as provided under s. 125.9504. However, all volunteers must comply with applicable rules of the unit of county government or county constitutional officer.
(3) Each unit of county government or county constitutional officer who uses the services of volunteers may provide such incidental reimbursement generally consistent with the provisions of s. 125.9504, including, but not limited to, transportation costs, lodging, and subsistence, as the unit of county government or constitutional county officer deems necessary to assist volunteers in performing their functions.
(4) Persons working with a unit of county government or a constitutional county officer pursuant to ss. 125.9501-125.9506 are considered unpaid independent volunteers and are not entitled to reemployment assistance.
History.s. 2, ch. 88-66; s. 44, ch. 2012-30.
125.9503 Responsibilities of units of county government and constitutional county officers.Each unit of county government and each constitutional county officer who uses the services of volunteers must:
(1) Take such actions as are necessary and appropriate to develop meaningful opportunities for volunteers involved in locally administered programs.
(2) Adopt rules governing the recruitment, screening, training, responsibility, use, and supervision of volunteers.
(3) Take such actions as are necessary to ensure that volunteers understand their duties and responsibilities.
(4) Take such actions as are necessary and appropriate to ensure a receptive climate for volunteers.
(5) Provide for the recognition of volunteers who have offered continuous and outstanding service to administered programs.
History.s. 3, ch. 88-66.
125.9504 Volunteer benefits.
(1) Meals may be furnished without charge to a regular-service volunteer serving a unit of county government or constitutional county officer if the volunteer’s scheduled service extends over an established meal period, and to an occasional-service volunteer at the discretion of the head of the unit of county government or constitutional county officer.
(2) Lodging, if available, may be furnished temporarily, in case of an emergency, at no charge to a regular-service volunteer.
(3) Transportation reimbursement may be furnished to a volunteer whose presence is determined to be necessary by the unit of county government or constitutional county officer. Volunteers may use county vehicles in the performance of their county duties.
(4) Volunteers are covered by workers’ compensation in accordance with chapter 440, and ss. 125.9501-125.9506 do not limit any workers’ compensation rights or benefits.
(5) Volunteers may be furnished such other benefits, subsistence, or reimbursement of expenses as the unit of county government or constitutional county officer considers appropriate and necessary to further ss. 125.9501-125.9506.
History.s. 4, ch. 88-66.
125.9506 Construction.Nothing in ss. 125.9501-125.9506 shall operate or be construed to limit any rights or benefits to which a volunteer would otherwise be entitled under state or federal law.
History.s. 6, ch. 88-66.