Florida Senate - 2015 CS for SB 200 By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Senator Latvala 585-01656-15 2015200c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; creating s. 3 197.3225, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for e-mail addresses obtained by 5 a tax collector for the purpose of electronically 6 sending certain tax notices or obtaining the consent 7 of a taxpayer for electronic transmission of certain 8 tax notices; providing for future review and repeal of 9 the exemption; providing a statement of public 10 necessity; providing an effective date. 11 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 13 14 Section 1. Section 197.3225, Florida Statutes, is created 15 to read: 16 197.3225 Public records exemption; taxpayer e-mail 17 addresses.— 18 (1) A taxpayer’s e-mail address held by a tax collector for 19 any of the following purposes is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 20 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution: 21 (a) Sending a quarterly tax notice for prepayment of 22 estimated taxes to the taxpayer pursuant to s. 197.222(3). 23 (b) Obtaining the taxpayer’s consent to send the tax notice 24 described in s. 197.322(3). 25 (c) Sending an additional tax notice or delinquent tax 26 notice to the taxpayer pursuant to s. 197.343. 27 (d) Sending a tax notice to a designated third party, 28 mortgagee, or vendee pursuant to s. 197.344(1). 29 (2) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 30 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 31 on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 32 through reenactment by the Legislature. 33 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 34 necessity that the e-mail address of a taxpayer which is held by 35 a tax collector for the purpose of sending a tax notice or 36 obtaining the consent of the taxpayer to the electronic 37 transmission of a tax notice be made exempt from s. 119.07(1), 38 Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the State 39 Constitution. E-mail, rather than traditional postal mail, is 40 increasingly used as a means for communicating and conducting 41 business, including official state and local business such as 42 the payment of taxes. In order to conduct business 43 electronically with a tax collector, the taxpayer must report 44 his or her personal e-mail address. Under current law, e-mail 45 addresses are public records available to anyone for any 46 purpose. However, such addresses are unique to the individual 47 and, when combined with other personal identifying information, 48 can be used for identity theft, taxpayer scams, and other 49 invasive contacts. The public availability of personal e-mail 50 addresses invites and exacerbates thriving and well-documented 51 criminal activities and puts taxpayers at increased risk of 52 harm. Such harm would be significantly curtailed by allowing a 53 tax collector to preserve the confidentiality of taxpayer e-mail 54 addresses. 55 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.