2009 Florida Statutes
District issuance of bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, or other evidences of indebtedness.
191.012 District issuance of bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, or other evidences of indebtedness.--
(1) A district may issue general obligation bonds, assessment bonds, revenue bonds, notes, bond anticipation notes, or other evidences of indebtedness to finance all or a part of any proposed improvements authorized to be undertaken under this act or under general or special law, provided the total annual payments for the principal and interest on such indebtedness shall not exceed 50 percent of the total annual budgeted revenues of the district. The bonds shall be issued in such denominations, mature on such dates and in such amounts, and may be subject to optional and mandatory redemption as determined by resolutions adopted by the board. Bonds of the district may bear interest at a fixed or floating or adjustable rate and may be issued as interest-bearing, interest-accruing bonds, or zero coupon bonds at such rate or rates, not exceeding the maximum rate permitted by general law, as determined by resolutions of the board. Principal and interest shall be payable in the manner determined by the board. The bonds shall be signed by manual or facsimile signature of the chair or vice chair of the board, attested with the seal of the district and by the manual or facsimile signature of the secretary or assistant secretary of the board.
(2) The bonds shall be payable from the non-ad valorem assessments or other non-ad valorem revenues, including, without limitation, user fees or charges or rental income authorized to be levied or collected or received pursuant to this act or general law. General obligation bonds payable from ad valorem taxes may also be issued by the district, but only after compliance with s. 12, Art. VII of the State Constitution. Subject to referendum approval, a district may pledge its full faith and credit for the payment of principal and interest on such general obligation bonds and for any reserve funds provided therefor and may unconditionally and irrevocably pledge itself to levy ad valorem taxes on all property in the district to the extent necessary for the payment thereof. A district is authorized, after notice and opportunity to be heard has been afforded to those affected, to impose, charge, and collect non-ad valorem revenues in connection with any of the improvements authorized under this act and to pledge the same for the payment of bonds.
(3) In connection with the sale and issuance of bonds, the district may enter into any contracts which the board determines to be necessary or appropriate to achieve a desirable effective interest rate in connection with the bonds by means of, but not limited to, contracts commonly known as investment contracts, funding agreements, interest rate swap agreements, currency swap agreements, forward payment conversion agreements, futures, or contracts providing for payments based on levels of or changes in interest rates, or contracts to exchange cash flows or a series of payments, or contracts, including, without limitation, options, puts, or calls to hedge payment, rate, spread, or similar exposure. Such contracts or arrangements may also be entered into by the district in connection with, or incidental to, entering into any agreement which secures bonds or provides liquidity therefor. Such contracts and arrangements shall be made upon the terms and conditions established by the board, after giving due consideration for the credit worthiness of the counterparties, where applicable, including any rating by a nationally recognized rating service or any other criteria as may be appropriate.
(4) In connection with the sale and issuance of the bonds, or entering into any of the contracts or arrangements referred to in subsection (3), the district may enter into such credit enhancement or liquidity agreements, with such payment, interest rate, security, default, remedy, and any other terms and conditions as the board shall determine.
(5) Notwithstanding any provisions of law relating to the investment or reinvestment of surplus funds of any governmental unit, proceeds of the bonds and any money set aside or pledged to secure payment of the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the bonds, or any of the contacts entered into pursuant to subsection (3), may be invested in securities or obligations described in the resolution providing for the issuance of bonds.
(6) The bonds shall be sold in any manner not inconsistent with general law, shall show the purpose for which they are issued, and shall be payable out of the money pledged therefor. The funds derived from the sale of said bonds or any of them shall be used for the purpose of paying the cost of the services or improvements and such costs, expenses, fees, and salaries as may be authorized by law.
(7) Non-ad valorem assessments or any portion thereof levied to pay principal on bonds issued pursuant to this act with respect to improvements financed therewith shall not exceed the benefits assessed regarding such works or improvements. If the bonds are sold at a discount, the amount of the discount shall be treated as interest, not as principal. Premiums payable upon the redemption of bonds shall also be treated as interest. Interest to accrue on account of issuing bonds shall not be construed as a part of the costs of the works or improvements in determining whether or not the costs of making such improvements are equal to or in excess of the benefits assessed. If the property appraiser and tax collector deduct their fees and charges from the amount of non-ad valorem assessments levied and collected, and if the landowners receive the statutorily permitted discount for early payment of such non-ad valorem assessments, the amount of such fees, charges, and discount shall not be included in the amount of non-ad valorem assessments levied by the district in determining whether such assessments are equal to or in excess of the benefits assessed.
(8) Any district created or organized under any general or special law may, whenever in the judgment of the board it is advisable and in the best interests of the landowners in the district, issue bonds to refund any or all of the then-outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district.
(9) The principal amount of refunding bonds may be in any amount not in excess of the benefits assessed against the lands with respect to which the refunded bonds were issued less the principal amount of the refunded bonds previously paid from non-ad valorem assessments. The proceeds of such refunding bonds shall be used only to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on the bonds to be refunded, any discount or expense of the sale of the refunding bonds, and to provide a debt service reserve fund for the refunding bonds. The district may also use other available revenues to pay costs associated with the issuance or administration of the refunding bonds.
(10) Assessments shall be levied for the payment of the refunding bonds in the same manner as the assessments levied for the refunded bonds and the refunding bonds shall be secured by the same lien as the refunded bonds, and any additional interest which accrues on account of the refunding bonds shall be included and added to the original assessment and shall be secured by the same lien, provided any interest accrued shall not be considered as a part of the cost of construction in determining whether the assessment exceeds the benefits assessed.
(11) No proceedings shall be required for the issuance of bonds or refunding bonds other than those provided by this section and by general law.
History.--s. 11, ch. 97-256.