Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 840
       By Senator Diaz de la Portilla
       36-00722-12                                            2012840__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to community redevelopment agencies;
    3         amending s. 163.356, F.S.; providing reporting
    4         requirements for certain community redevelopment
    5         agencies; providing for the termination of community
    6         redevelopment agencies by the board of county
    7         commissioners of certain counties; providing public
    8         hearing and notice and termination plan requirements;
    9         providing that consent from certain entities is not
   10         required for such termination; amending s. 163.362,
   11         F.S.; providing additional redevelopment plan
   12         requirements for certain counties; amending s.
   13         163.387, F.S.; providing requirements for the
   14         expenditure of moneys from redevelopment trust funds
   15         in certain counties; exempting payment of debt service
   16         in such counties from certain approval; providing
   17         requirements for the appropriation of certain trust
   18         fund moneys in such counties; requiring a forensic
   19         audit of agencies in such counties at least every 5
   20         years for certain purposes; providing an effective
   21         date.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
   26  163.356, Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (5) is
   27  added to that section, to read:
   28         163.356 Creation and termination of a community
   29  redevelopment agency.—
   30         (3)
   31         (c) The governing body of the county or municipality shall
   32  designate a chair and vice chair from among the commissioners.
   33  An agency may employ an executive director, technical experts,
   34  and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as
   35  it requires, and determine their qualifications, duties, and
   36  compensation. For such legal service as it requires, an agency
   37  may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff. An agency
   38  authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this
   39  part shall file with the governing body, on or before March 31
   40  of each year, a report of its activities for the preceding
   41  fiscal year, which report shall include a complete financial
   42  statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income, and
   43  operating expenses as of the end of such fiscal year. At the
   44  time of filing the report, the agency shall publish in a
   45  newspaper of general circulation in the community a notice to
   46  the effect that such report has been filed with the county or
   47  municipality and that the report is available for inspection
   48  during business hours in the office of the clerk of the city or
   49  county commission and in the office of the agency. Agencies
   50  operating within a county as defined in s. 125.011(1) are
   51  required to submit to annual performance reviews conducted by
   52  and at the discretion of the board of county commissioners.
   53         (5)(a) In any county as defined in s. 125.011(1) that has
   54  created a community redevelopment agency or has delegated the
   55  creation of a community redevelopment agency to a municipality
   56  pursuant to s. 163.410, the board of county commissioners may
   57  terminate the agency operating or located in its boundaries, if
   58  the board finds:
   59         1. The agency has been inefficient in removing slum and
   60  blight within the community redevelopment area;
   61         2. The agency has neglected its duties and responsibilities
   62  under the approved redevelopment plan or under any interlocal
   63  agreement between the governing body of the county or any taxing
   64  authority and the agency under this part;
   65         3. The agency has engaged in financial misconduct or
   66  wasteful activities as evidenced by any forensic audit required
   67  by s. 163.387(9), any annual performance review, or any annual
   68  report of the agency’s activities for the previous fiscal year,
   69  including the complete financial statement required in paragraph
   70  (3)(c); or
   71         4. There is no longer a need for the agency.
   72         (b)1. After a public hearing on the proposed termination of
   73  an agency under this subsection, the board of county
   74  commissioners may effectuate the termination of the agency by
   75  adopting a resolution that approves termination of the agency
   76  pursuant to a termination plan consistent with the provisions of
   77  subparagraph 3.
   78         2. The board of county commissioners must notify the agency
   79  of the proposed termination and the grounds for termination in
   80  writing at least 30 days before the public hearing on the
   81  termination of the agency. After the agency has been given
   82  notice pursuant to this subparagraph, the agency may not issue
   83  bonds, incur further indebtedness, or enter into any contract,
   84  unless approved by the board. The agency must respond to the
   85  notice of proposed termination and the grounds for termination
   86  in writing at least 5 days before the public hearing.
   87         3. A termination plan approved by the board of county
   88  commissioners:
   89         a. Shall, if the agency has outstanding debt, including
   90  debt that pledges increment revenues as a source of repayment,
   91  require repayment of the debt, or make provision for the
   92  repayment, on or before it is due and may require taxing
   93  authorities to continue making required contributions until the
   94  repayment is paid;
   95         b. May require the governing body of the county to assume
   96  the powers of the agency and act as the board of commissioners
   97  for the agency for purposes of overseeing the continued payment
   98  of outstanding debt or the completion of projects begun before
   99  the date of the notice of termination;
  100         c. Shall provide an effective date of termination of the
  101  agency, which shall be a date after payment or provision for
  102  payment of all outstanding debt of the agency; and
  103         d. Shall provide that after termination of the agency the
  104  obligation of a taxing authority to contribute to the trust fund
  105  pursuant to s. 163.387 is automatically terminated by operation
  106  of law and any funds remaining in the trust fund shall be
  107  disbursed to the taxing authorities in proportion to the amounts
  108  contributed by such taxing authorities.
  109         (c) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary,
  110  consent to termination under this subsection is not required
  111  from the agency, from the governing body of a municipality
  112  within which the agency operates or which was delegated the
  113  authority to create the agency, from the taxing authorities that
  114  contribute to the redevelopment trust fund of the agency, or
  115  from any other person or entity.
  116         Section 2. Subsection (10) of section 163.362, Florida
  117  Statutes, is amended, to read:
  118         163.362 Contents of community redevelopment plan.—Every
  119  community redevelopment plan shall:
  120         (10) Provide a time certain for completing all
  121  redevelopment financed by increment revenues. Such time certain
  122  shall occur no later than 30 years after the fiscal year in
  123  which the plan is approved, adopted, or amended pursuant to s.
  124  163.361(1). However, for any agency created after July 1, 2002,
  125  the time certain for completing all redevelopment financed by
  126  increment revenues must occur within 40 years after the fiscal
  127  year in which the plan is approved or adopted. In any county as
  128  defined in s. 125.011(1), any redevelopment plan that is
  129  approved or amended on or after July 1, 2012, must also provide
  130  a specific date by which each redevelopment activity that is a
  131  part of a redevelopment project proposed to be funded by the
  132  increment fund is scheduled to be completed.
  133         Section 3. Subsections (6) and (7) of section 163.387,
  134  Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (9) is added to
  135  that section, to read:
  136         163.387 Redevelopment trust fund.—
  137         (6)(a) Moneys in the redevelopment trust fund may be
  138  expended from time to time for undertakings of a community
  139  redevelopment agency as described in the community redevelopment
  140  plan for the following purposes, including, but not limited to:
  141         1.(a) Administrative and overhead expenses necessary or
  142  incidental to the implementation of a community redevelopment
  143  plan adopted by the agency.
  144         2.(b) Expenses of redevelopment planning, surveys, and
  145  financial analysis, including the reimbursement of the governing
  146  body or the community redevelopment agency for such expenses
  147  incurred before the redevelopment plan was approved and adopted.
  148         3.(c) The acquisition of real property in the redevelopment
  149  area.
  150         4.(d) The clearance and preparation of any redevelopment
  151  area for redevelopment and relocation of site occupants within
  152  or outside the community redevelopment area as provided in s.
  153  163.370.
  154         5.(e) The repayment of principal and interest or any
  155  redemption premium for loans, advances, bonds, bond anticipation
  156  notes, and any other form of indebtedness.
  157         6.(f) All expenses incidental to or connected with the
  158  issuance, sale, redemption, retirement, or purchase of bonds,
  159  bond anticipation notes, or other form of indebtedness,
  160  including funding of any reserve, redemption, or other fund or
  161  account provided for in the ordinance or resolution authorizing
  162  such bonds, notes, or other form of indebtedness.
  163         7.(g) The development of affordable housing within the
  164  community redevelopment area.
  165         8.(h) The development of community policing innovations.
  166         (b) For the purpose of the expenditure of moneys in
  167  redevelopment trust funds in counties as defined in s.
  168  125.011(1), the following apply:
  169         1. An agency operating in the county must submit an annual
  170  budget indicating any proposed expenditures of increment
  171  revenues by August 15 of each year.
  172         2. The board of county commissioners may approve the budget
  173  by resolution.
  174         3. Increment revenues contributed by the county may not be
  175  expended for redevelopment activities without the approval of
  176  the board of county commissioners, unless such expenditures are
  177  to pay existing debts and contractual obligations of the agency.
  178         4. Existing debts or contractual obligations, as described
  179  in subparagraph 3., include only such debt incurred pursuant to
  180  s. 163.385 and moneys owed from contracts entered into before
  181  the date of a notice of termination as authorized by s.
  182  163.356(5). Existing debts or contractual obligations may not
  183  include salaries of at-will employees whose duties are directly
  184  associated with the provision of administrative or other
  185  services and who are employed by an agency or a municipality
  186  that provides administrative or other services to an agency.
  187  Existing debts or contractual obligations may not include
  188  contracts that are terminable at will.
  189         5. The agency may not seek permission to issue bonds, incur
  190  further indebtedness, or enter into contracts until the
  191  governing body of the county has approved the agency’s annual
  192  budget.
  193         (c) Notwithstanding any provision in this section, in a
  194  county as defined in s. 125.011(1), if the agency’s issuance of
  195  debt has been approved pursuant to s. 163.385, the agency’s
  196  payment of debt service for debt secured by increment revenues
  197  does not require the approval of the board of county
  198  commissioners as a part of the annual agency budgetary approval
  199  process.
  200         (7) On the last day of the fiscal year of the community
  201  redevelopment agency, any money that which remains in the trust
  202  fund after the payment of expenses pursuant to subsection (6)
  203  for such year shall be:
  204         (a) Returned to each taxing authority that which paid the
  205  increment in the proportion that the amount of the payment of
  206  such taxing authority bears to the total amount paid into the
  207  trust fund by all taxing authorities for that year;
  208         (b) Used to reduce the amount of any indebtedness to which
  209  increment revenues are pledged;
  210         (c) Deposited into an escrow account for the purpose of
  211  later reducing any indebtedness to which increment revenues are
  212  pledged; or
  213         (d) Appropriated to a specific redevelopment project
  214  pursuant to an approved community redevelopment plan. However,
  215  in a county as defined in s. 125.011(1), such funds may be
  216  appropriated in accordance with this paragraph only if:
  217         1. The which project will be completed within 3 years after
  218  from the date of such appropriation.
  219         2. Before the appropriation, an acceptable construction
  220  timeline and budget for the project is submitted to and approved
  221  by the board of county commissioners.
  222         (9) In addition to the audit required by subsection (8), an
  223  agency located and operating in a county as defined in s.
  224  125.011(1) shall submit to a forensic audit performed by a
  225  licensed and independent forensic accountant at least every 5
  226  years, as requested by the board of county commissioners. The
  227  forensic audit shall include, but is not limited to, a review of
  228  an agency’s assets, liabilities, income, and operating expenses
  229  to ensure that the agency has not engaged in financial
  230  misconduct or wasteful activity.
  231         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.