2015 Legislature                                   CS for SB 200
    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.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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   30  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed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.