Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1040
       By Senator Lee
       20-01045B-19                                          20191040__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to discretionary sales surtaxes;
    3         amending s. 212.055, F.S.; requiring a petition
    4         sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and
    5         regional transportation system surtax to comply with
    6         specified requirements within a specified timeframe
    7         before the proposed referendum; requiring a county to
    8         make the proposed referendum and a specified legal
    9         opinion available on its official website; requiring
   10         the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   11         Accountability, upon receiving a certain notice, to
   12         procure a certified public accountant for a
   13         performance audit; requiring a supervisor of elections
   14         to verify petition signatures and retain signature
   15         forms in a specified manner; providing that an
   16         initiative sponsor’s failure to comply with the
   17         specified requirements renders any referendum held
   18         void; revising requirements and procedures for
   19         discretionary sales surtax performance audits;
   20         providing that the failure to comply with certain
   21         requirements renders any referendum held to adopt a
   22         discretionary sales surtax void; providing
   23         applicability; providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and subsection
   28  (10) of section 212.055, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   29         212.055 Discretionary sales surtaxes; legislative intent;
   30  authorization and use of proceeds.—It is the legislative intent
   31  that any authorization for imposition of a discretionary sales
   32  surtax shall be published in the Florida Statutes as a
   33  subsection of this section, irrespective of the duration of the
   34  levy. Each enactment shall specify the types of counties
   35  authorized to levy; the rate or rates which may be imposed; the
   36  maximum length of time the surtax may be imposed, if any; the
   37  procedure which must be followed to secure voter approval, if
   38  required; the purpose for which the proceeds may be expended;
   39  and such other requirements as the Legislature may provide.
   40  Taxable transactions and administrative procedures shall be as
   41  provided in s. 212.054.
   43  SURTAX.—
   44         (c)1. The proposal to adopt a discretionary sales surtax as
   45  provided in this subsection and to create a trust fund within
   46  the county accounts shall be placed on the ballot in accordance
   47  with law at a time to be set at the discretion of the governing
   48  body.
   49         2. If the proposal to adopt a surtax is by initiative, the
   50  petition sponsor must, at least 180 days before the proposed
   51  referendum, comply with all of the following:
   52         a. Obtain an independent written legal opinion from an
   53  attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar,
   54  verifying that the proposed referendum complies with state law,
   55  and provide the proposed referendum and legal opinion to the
   56  governing body of the county. The county shall make the proposed
   57  referendum and legal opinion available on its official website.
   58         b. Notify the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
   59  Government Accountability of the proposed referendum. The Office
   60  of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall
   61  procure a certified public accountant in accordance with
   62  subsection (10) for the performance audit.
   63         c. File the initiative petition and its required valid
   64  signatures with the supervisor of elections. The supervisor of
   65  elections shall verify signatures and retain signature forms in
   66  the same manner as required for initiatives under s. 100.371(3).
   67         3. The failure of an initiative sponsor to comply with the
   68  requirements of subparagraph 2. renders any referendum held
   69  void.
   70         (10) PERFORMANCE AUDIT.—
   71         (a) For any referendum held on or after March 23, 2018, To
   72  adopt a discretionary sales surtax under this section, an
   73  independent certified public accountant licensed pursuant to
   74  chapter 473 shall conduct a performance audit of the program
   75  associated with the proposed surtax adoption proposed by the
   76  county or school district.
   77         (b)1. At least 180 days before the referendum is held, the
   78  county or school district shall notify the Office of Program
   79  Policy Analysis and Government Accountability of the proposed
   80  referendum.
   81         2. Within 30 days after receiving the notification under
   82  subparagraph 1., the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
   83  Government Accountability shall procure the certified public
   84  accountant and may use carryforward funds to pay for the
   85  services of the certified public accountant.
   86         3.(b) At least 60 days before the referendum is held, the
   87  performance audit shall be completed and the audit report,
   88  including any findings, recommendations, or other accompanying
   89  documents, shall be made available on the official website of
   90  the county or school district.
   91         4. The county or school district shall keep the information
   92  on its website for 2 years from the date it was posted.
   93         5. The failure to comply with the requirements under
   94  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 3. renders any referendum held
   95  to adopt a discretionary sales surtax void.
   96         (c) For purposes of this subsection, the term “performance
   97  audit” means an examination of the program conducted according
   98  to applicable government auditing standards or auditing and
   99  evaluation standards of other appropriate authoritative bodies.
  100  At a minimum, a performance audit must include an examination of
  101  issues related to the following:
  102         1. The economy, efficiency, or effectiveness of the
  103  program.
  104         2. The structure or design of the program to accomplish its
  105  goals and objectives.
  106         3. Alternative methods of providing program services or
  107  products.
  108         4. Goals, objectives, and performance measures used by the
  109  program to monitor and report program accomplishments.
  110         5. The accuracy or adequacy of public documents, reports,
  111  and requests prepared by the county or school district which
  112  relate to the program.
  113         6. Compliance of the program with appropriate policies,
  114  rules, and laws.
  115         (d) This subsection does not apply to a referendum held to
  116  adopt the same discretionary surtax that was in place during the
  117  month of December immediately before the date of the referendum.
  118         Section 2. The amendment to s. 212.055, Florida Statutes,
  119  made by this act applies to referenda to adopt discretionary
  120  sales surtaxes held on or after January 1, 2020.
  121         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.