Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1098
       By Senator Lee
       20-01006-19                                           20191098__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a sales tax refund for eligible job
    3         training organizations; creating s. 212.094, F.S.;
    4         defining terms; providing that eligible job training
    5         organizations are entitled to receive a refund of a
    6         specified percentage of certain sales taxes remitted
    7         to the Department of Revenue; requiring such
    8         organizations to use the refund only for specified
    9         purposes; specifying a limit on the total amount of
   10         refunds issued by the department in any state fiscal
   11         year; requiring that refunds be granted on a first
   12         come, first-served basis; specifying requirements for
   13         applying for a certain certification with the
   14         Department of Economic Opportunity; specifying
   15         requirements and procedures for the Department of
   16         Economic Opportunity in reviewing and approving
   17         applications; specifying that certifications remain
   18         valid so long as such organizations comply with
   19         certain requirements; providing that such
   20         organizations must annually apply for refunds with the
   21         Department of Revenue within a certain timeframe;
   22         providing requirements for refund applications;
   23         providing construction; requiring such organizations,
   24         under certain circumstances and at certain timeframes,
   25         to provide a specified report to the Department of
   26         Economic Opportunity; authorizing the Department of
   27         Economic Opportunity to adopt rules; requiring the
   28         Department of Economic Opportunity to notify the
   29         Department of Revenue under certain circumstances;
   30         prohibiting the Department of Revenue from issuing
   31         refunds after receiving such notifications;
   32         authorizing the Department of Revenue to audit any
   33         refunds within a certain timeframe; providing that
   34         refund overpayments and refunds issued to ineligible
   35         organizations are subject to repayment and specified
   36         interest; providing an effective date.
   38  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   40         Section 1. Section 212.094, Florida Statutes, is created to
   41  read:
   42         212.094Sales tax refund for eligible job training
   43  organizations.—
   44         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   45         (a)“Eligible job training organization” means an
   46  organization that:
   47         1.Is an exempt organization under s. 501(c)(3) of the
   48  Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;
   49         2.Provides job training and employment services to low
   50  income persons as defined in s. 420.0004, individuals who have
   51  workplace disadvantages, or individuals with barriers to
   52  employment; and
   53         3.Is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of
   54  Rehabilitation Facilities.
   55         (b)“Growth in employment hours” means the growth in the
   56  number of hours worked by employees at an eligible job training
   57  organization in the most recently completed state fiscal year,
   58  compared to the number of hours worked by employees at the
   59  eligible job training organization in the state fiscal year
   60  immediately before the most recently completed state fiscal
   61  year.
   62         (c)“Job training and employment services” means programs
   63  and services that are provided to improve job readiness, to
   64  assist workers in gaining employment and adapting to the
   65  changing labor market, and to help workers achieve success
   66  through self-sufficiency.
   67         (2)An eligible job training organization is entitled to a
   68  refund of 10 percent of the sales tax remitted to the department
   69  during the most recently completed state fiscal year on its
   70  sales of goods donated to the organization. The organization
   71  must reserve the refund exclusively for use in any of the
   72  following:
   73         (a)Growth in employment hours.
   74         (b)Job training and employment services to low-income
   75  persons as defined in s. 420.0004, individuals who have
   76  workplace disadvantages, and individuals with barriers to
   77  employment.
   78         (c)Job training and employment services for veterans.
   79         (3)The total amount of refunds that the department may
   80  issue under this section may not exceed $2 million in any state
   81  fiscal year. Refunds must be granted on a first-come, first
   82  served basis.
   83         (4)An organization seeking a refund under this section
   84  must first submit an application to the Department of Economic
   85  Opportunity by July 15, which sets forth that the organization
   86  meets the requirements under paragraph (1)(a) and that the
   87  refund will be used exclusively for the purposes listed in
   88  subsection (2). The organization must submit supporting
   89  information as prescribed by the Department of Economic
   90  Opportunity by rule.
   91         (5)(a)The Department of Economic Opportunity shall verify
   92  the application and notify the organization of its determination
   93  within 15 days after receiving a complete application. The
   94  Department of Economic Opportunity shall communicate its
   95  decision in writing or, if agreed to by the applicant, via e
   96  mail.
   97         (b) If the Department of Economic Opportunity approves the
   98  application, the notice sent to the eligible job training
   99  organization must include a certification that the organization
  100  is eligible to receive a refund of certain sales and use tax
  101  remitted under this chapter. The Department of Economic
  102  Opportunity shall transmit a copy of the notice and
  103  certification, if applicable, to the department.
  104         (c) Upon the Department of Economic Opportunity’s issuance
  105  of a certification, the certification remains valid so long as
  106  the eligible job training organization is in compliance with the
  107  requirements of this section.
  108         (6)An eligible job training organization certified under
  109  this section must apply to the department between August 1 and
  110  August 31 of each year to receive a refund. A copy of the
  111  certification must be included in an eligible job training
  112  organization’s first application for a refund, but is not
  113  required to be included in subsequent applications. The
  114  organization must submit any information required by the
  115  department as part of its application for the refund.
  116         (7)For purposes of this section, an eligible job training
  117  organization comprised of commonly owned and controlled entities
  118  is deemed to be a single organization.
  119         (8)By August 1 following each state fiscal year in which
  120  an eligible job training organization received a refund pursuant
  121  to subsection (2), the organization must provide a report to the
  122  Department of Economic Opportunity regarding the use of the
  123  funds in accordance with subsection (2). The report must include
  124  at least all of the following:
  125         (a)The amount of the refund used to create growth in
  126  employment hours.
  127         (b)The total growth in employment hours.
  128         (c)The amount of the refund used for job training and
  129  employment services.
  130         (d)The number of individuals who participated in job
  131  training and employment services at the eligible job training
  132  organization.
  133         (e)A statement declaring that the eligible job training
  134  organization continues to meet the requirements of this section.
  135         (9)(a)The Department of Economic Opportunity may adopt
  136  rules to administer this section, including rules for the
  137  approval and disapproval of applications.
  138         (b)If the Department of Economic Opportunity determines
  139  that an eligible job training organization no longer qualifies
  140  for the refund under this section, the Department of Economic
  141  Opportunity must notify the department immediately. The
  142  department may not issue a refund after receiving such
  143  notification.
  144         (c) Notwithstanding s. 95.091(3)(a)6.b., the department may
  145  audit any refund within 4 years after a refund is granted. The
  146  overpayment of a refund or a refund issued to an ineligible
  147  organization is subject to repayment and interest at the rate
  148  calculated pursuant to s. 213.235.
  149         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.