Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1314
       By Senator Pizzo
       38-01547-19                                           20191314__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to affordable housing tax reductions;
    3         amending s. 196.1978, F.S.; defining terms; providing
    4         legislative findings; providing a tax reduction to
    5         certain entities that provide affordable housing to
    6         identified groups; providing criteria for receiving
    7         such reduction; providing a formula for determining
    8         the amount of the reduction; requiring the taxpayer to
    9         submit a covenant for recording that provides
   10         specified information; requiring each taxpayer who
   11         receives a tax reduction to file an annual report;
   12         providing specifications for such report; providing
   13         penalties for falsification of reports; requiring
   14         specified counties to post certain maps on their
   15         websites; requiring the Florida Housing Finance
   16         Corporation to adopt specified rules; requiring the
   17         taxpayer to pay back taxes, penalties, and interest
   18         under specified circumstances; providing exceptions;
   19         providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Subsection (3) is added to section 196.1978,
   24  Florida Statutes, to read:
   25         196.1978 Affordable housing property exemption; affordable
   26  housing property reductions.—
   27         (3)(a)As used in this subsection:
   28         1.“Affordable housing project” means a rental housing
   29  project built after July 1, 2019, which receives a 4-percent
   30  low-income housing tax credit from the corporation pursuant to
   31  s. 420.5099, which receives bonds for qualifying housing
   32  developments from a housing finance authority, and in which:
   33         a.At least 20 percent of the rental units are offered at
   34  rents affordable to natural persons or households whose annual
   35  adjusted gross incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the area
   36  median income.
   37         b.At least 20 percent of the rental units are offered at
   38  rents affordable to natural persons or households whose annual
   39  adjusted gross household incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the
   40  area median income.
   41         c.The remaining rental units are offered at rents
   42  affordable to natural persons or households whose adjusted gross
   43  incomes do not exceed 120 percent of the area median income.
   44         2.“Base tax” means the operating taxes remitted to the
   45  project taxing authority in the tax year immediately preceding
   46  the reduction term.
   47         3.“Corporation” means the Florida Housing Finance
   48  Corporation.
   49         4.“Elderly housing project” means a rental housing project
   50  constructed after July 1, 2019, which receives a 4- or 9-percent
   51  low-income housing tax credit from the corporation pursuant to
   52  s. 420.5099 and meets the following criteria:
   53         a.Reserves occupancy of the rental units exclusively for
   54  natural persons at least 62 years of age.
   55         b.Offers all rental units at rates that are affordable to
   56  natural persons or households whose annual adjusted gross income
   57  is below 120 percent of the area median income.
   58         c.Implements the standards and processes to reduce
   59  barriers to rental housing entry adopted by rule of the
   60  corporation.
   61         5.“Household” has the same meaning as in s. 196.075(1).
   62         6.“Mass transit station” means a station serviced by a
   63  public or private fixed guideway rapid transit system, passenger
   64  rail service, light rail transportation system, or bus rapid
   65  transit system.
   66         7.“Operating taxes” means the nonvoted millage portion of
   67  the county millage and the municipal millage as identified in s.
   68  200.001(1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively.
   69         8.“Project taxing authority” means a county or
   70  municipality, as those terms are defined in s. 200.001(8)(a) and
   71  (b), respectively, which is authorized to levy operating taxes
   72  against real property in the jurisdiction in which a qualifying
   73  project is located.
   74         9.“Qualifying project” means an affordable housing
   75  project, elderly housing project, or workforce housing project
   76  that:
   77         a.Is located in a county that has a population of 825,000
   78  or more.
   79         b.Is located within one-half mile of a mass transit
   80  station or within one-quarter mile of a transit corridor.
   81         c.Has not received an affordable housing property
   82  exemption pursuant to subsection (2).
   83         d.Has not received funds from the corporation pursuant to
   84  s. 420.5087.
   85         10.“Reduction term” means the 25-year tax reduction period
   86  beginning the year in which the qualifying project is first
   87  assessed under s. 192.042(1) and certified by the county
   88  property appraiser as eligible to receive a tax reduction in
   89  operating taxes.
   90         11.“Taxpayer” has the same meaning as in s. 192.001(13).
   91         12.“Transit corridor” means an area located within one
   92  half mile of any road over which a public bus system provides
   93  service every 30 minutes, on average, between the hours of 8
   94  a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.
   95         13.“Workforce housing project” means a rental housing
   96  project for natural persons and households in which:
   97         a.At least 10 percent of the rental units are offered at
   98  rents affordable to natural persons or households whose annual
   99  adjusted gross incomes exceed 60 percent, but are not more than
  100  80 percent, of the area median income.
  101         b.At least 20 percent of the rental units are offered at
  102  rents affordable to natural persons or households whose annual
  103  adjusted gross household incomes exceed 80 percent, but are not
  104  more than 100 percent, of the area median income.
  105         c.The remaining rental units are offered at rates equal to
  106  the prevailing market rates in the natural person’s or
  107  household’s market area.
  108         (b)The Legislature finds that property used to provide
  109  affordable, elderly, and workforce housing to natural persons
  110  and households that meet the low-income or moderate-income
  111  limits is a charitable purpose. Therefore, notwithstanding s.
  112  196.195(4), a taxpayer who builds a qualifying project after
  113  July 1, 2019, may receive a tax reduction in operating taxes
  114  that would otherwise be assessed, if the following criteria are
  115  met:
  116         1.The taxpayer timely files an application for the tax
  117  reduction with the property appraiser no later than March 1 of
  118  the year immediately following the year in which the qualifying
  119  project is first assessed under s. 192.042(1).
  120         2.The taxpayer records a covenant running with the land
  121  that restricts the rents of units within the qualifying project
  122  in accordance with the requirements set forth in subparagraph
  123  (a)1., subparagraph (a)4., or subparagraph (a)13.
  124         (c)For the first 16 years of the reduction term, a
  125  qualifying project shall be assessed operating taxes in an
  126  amount equal to the base tax, subject to an annual adjustment
  127  equal to 2.5 percent beginning in year 2 of the reduction term,
  128  or the percent by which new residential construction grew as
  129  determined annually by the United States Census Bureau,
  130  whichever is less. After the first 16 years of the reduction
  131  term, the qualifying project shall be assessed as follows:
  133  Year of Tax ReductionAffordable Reduction PercentagesWorkforce Housing Reduction PercentagesElderly Housing 9-Percent Tax Credit Reduction Percentages
  134  1-16       100 percent     100 percent     20 percent        
  135  17         90 percent      100 percent     18 percent        
  136  18         80 percent      90 percent      16 percent        
  137  19         70 percent      85 percent      14 percent        
  138  20         60 percent      75 percent      12 percent        
  139  21         50 percent      60 percent      10 percent        
  140  22         40 percent      50 percent      10 percent        
  141  23         30 percent      40 percent      5 percent         
  142  24         20 percent      25 percent      5 percent         
  143  25         10 percent      15 percent      5 percent         
  144         (d)If the property appraiser approves the application, the
  145  taxpayer must submit the covenant for recording. The property
  146  appraiser shall apply the authorized tax reductions beginning in
  147  the same tax year. The taxpayer submitting the application is
  148  responsible for the cost of recording the covenant.
  149         (e)Each taxpayer who receives a tax reduction is required
  150  to submit a report annually to the property appraiser confirming
  151  his or her compliance with the rent restrictions required for
  152  the receipt of the reduction. The report must be executed by the
  153  taxpayer or an authorized representative of the taxpayer and
  154  must include the written declaration set forth in s. 92.525(2).
  155  A taxpayer who falsifies the written declaration commits a
  156  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
  157  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  158         (f)By November 1, 2019, each county described in s.
  159  420.5087(1)(a) shall post on its website maps of the areas
  160  within its respective geographic limits that meet the criteria
  161  set forth in sub-subparagraph (a)9.b. to identify where
  162  qualifying projects may be located. Each county shall update
  163  each map annually by November 1 and notify the county property
  164  appraiser once the maps are posted on its website.
  165         (g)The corporation shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
  166  120.536 and 120.54 to implement standards and processes to
  167  reduce barriers to rental housing that, at a minimum, shall:
  168         1.Encourage or require qualifying projects to adopt income
  169  eligibility requirements as part of the application process for
  170  a natural person or household that require no more than a 2:1
  171  rent income-to-income ratio to expand access to rental housing.
  172         2.Incorporate applicant credit history standards that:
  173         a.Do not authorize a look-back period of more than 5 years
  174  for prior evictions.
  175         b.Eliminate cable and Internet service payment history
  176  from consideration during credit checks.
  177         3.For elderly housing projects, develop tenant rent
  178  standards that expand access to rental housing for natural
  179  persons at least 62 years old or households in which the person
  180  resides and that reduce the total rent if the person or
  181  household:
  182         a.Receives a recurring source of retirement income, such
  183  as social security benefits or a fixed-income annuity, if the
  184  person or household has consistently received the income for
  185  more than 12 months.
  186         b.Has consistently paid monthly rents in another housing
  187  unit for at least 18 months that were at least 110 percent of
  188  the elderly housing project monthly rents.
  189         4.Require qualifying projects to provide written notice to
  190  each natural person or household of an eligibility determination
  191  within 3 business days after making the determination.
  192         (h)1.If the property appraiser determines that a
  193  qualifying project that was granted a tax reduction has failed
  194  to offer rents as required in the recorded covenant and as set
  195  forth in this subsection, the taxpayer shall be liable for the
  196  payment of any back taxes, penalties, and interest, as well as
  197  any other remedies authorized pursuant to s. 193.092.
  198         2.If a property appraiser improperly grants a tax
  199  reduction as a result of a clerical mistake or an omission, the
  200  taxpayer improperly receiving the reduction shall not be
  201  assessed back taxes, penalties, or interest, or liable for any
  202  other remedies authorized under s. 193.092.
  203         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.