Florida Senate - 2019                       CS for CS for SB 336
       By the Committees on Rules; and Finance and Tax; and Senator
       595-04572-19                                           2019336c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to local tax referenda; amending s.
    3         212.055, F.S.; providing that a referendum to adopt or
    4         amend a local discretionary sales surtax must be held
    5         at a general election; requiring a petition sponsor of
    6         an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional
    7         transportation system surtax to comply with specified
    8         requirements within a specified timeframe before the
    9         proposed referendum; requiring a county to make the
   10         proposed referendum and a specified legal opinion
   11         available on its official website; requiring the
   12         Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   13         Accountability, upon receiving a certain notice, to
   14         procure a certified public accountant for a
   15         performance audit; requiring a supervisor of elections
   16         to verify petition signatures and retain signature
   17         forms in a specified manner; providing that an
   18         initiative sponsor’s failure to comply with the
   19         specified requirements renders any referendum held
   20         void; revising requirements and procedures for
   21         counties, school districts, and the office relating to
   22         performance audits; providing that the failure to
   23         comply with certain requirements renders any
   24         referendum held to adopt a discretionary sales surtax
   25         void; providing an effective date.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   29         Section 1. Present subsection (10) of section 212.055,
   30  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (11) and
   31  amended, a new subsection (10) is added to that section, and
   32  paragraph (c) of subsection (1), paragraph (b) of subsection
   33  (5), and paragraph (b) of subsection (8) are amended, to read:
   34         212.055 Discretionary sales surtaxes; legislative intent;
   35  authorization and use of proceeds.—It is the legislative intent
   36  that any authorization for imposition of a discretionary sales
   37  surtax shall be published in the Florida Statutes as a
   38  subsection of this section, irrespective of the duration of the
   39  levy. Each enactment shall specify the types of counties
   40  authorized to levy; the rate or rates which may be imposed; the
   41  maximum length of time the surtax may be imposed, if any; the
   42  procedure which must be followed to secure voter approval, if
   43  required; the purpose for which the proceeds may be expended;
   44  and such other requirements as the Legislature may provide.
   45  Taxable transactions and administrative procedures shall be as
   46  provided in s. 212.054.
   48  SURTAX.—
   49         (c)1. The proposal to adopt a discretionary sales surtax as
   50  provided in this subsection and to create a trust fund within
   51  the county accounts shall be placed on the ballot in accordance
   52  with law and must be approved in a referendum held at a general
   53  election in accordance with subsection (10) at a time to be set
   54  at the discretion of the governing body.
   55         2. If the proposal to adopt a surtax is by initiative, the
   56  petition sponsor must, at least 180 days before the proposed
   57  referendum, comply with all of the following:
   58         a. Obtain an independent written legal opinion from an
   59  attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar
   60  which verifies that the proposed referendum complies with state
   61  law, and provide the proposed referendum and legal opinion to
   62  the governing body of the county. The county shall make the
   63  proposed referendum and legal opinion available on its official
   64  website.
   65         b. Provide a copy of the final resolution or ordinance to
   66  the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
   67  Accountability. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and
   68  Government Accountability shall procure a certified public
   69  accountant in accordance with subsection (11) for the
   70  performance audit.
   71         c. File the initiative petition and its required valid
   72  signatures with the supervisor of elections. The supervisor of
   73  elections shall verify signatures and retain signature forms in
   74  the same manner as required for initiatives under s. 100.371(3).
   75         3. The failure of an initiative sponsor to comply with the
   76  requirements of subparagraph 2. renders any referendum held
   77  void.
   78         (5) COUNTY PUBLIC HOSPITAL SURTAX.—Any county as defined in
   79  s. 125.011(1) may levy the surtax authorized in this subsection
   80  pursuant to an ordinance either approved by extraordinary vote
   81  of the county commission or conditioned to take effect only upon
   82  approval by a majority vote of the electors of the county voting
   83  in a referendum. In a county as defined in s. 125.011(1), for
   84  the purposes of this subsection, “county public general
   85  hospital” means a general hospital as defined in s. 395.002
   86  which is owned, operated, maintained, or governed by the county
   87  or its agency, authority, or public health trust.
   88         (b) If the ordinance is conditioned on a referendum, the
   89  proposal to adopt the county public hospital surtax shall be
   90  placed on the ballot in accordance with subsection (10) law at a
   91  time to be set at the discretion of the governing body. The
   92  referendum question on the ballot shall include a brief general
   93  description of the health care services to be funded by the
   94  surtax.
   96         (b) Upon the adoption of the ordinance, the levy of the
   97  surtax must be placed on the ballot by the governing authority
   98  of the county enacting the ordinance. The ordinance will take
   99  effect if approved by a majority of the electors of the county
  100  voting in a referendum held for such purpose. The referendum
  101  shall be placed on the ballot of a general regularly scheduled
  102  election. The ballot for the referendum must conform to the
  103  requirements of s. 101.161.
  104         (10) DATES FOR REFERENDA.—A referendum to adopt or amend a
  105  local government discretionary sales surtax under this section
  106  must be held at a general election as defined in s. 97.021.
  107         (11)(10) PERFORMANCE AUDIT.—
  108         (a) For any referendum held on or after March 23, 2018, To
  109  adopt a discretionary sales surtax under this section, an
  110  independent certified public accountant licensed pursuant to
  111  chapter 473 shall conduct a performance audit of the program
  112  associated with the proposed surtax adoption proposed by the
  113  county or school district.
  114         (b)1.At least 180 days before the referendum is held, the
  115  county or school district shall provide a copy of the final
  116  resolution or ordinance to the Office of Program Policy Analysis
  117  and Government Accountability.
  118         2. Within 30 days after receiving the final resolution or
  119  ordinance, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  120  Accountability shall procure the certified public accountant and
  121  may use carryforward funds to pay for the services of the
  122  certified public accountant.
  123         3.(b) At least 60 days before the referendum is held, the
  124  performance audit must shall be completed and the audit report,
  125  including any findings, recommendations, or other accompanying
  126  documents, must shall be made available on the official website
  127  of the county or school district.
  128         4. The county or school district shall keep the information
  129  on its website for 2 years from the date it was posted.
  130         5. The failure to comply with the requirements under
  131  subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 3. renders any referendum held
  132  to adopt a discretionary sales surtax void.
  133         (c) For purposes of this subsection, the term “performance
  134  audit” means an examination of the program conducted according
  135  to applicable government auditing standards or auditing and
  136  evaluation standards of other appropriate authoritative bodies.
  137  At a minimum, a performance audit must include an examination of
  138  issues related to the following:
  139         1. The economy, efficiency, or effectiveness of the
  140  program.
  141         2. The structure or design of the program to accomplish its
  142  goals and objectives.
  143         3. Alternative methods of providing program services or
  144  products.
  145         4. Goals, objectives, and performance measures used by the
  146  program to monitor and report program accomplishments.
  147         5. The accuracy or adequacy of public documents, reports,
  148  and requests prepared by the county or school district which
  149  relate to the program.
  150         6. Compliance of the program with appropriate policies,
  151  rules, and laws.
  152         (d) This subsection does not apply to a referendum held to
  153  adopt the same discretionary surtax that was in place during the
  154  month of December immediately before the date of the referendum.
  155         Section 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.