Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1330 By Senator Gruters 23-00835-20 20201330__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to municipal service taxing units and 3 municipal service benefit units; amending s. 125.01, 4 F.S.; requiring that the establishment, merger, or 5 abolishment of a municipal service taxing or benefit 6 unit be approved by majority vote of certain qualified 7 electors in an election that is called for such 8 purpose by the governing body of the county on its own 9 motion; requiring that the continued existence of 10 certain municipal service taxing or benefit units be 11 approved by majority vote of certain qualified 12 electors; providing procedures for the dissolution of 13 a municipal service taxing or benefit unit; conforming 14 provisions to changes made by the act; providing an 15 effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Paragraphs (q) and (r) of subsection (1) and 20 subsections (2) and (6) of section 125.01, Florida Statutes, are 21 amended to read: 22 125.01 Powers and duties.— 23 (1) The legislative and governing body of a county shall 24 have the power to carry on county government. To the extent not 25 inconsistent with general or special law, this power includes, 26 but is not restricted to, the power to: 27 (q) Subject to the requirements provided in subsection (2), 28 establish, and subsequently merge or abolish those created 29 hereunder, municipal service taxing or benefit units for any 30 part or all of the unincorporated area of the county, within 31 which may be provided fire protection; law enforcement; beach 32 erosion control; recreation service and facilities; water; 33 alternative water supplies, including, but not limited to, 34 reclaimed water and water from aquifer storage and recovery and 35 desalination systems; streets; sidewalks; street lighting; 36 garbage and trash collection and disposal; waste and sewage 37 collection and disposal; drainage; transportation; indigent 38 health care services; mental health care services; and other 39 essential facilities and municipal services from funds derived 40 from service charges, special assessments, or taxes within such 41 unit only.
Subject to the consent by ordinance of the governing42 body of the affected municipality given either annually or for a43 term of years, the boundaries of a municipal service taxing or44 benefit unit may include all or part of the boundaries of a45 municipality.If ad valorem taxes are levied to provide 46 essential facilities and municipal services within the unit, the 47 millage levied on any parcel of property for municipal purposes 48 by all municipal service taxing units and the municipality may 49 not exceed 10 mills. This paragraph authorizes all counties to 50 levy additional taxes, within the limits fixed for municipal 51 purposes, within such municipal service taxing units under the 52 authority of the second sentence of s. 9(b), Art. VII of the 53 State Constitution. 54 (r) Levy and collect taxes, both for county purposes and 55 for the providing of municipal services within any municipal 56 service taxing unit, and special assessments; borrow and expend 57 money; and issue bonds, revenue certificates, and other 58 obligations of indebtedness, which power shall be exercised in 59 such manner, and subject to such limitations, as may be provided 60 by general law. There shall be no referendum required for the 61 levy by a county of ad valorem taxes, both for county purposes 62 and for the providing of municipal services within any municipal 63 service taxing unit; however, the creation of any municipal 64 service taxing unit is subject to voting and other requirements 65 as provided in subsection (2). Notwithstanding any other 66 provision of law, a county may not levy special assessments for 67 the provision of fire protection services on lands classified as 68 agricultural lands under s. 193.461 unless the land contains a 69 residential dwelling or nonresidential farm building, with the 70 exception of an agricultural pole barn, provided the 71 nonresidential farm building exceeds a just value of $10,000. 72 Such special assessments must be based solely on the special 73 benefit accruing to that portion of the land consisting of the 74 residential dwelling and curtilage, and qualifying 75 nonresidential farm buildings. As used in this paragraph, the 76 term “agricultural pole barn” means a nonresidential farm 77 building in which 70 percent or more of the perimeter walls are 78 permanently open and allow free ingress and egress. 79 (2)(a) The establishment, merger, or abolishment of a 80 municipal service taxing or benefit unit under paragraph (1)(q) 81 must be approved by majority vote of the qualified electors who 82 would be or are subject to any service charge, special 83 assessment, or tax within such unit, voting in an election that 84 is called for such purpose by the governing body of the county 85 on its own motion. The boundaries of a municipal service taxing 86 or benefit unit may include all or part of the boundaries of a 87 municipality if, in addition to the majority approval of 88 qualified electors required under this paragraph, consent by 89 ordinance of the governing body of the affected municipality is 90 given either annually or for a term of years. The board of 91 county commissioners shall be the governing body of any 92 municipal service taxing or benefit unit created pursuant to 93 paragraph (1)(q) and this paragraph. 94 (b) For any municipal service taxing or benefit unit that 95 was created on or before July 1, 2020, without a majority 96 approval of qualified electors as required under paragraph (a), 97 the continued existence of such unit must be approved by 98 majority vote of the qualified electors who are subject to any 99 service charge, special assessment, or tax within such unit. If 100 a majority vote for the continued existence of the municipal 101 service taxing or benefit unit is not achieved, such unit must 102 be dissolved within 6 months after the election and any 103 remaining funds of the unit must be used as decided by the board 104 of county commissioners. 105 (6)(a) The governing body of a municipality or 106 municipalities by resolution, or the citizens of a municipality 107 or county by petition of 10 percent of the qualified electors of 108 such unit, may identify a service or program rendered specially 109 for the benefit of the property or residents in unincorporated 110 areas and financed from countywide revenues and petition the 111 board of county commissioners to develop an appropriate 112 mechanism to finance such activity for the ensuing fiscal year, 113 which may be by taxes, special assessments, or service charges 114 levied or imposed solely upon residents or property in the 115 unincorporated area, by the establishment of a municipal service 116 taxing or benefit unit pursuant to paragraph (1)(q) and 117 subsection (2), or by remitting the identified cost of service 118 paid from revenues required to be expended on a countywide basis 119 to the municipality or municipalities, within 6 months of the 120 adoption of the county budget, in the proportion that the amount 121 of county ad valorem taxes collected within such municipality or 122 municipalities bears to the total amount of countywide ad 123 valorem taxes collected by the county, or by any other method 124 prescribed by state law. 125 (b) The board of county commissioners shall, within 90 126 days, file a response to such petition, which response shall 127 either reflect action to develop appropriate mechanisms or shall 128 reject such petition and state findings of fact demonstrating 129 that the service does not specially benefit the property or 130 residents of the unincorporated areas. 131 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.