Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1256
       By Senator Gruters
       23-00086C-22                                          20221256__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to taxation; amending s. 197.102,
    3         F.S.; defining the terms “beneficial owner” and “legal
    4         entity”; creating s. 197.4315, F.S.; providing
    5         legislative intent; amending s. 197.432, F.S.;
    6         removing authorization for a tax collector to require
    7         payment of a reasonable deposit from certain persons;
    8         providing that any person may register and participate
    9         in tax certificate sales; removing an exception;
   10         removing provisions related to mailing of certain
   11         notices by tax collectors; conforming a provision to
   12         changes made by the act; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Present paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of
   17  section 197.102, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph
   18  (c), present paragraphs (c) through (i) of that subsection are
   19  redesignated as paragraphs (e) through (k), respectively, and
   20  new paragraphs (b) and (d) are added to that subsection, to
   21  read:
   22         197.102 Definitions.—
   23         (1) As used in this chapter, the following definitions
   24  apply, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
   25         (b) “Beneficial owner” means an individual or a legal
   26  entity that owns or controls more than one legal entity.
   27         (d)“Legal entity” means any firm, association, joint
   28  adventure, partnership, estate, trust, business trust,
   29  syndicate, fiduciary, corporation, other group or combination,
   30  or any other entity that has been assigned a unique federal
   31  identification number.
   32         Section 2. Section 197.4315, Florida Statutes, is created
   33  to read:
   34         197.4315 Legislative intent.—It is the public policy of
   35  this state that the process for securing revenue for local
   36  governments through the sale of tax certificates for unpaid ad
   37  valorem taxes be designed and implemented to provide the
   38  delinquent property owner the best opportunity to redeem
   39  delinquent taxes by ensuring that a tax certificate is sold to
   40  the person who will demand the lowest rate of interest less than
   41  the maximum interest rate authorized by statute. Limitations
   42  upon bidders which are structured in a manner that discourages
   43  volume or institutional buyers inappropriately focus on the
   44  investor’s economic interests rather than ensuring that interest
   45  rates charged to delinquent taxpayers remain as low as possible.
   46  Such limitations are against public policy.
   47         Section 3. Subsection (7) of section 197.432, Florida
   48  Statutes, is amended to read:
   49         197.432 Sale of tax certificates for unpaid taxes.—
   50         (7) Any person may register to bid and participate in sales
   51  of tax certificates; however, The tax collector may require
   52  payment of a reasonable deposit from any person who wishes to
   53  bid for a tax certificate. a person who fails or refuses to pay
   54  any bid made by, or on behalf of, such person is not entitled to
   55  bid or have any other bid accepted or enforced except as
   56  authorized by the tax collector. The tax collector shall provide
   57  written or electronic notice when certificates are ready for
   58  issuance. Payment must be made within 48 hours after the
   59  transmission of the electronic notice by the tax collector or
   60  mailing of such notice or, at the tax collector’s discretion,
   61  all or a portion of the deposit placed by the bidder may be
   62  forfeited. Payment must be made before the issuance of the
   63  certificate by the tax collector. If the tax collector
   64  determines that payment has been requested in error, the tax
   65  collector shall issue a refund within 15 business days after
   66  such payment.
   67         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.