ENROLLED 2022 Legislature CS for SB 620, 1st Engrossed 2022620er 1 2 An act relating to the Local Business Protection Act; 3 providing a short title; creating s. 70.91, F.S.; 4 defining the term “business records”; authorizing 5 certain businesses to claim business damages from a 6 county or municipality if the county or municipality 7 enacts or amends certain ordinances or charter 8 provisions; limiting the amount of business damages 9 that may be recovered; specifying ordinances and 10 charter provisions that do not result in liability for 11 business damages; requiring businesses and counties or 12 municipalities to follow certain presuit procedures 13 before businesses file an action for business damages; 14 authorizing courts to award reasonable attorney fees 15 and costs to prevailing parties; specifying that 16 counties and municipalities are not liable for damages 17 if they take certain actions within a specified 18 timeframe; authorizing governing bodies of 19 municipalities to provide specified relief, 20 notwithstanding certain ordinances and charter 21 provisions; providing applicability and construction; 22 providing an effective date. 23 24 WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that the continued 25 economic growth and economic prosperity of this state are tied 26 to the protection of private property rights and the stability 27 of laws, ordinances, and charter provisions, and 28 WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that the protection of 29 private property rights and the stability of laws and local 30 rules and regulations affecting business activities encourage 31 investments by businesses in their real property, facilities, 32 operations, and workforces, and 33 WHEREAS, investments by businesses drive the economic 34 growth of a community, and 35 WHEREAS, the economic costs of local rules and regulations 36 that are primarily for the benefit of a county or municipality 37 as a whole should be borne by the county or municipality as a 38 whole, and 39 WHEREAS, the Legislature intends to require counties and 40 municipalities to compensate businesses for business damages 41 when an ordinance or a charter provision causes a business 42 significant economic harm, NOW, THEREFORE, 43 44 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 45 46 Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Local Business 47 Protection Act.” 48 Section 2. Section 70.91, Florida Statutes, is created to 49 read: 50 70.91 Compensation for business damages caused by county or 51 municipal ordinances or charter provisions.— 52 (1) DEFINITION.—For purposes of this section, the term 53 “business records” includes, but is not limited to, copies of 54 federal income tax returns, federal income tax withholding 55 statements, federal miscellaneous income tax statements, state 56 sales tax returns, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, 57 state corporate income tax returns for the 3 years preceding the 58 enactment of or amendment to an ordinance or a charter, and 59 other records relied upon by a business to substantiate a claim 60 for business damages. 61 (2) CLAIMS FOR BUSINESS DAMAGES.— 62 (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), a private, for 63 profit business may claim business damages from a county or 64 municipality if: 65 1. The county or municipality enacts or amends an ordinance 66 or a charter provision that has or will cause a reduction of at 67 least 15 percent of the business’ profit as applied on a per 68 location basis of a business operated within the jurisdiction; 69 and 70 2. The business has engaged in lawful business in the 71 jurisdiction for the 3 years preceding the enactment of or 72 amendment to the ordinance or charter. 73 (b) The amount of business damages may be established by 74 any reasonable method, but the amount of business damages that 75 may be recovered by a business may not exceed the present value 76 of the business’ future lost profits for the lesser of 7 years 77 or the number of years the business had been in operation in the 78 jurisdiction before the ordinance or charter provision was 79 enacted. 80 (c) A county or municipality is not liable for business 81 damages caused by: 82 1. An ordinance or charter provision that is required to 83 comply with, or is expressly authorized by, state or federal 84 law; 85 2. Emergency ordinances, declarations, or orders adopted by 86 a county or municipality under ss. 252.31-252.60, the State 87 Emergency Management Act; 88 3. A temporary emergency ordinance enacted pursuant to s. 89 125.66 or s. 166.041 which remains in effect for no more than 90 90 days; 91 4. An ordinance or charter provision enacted to implement: 92 a. Part II of chapter 163, relating to growth policy, 93 county and municipal planning, and land development regulation, 94 including zoning, development orders, and development permits; 95 b. Section 553.73, relating to the Florida Building Code; 96 or 97 c. Section 633.202, relating to the Florida Fire Prevention 98 Code; 99 5. An ordinance or charter provision required to implement 100 a contract or agreement, including, but not limited to, any 101 federal, state, local, or private grant, or other financial 102 assistance accepted by a county or municipal government; 103 6. An ordinance or charter provision relating to the 104 issuance or refinancing of debt; 105 7. An ordinance or charter provision relating to the 106 adoption of a budget or budget amendment, including revenue 107 sources necessary to fund the budget; 108 8. An ordinance or charter provision relating to 109 procurement; or 110 9. An ordinance or charter provision intended to promote, 111 enable, or facilitate economic competition. 112 (d) An amendment to an ordinance or charter provision after 113 the effective date of this act gives rise to a claim under this 114 section only to the extent that the application of the 115 amendatory language is the cause of the claimed impact on a 116 business apart from the ordinance or charter provision being 117 amended. 118 (3) PRESUIT PROCEDURES; ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.— 119 (a) At least 180 days before a business files an action 120 under this section against a county or municipality and within 121 180 days after the effective date of the relevant ordinance or 122 charter provision, the business must present a written offer to 123 settle the business’ claim for business damages to the head of 124 the county or municipality enacting or amending the ordinance or 125 charter provision. The settlement offer must be made in good 126 faith and include an explanation of the nature, extent, and 127 monetary amount of damages and must be prepared by the owner, a 128 certified public accountant, or a business damage expert 129 familiar with the nature of the operations of the business. The 130 business must also provide copies of the business’ records that 131 substantiate the offer to settle the business damage claim. If 132 additional information is needed beyond the data that may be 133 obtained from business records existing at the time of the 134 offer, the business and county or municipality may agree on a 135 schedule for the submission of that information. 136 (b) Within 120 days after receipt of the good faith 137 business damage offer and accompanying business records, the 138 county or municipality must, by certified mail, accept or reject 139 the business’ offer or make a counteroffer, which may include an 140 offer to grant a waiver to the application of the ordinance or 141 charter provision. 142 (c) If a business files an action for business damages, it 143 must be filed within 1 year after the effective date of the 144 relevant ordinance, ordinance amendment, or charter provision. 145 (d) Evidence of negotiations or of any written or oral 146 statements used in mediation or negotiations between the parties 147 under this section is inadmissible in any proceeding for 148 business damages, except in a proceeding to determine reasonable 149 costs and attorney fees. 150 (e) In an action for business damages, the court may award 151 reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party. 152 (4) OPPORTUNITY TO CURE.—There is no liability under this 153 section for a county or municipality that, within the 120-day 154 timeframe provided for in paragraph (3)(b): 155 (a) Repeals the ordinance or charter provision that gave 156 rise to the business’ claim; 157 (b) Amends the ordinance or charter provision that gave 158 rise to the business’ claim in a manner that returns the 159 ordinance or charter provision to its form in existence before 160 the business’ claim arose or in a manner that avoids causing a 161 reduction of at least 15 percent of the business’ profit as 162 applied on a per location basis within the jurisdiction; 163 (c) Publishes notice of its intent to repeal or amend the 164 ordinance that gave rise to the business’ claim and, within 30 165 days after publication of the notice, amends the ordinance in a 166 manner that returns the ordinance to its form in existence 167 before the business’ claim arose or in a manner that avoids 168 causing a reduction of at least 15 percent of the business’ 169 profit as applied on a per location basis within the 170 jurisdiction, or repeals the ordinance; 171 (d) Grants a waiver of the ordinance or charter provision 172 to a business submitting a claim for business damages; or 173 (e) With respect to a charter provision, the county 174 provides notice of its intent to amend or repeal the charter 175 provision that is the basis of the business damage claim and the 176 charter provision is amended or repealed by the voters at an 177 election or special election that occurs within 90 days after 178 publication of the notice. 179 180 The governing body of a municipality may provide relief under 181 this subsection notwithstanding any ordinance or charter 182 provision to the contrary. 183 (5) APPLICATION; CONSTRUCTION.—This section does not apply 184 to a business that may claim business damages under chapter 73 185 and may not be construed to authorize double recoveries. 186 Section 3. This act applies to county and municipal 187 ordinances or charter provisions enacted or amended on or after 188 the effective date of this act. 189 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.