2022 Legislature                    CS for SB 620, 1st Engrossed
    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.
   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,
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.
  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.
  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.