2016 Florida Statutes
County economic development powers.
County economic development powers.
125.045 County economic development powers.—
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that this state faces increasing competition from other states and other countries for the location and retention of private enterprises within its borders. Furthermore, the Legislature finds that there is a need to enhance and expand economic activity in the counties of this state by attracting and retaining manufacturing development, business enterprise management, and other activities conducive to economic promotion, in order to provide a stronger, more balanced, and stable economy in the state; to enhance and preserve purchasing power and employment opportunities for the residents of this state; and to improve the welfare and competitive position of the state. The Legislature declares that it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the growth and creation of business enterprises in the counties of the state.
(2) The governing body of a county may expend public funds to attract and retain business enterprises, and the use of public funds toward the achievement of such economic development goals constitutes a public purpose. The provisions of this chapter which confer powers and duties on the governing body of a county, including any powers not specifically prohibited by law which can be exercised by the governing body of a county, must be liberally construed in order to effectively carry out the purposes of this section.
(3) For the purposes of this section, it constitutes a public purpose to expend public funds for economic development activities, including, but not limited to, developing or improving local infrastructure, issuing bonds to finance or refinance the cost of capital projects for industrial or manufacturing plants, leasing or conveying real property, and making grants to private enterprises for the expansion of businesses existing in the community or the attraction of new businesses to the community.
(4) A contract between the governing body of a county or other entity engaged in economic development activities on behalf of the county and an economic development agency must require the agency or entity receiving county funds to submit a report to the governing body of the county detailing how county funds were spent and detailing the results of the economic development agency’s or entity’s efforts on behalf of the county. By January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, the county must file a copy of the report with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and post a copy of the report on the county’s website.
(5)(a) By January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, each county shall report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research the economic development incentives in excess of $25,000 given to any business during the county’s previous fiscal year. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall compile the information from the counties into a report and provide the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Department of Economic Opportunity. Economic development incentives include:
1. Direct financial incentives of monetary assistance provided to a business from the county or through an organization authorized by the county. Such incentives include, but are not limited to, grants, loans, equity investments, loan insurance and guarantees, and training subsidies.
2. Indirect incentives in the form of grants and loans provided to businesses and community organizations that provide support to businesses or promote business investment or development.
3. Fee-based or tax-based incentives, including, but not limited to, credits, refunds, exemptions, and property tax abatement or assessment reductions.
4. Below-market rate leases or deeds for real property.
(b) A county shall report its economic development incentives in the format specified by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
(c) The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall compile the economic development incentives provided by each county in a manner that shows the total of each class of economic development incentives provided by each county and all counties.
History.—s. 1, ch. 95-309; H.C.R. 2741 (1995); s. 1, ch. 2010-147; s. 19, ch. 2011-34; s. 51, ch. 2011-142.