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Business Observer Thursday, May 21, 2009 9 years ago

Bills impacting business

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The Legislature was relatively kind to Florida businesses and property owners this year, streamlining permitting processes, lowering some taxes, reducing some government regulations.The following is a list of the most important bills and resolutions that were passed during the session.
by: Jay Brady Government Editor

Key to understanding the bill numbers: HB=House Bill; SB=Senate Bill; HJR=House Joint Resolution; SJR=Senate Joint Resolution; SR=Senate Resolution Note: Many bills are committee substitutes. Bill details may be found at www.leg.state.fl.us.

HB 73 — Expedited Permitting Process for Economic Development Projects
Sponsors: Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill and Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey
Designates “Mike McHugh Act”; requires Department of Environmental Protection and water management districts to adopt programs to expedite processing of permits for certain economic development projects; provides timeframe for permit application approval or denial; provides that projects designated as target industry businesses and located in charter counties that meet certain criteria are eligible for expedited permitting.
Last action: Passed House 118-0 and Senate 37-0
Effective Date: July 1, 2009

HB 227 — Impact Fees
Sponsor: Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral
Requires government to prove certain elements of impact fee by preponderance of evidence; prohibits courts from using the lower deferential standard in court action.
Last action: Passed House 107-10 and Senate 26-11
Effective Date: July 1, 2009

SB 360 — Growth Management
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton
The “Community Renewal Act.” Revises development or regional impact review requirements. Revises concurrency requirements including creating transportation concurrency exception areas in dense urban areas. Revises requirements for adoption of impact fees. Provides for assessment of property receiving low-income housing tax credit; etc.
Last action: Passed House 78-37 and Senate 30-7
Effective Date: Upon becoming law.

HB 485 — Fast Track Economic Stimulus for Small Businesses
Sponsor: Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel
Establishes New Markets Development Program; provides for tax credits for making qualified equity investments; limits the amount of investments Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may certify; provides requirements and limitations on issuance of certified equity investments; provides for redemption of tax credits; specifies how tax credits may be claimed by insurance companies; etc.
Last action: Passed House 116-0 and Senate 40-0
Effective Date: July 1, 2009

HB 521— Ad Valorem Tax Assessment Challenges
Tilts the field in favor of taxpayers for challenging property values.
Last action: Passed House 109-4 and Senate 37-1
Effective Date: upon becoming a law

SJR 532 — Property Tax Limit/Additional Homestead Exemption
The Florida Constitution generally limits the maximum annual increase in the assessed value of non-homestead property to 10%. This proposed amendment reduces the maximum annual increase in the assessed values of those properties to 5%.
Last action: Passed House 104-13 and Senate 26-11
Effective Date: Jan.1, 2011, available to properties purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2010

SB 810 — Unemployment Compensation
Raises the amount of an employee's wages subject to an employer's contribution to the trust fund, with a reversion to current law after Jan. 1, 2015. Revises the rate and recoupment period for computing the employer contribution to the trust fund, with a reversion to current law for recoupment after Jan. 1, 2015; etc.
Last action: Passed House 117-0 and Senate 38-0
Effective Date: Upon becoming law except as otherwise provided.

HJR 833 — Homestead Ad Valorem Tax Credit for Deployed Military Personnel
Proposes a constitutional amendment to give additional property tax exemptions for members of all U.S. military personnel who receive homestead exemption and were deployed in previous year on active duty outside continental US, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations designated by Legislature; etc.
Last action: Passed House 115-0 and Senate 40-0
Effective Date: Jan. 1, 2011

HB 903 — Attorney's Fees in Workers' Compensation Cases
The bill restores a cap on attorneys' fees in workers' compensation cases by clarifying the Legislature's intention that the statutory fee schedule must apply in all cases.
Last action: Passed House 84-35 and Senate 22-16
Effective Date: July 1, 2009

SB 1112 — Corporate Income Tax
The bill fixes the bonus depreciation problem unintentionally created by last year's “piggyback” bill. The fix reverses a measure that deprives corporate income taxpayers' of certain benefits, specifically depreciation deductions, which they enjoyed prior to 2008.
Last action: Passed House 116-0 and Senate 39-1; approved by Governor
Effective Date: Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008; became law March 17, 2009

HB 1171 — Residential Property Insurance
Authorizes certain insurers to use rates in excess of filed rates.
Last action: Passed House 105-13 and Senate 27-9
Effective Date: upon becoming a law

HB 1495 — Property and Casualty Insurance
Requires the State Board of Administration to publish a statement of estimated claims-paying capacity of Hurricane Catastrophe Fund; provides dates on which claims-paying capacity of the fund will increase; authorizes insurer to include in its rates actual cost of certain reinsurance, etc.
Last action: Passed House 80-35 and Senate 32-6
Effective Date: upon becoming a law

SB 1580 — Ad Valorem Taxation
Authorizes tax collectors to accept partial payment of taxes under certain circumstances. Provides a deadline for payment of the remaining balance. Provides for a provision exempting property owned by an education institution from ad valorem taxation to apply retroactively to Jan. 1, 2005; etc.
Last action: Passed House 113-1 and Senate 40-0
Effective Date: July 1, 2009

SR 2824 — Imported Drywall
Resolution Sponsor: Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton
Urges the Congress of the United States to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to provide federal resources to the Florida Department of Health for the purpose of assessing the impact of imported drywall on human health and public safety.
Last action: Senate: adopted

Failed bills & resolutions


HJR 385/SJR 738 — Limitation on Amount of Combined Ad Valorem Taxes
Proposed an amendment to the Florida Constitution to limit the total aggregate ad valorem taxes levied by counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts on any parcel of real property to 1.35% of the highest taxable value of the property. Requires the Legislature to provide by general law for distribution of revenues collected on parcels that exceed the 1.35% limitation; etc.
Last action: Passed House 79-37; Senate: died in committee

HJR 1087/SJR 1164 (similar) — Homestead Property Assessment/Declining Value
Would have revised requirements for annual changes in assessments of homestead property to prohibit increase in assessed value of homestead property if market value of property decreases; etc.
Last action: House: withdrawn; Senate: withdrawn

HB 1317/SB 2392 — Renewable Energy
Would have established “Florida Renewable Energy Freedom Act”; required electric utilities to provide producers of renewable energy with interconnection and metering services; required electric utilities to purchase renewable energy at specified rates; provided limitation on sale or transfer of electrical energy generated by renewable energy sources; etc.
Last action: House: withdrawn; Senate: withdrawn

Other passed bills and resolutions of interest
HJR 81 — Repeal of Public Campaign Financing Requirement
HB 167 — Energy-efficient Appliance Rebate Program
SB 216 — Campaign Financing/Local Government Expenditures
HB 285 — Medicaid Low-Income Pool and Disproportionate Share Program
HB 379 — Florida Uniform Principal and Income Act
HB 425 — Regulation of Professions
HB 479 — Retirement
SB 494 — Water Conservation
HB 611 — Public Construction Projects
SB 714 — Condominiums
SB 742 — Sinkhole Losses
HB 853 — Surplus Lines Insurers
SB 1000 — Discretionary Sales Surtaxes/Fire Rescue
SB 1062 — Unemployment Compensation
SB 1122 — Health Insurance/Payment of Benefits/Claims
HB 1517 — Corporate Annual Financial Statements
SB 1552 — Lis Pendens
SB 2064 — Construction Defects
SB 2080 — Water Resources
SB 2330 — Corporations
SB 2626 — Telecommunications Companies - “Consumer Choice and Protection Act”
SB 1640 — Public Accountancy
SB 2226 — Mortgage Brokering and Lending
SB 2430 — Taxation of Documents
HB 7013 — Business Information Provided to a Governmental Condemning Authority
HB 7031 — Economic Development
HB 7093 — Public Records/Telecommunications and Broadband Company Proprietary Business Information
HB 7157 — Real Property Used for Conservation Purposes

Other failed bills of interest
HB 75/SB 1120 — University of South Florida/Pharmacy Degree Program
HB 101/SB 744 — Homestead Assessments
HB 119/SB 874/ SB 1044 (compare) — Real Property Registration
HB 175/SB 356 — Local Government Officers and Employees
HB 183/SB 2708 — Pinellas County/Town of Palm Harbor
HB 205/SB 1058 — Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Pilot Programs
HB 303/SB 1262 — Sale or Lease of Business Opportunities
SB 304/HB 105, SB 464 (compare) — Homestead Property Assessments/Increase/Just Value
HB 371/SB 1124 — Community Residential Homes
HB 401/SB 454 — Statements of Non-foreclosure or Pending Foreclosure of Residential Property
HB 437 — Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund
HB 441/SB 856 — Coastal Management
HB 495/SB 2402 (similar) — Negligence/Slip on Transitory Foreign Substance
HB 497 — Paid Petition Circulators
SB 516/HB 1333 — Unemployment Compensation
HB 519 (similar SB 256) — Electrical and Alarm System Contracting
HB 567/SB 1532 — Illegal Immigration
HB 571/SB 974 (similar) — Sales of Assets Other Than in the Regular Course of Business
HB 653/SB 2524 — Homestead Property Foreclosure Actions
HB 733/SB 930 (similar)/SB 928 (compare) — Mortgage Fraud
HB 849/SB 1522 — Appraisal of Property
HB 1189/SB 2320 — Transportation Projects
SB 1212 — Public Transit/SunRail
SB 1380 — Solar Energy
SB 1408 — Taxpayer Rights/Supporting Documentation
SB 1468 — Working Waterfront Property
SB 1636 — Sale of Business Opportunities
SB 2270/HB 1247 — Corporate Income Tax/Water's Edge Group
HJR 7057 — Reduction in Limitation on Non-homestead Property Annual Assessment Increases
HB 7149/SB 956 (similar) — Elections

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